By Andrew Quigley
Jan 7, 2022
Adam started as an apprentice chef at Gleneagles when he was just 16 years old. He then moved to Fairmont St Andrews to take over as their youngest ever head chef. Adam was set to progress to Michel level and this led him to London and a stage at St Ermin's Hotel in St James’ Park. This opportunity gave Adam the chance to cook his own food in London. It was during this time that Adam entered Masterchef the Professionals. His success in the competition allowed him to get his name on the door: Adam Handling at Caxton. Although the restaurant saw huge popularity under Adam’s name, the partnership ended badly when the owners changed the direction of the restaurant into a steakhouse.
In 2016 Adam opened his first restaurant, The Frog E1. On the menu, you could find small plates and tasting menus and a modern, relaxed environment. This venture incorporated Adam's love of food and drink but also showcased his interest in art and music. The restaurant was a roaring success, receiving 5 restaurant of the year awards within the first two years. This experience also allowed him to define exactly the type of dishes he wanted to create using ingredients such as soy and kimchi to deliver complex, interesting flavour profiles.
Following the success of his first restaurant, he went on to open Frog by Adam Handling and Eve bar in central London’s, covent garden. The goal was to create a setting that was a direct representation of Adam’s personality. He wanted to create something that would help get him noticed with a sense of theatre with the kitchen being on full view. The restaurant has a limited number of dishes on the menu at a time, giving Adam and his chefs the flexibility and creativity for a daily changing menu.
Sustainability and reducing waste within the food chain is always something that Adam has been hugely passionate about. So much so that it drove him to open Ugly Butterfly on Chelsea’s Kings road. The restaurant aimed to be as close to zero waste as possible using waste and off-cuts from Adam’s neighbouring restaurants. You could expect to see dishes such as crispy potato peelings, broccoli stalk caesar, lobster shell soup and reformed donuts made from surplus bread on the menu. This ethos was also mirrored in the drinks offering at the SW1 venue. Adam and the Ugly Butterfly worked closely with ‘The Felix Project’, a London charity that helps to collect and redistribute surplus food to those in need. Ugly butterfly has since relocated to the Carbis Bay on the Cornish coast.
At the start of lockdown in 2020, Adam launched Hame, a home delivery service providing the nation with some indulgent a la carte dishes, allowing customers to experience his restaurant in the safety of their own homes. The luxurious package induced the likes of warm brown ale sourdough and chicken butter, cheese doughnuts, beef wellington and sticky toffee pudding.
In 2021, Adam opened his first pub with rooms, The Loch and the Tyne in Windsor. In true Adam handling style, the menu showcases the best of british produce with focus on sustainability and home grown ingredients.
Adams cooking style is centered around quality British ingredients that are carefully sourced. He used interesting and creative techniques to present these ingredients in a way that is beautifully presented and of course, delicious to eat.
Throughout his career, Adam has won many accolades in the culinary industry, including, Scottish Chef of the Year, Food and Travel Awards Chef of the Year and the British Culinary Federation's Chef of the Year. He has had numerous appearances on Saturday Kitchen, Great British Menu and as guest judge Masterchef amateurs and professionals.
As one of Britain's top Chef’s, we were over the moon to be able to collaborate with him to create a banquist 3-course experience. His menu started with Lobster tagliatelle, micro coriander, baby plum tomatoes, followed by Iberico pork presa, burnt cauliflower purée, kimchi emulsion, tōgarash and finished with an apple tarte tatin, salted caramel, fresh custard.