1 Michelin Star Chefs: Adam Handling, chef owner, Frog by AH

The  Staff Canteen

Adam Handling is the chef and owner of one Michelin-starred Covent Garden restaurant, Frog by AH

As a boy, Adam never dreamt of pioneering his own brand of British fine dining; he spent much of his time outdoors with the other young boys causing mischief. He only embraced the idea when, at the age of 16, he became the youngest ever apprentice chef at Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland.

Today, Adam is a renowned chef and restaurateur with multiple award-winning businesses to his name within the Adam Handling Restaurant Group.

Frog by Adam Handling

34-35 Southampton St, London WC2E 7HG

Website: https://www.frogbyadamhandling.com/

Tel: 0207 199 8370

Email: [email protected]

Opening hours:

Lunch (Wed-Sat)
12noon – 2.30pm

Dinner (Tues-Sat)
5.00pm – 11.00pm

Sunday & Monday
Closed

Instagram: @frogbyah

@adamhandling

Facebook: @FrogByAdamHandling

Twitter: @AHRestaurants

Biography

Adam was born in Dundee, Scotland, in 1988. His father was a Sergeant Major in the army. When he was 16, he started an apprenticeship at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, making him the youngest ever apprentice chef there. He still credits his success to that training. 

When asked why he believes he was given the role at such a young age, he said: "I’m brutally honest, very stubborn, and I always want to be the very best at anything I do, and I think they liked that."

When he started at Gleneagles, he was only responsible for preparing vegetables, but after nine months, he was running the grill.

 

When he left Gleneagles almost three years later, he was named head chef at Fairmont St Andrews in Fife, where he worked for two years. In 2011, he went travelling for a year to continue learning about food, gaining much of his inspiration in Japan, where he developed a passion for zero-waste cooking.

Upon his return to London, he was named head chef St Ermin’s Hotel in St James’ Park, London, helping to earn 2 AA Rosettes for its restaurant.

In 2011, the chef left St Ermin's to travel the world and continue learning about food. 

Upon his return to London in 2016, he opened The Frog E1 in the Old Truman Brewery Shoreditch and a zero-waste cafe, Bean & Wheat alongside it. The Frog E1 moved to a bigger site on Hoxton Square in 2018

He opened his flagship, Frog by Adam Handling in Covent Garden in 2017, as well as a cocktail venue, Eve bar, underneath the West London restaurant and a whiskey-led bar, Iron Stag, below The Frog E1.

That same year, he ran an upmarket, zero-waste pop-up in Chelsea called Ugly Butterfly.

Due to pressures caused by Covid-19, the chef closed his East London Frog restaurant and Iron Stag in 2020.

 

 

Ugly Butterfly, meanwhile, opened as a permanent site in Carbis Bay, St Ives, Cornwall, in the summer of 2021.

That same year, he also launched The Loch & The Tyne in Old Windsor, a pub and restaurant with rooms, in line with his ethos of providing 'sustainable British luxury.'

Frog by Adam Handling was awarded a star in the Michelin Guide for Great Britain and Ireland 2022.

Frog by AH

The 40-seat restaurant was designed with an open kitchen to create an immersive, theatrical experience staged by the chefs. Diners are presented with a set, 10-course menu priced at £175, with a choice between a £100 wine pairing or a £200 premium wine pairing, alongside a fanciful cocktail menu.

The food at Frog relies on premium British ingredients and is inspired by the city of London in all of its multicultural splendour. Produce is seasonal and sourced from a small pool of suppliers, some of it even foraged by the team. By-products from the menu are used to create cocktails for Frog or Eve Bar.

Adam's expertise in classical techniques, according to Michelin, combines "with playfulness and originality to produce colourful, well-crafted dishes which are beautiful to look at."
 
Most notable on the snacks menu is Adam's signature chicken skin butter and liver pâté with sourdough, which he created in tribute to his sister, who, when they were children, would refuse to eat anything but roast chicken for Sunday lunch. The new and improved version is served with boneless chicken wings with tarragon and shallot.

Other menu items include deceptively simple-sounding dishes such as Wagyu, hen of the woods; lamb, sweetbread, morels; and 'All about the sturgeon,' savoury waffles with Exmoor caviar and a sturgeon emulsion.

What the guides say...

Michelin

three stars

Harden's

Awards, Books, TV appearances and more 

While working as a head chef at Fairmont St Andrews, in 2013, Adam appeared on the sixth series of MasterChef: The Professionals and made it to the final three.

This experience opened up opportunities for the chef, who was given the chance to put his name above the door at St Ermin's restaurant (renamed Restaurant Adam Handling at Caxton), where his team earned three AA Rosettes. 

 

That same year, Adam published his first cookbook, entitled Smile or Get Out of the Kitchen, with a foreword by Masterchef: The Professionals judge Monica Galetti.
 
In 2016, Adam appeared in the 11th series of the BBC's Great British Menu with chefs Michael Bremner and Ally McGrath, representing Scotland.
 
In 2022, Adam made his return for the 17th series of the competition, where he reached the regional finals but fell short of serving a dish at the banquet.

Adam was named Scottish Chef of the Year in 2015, the British Culinary Federation (BCF)'s Chef of the Year 2014 and Chef of the Year in the Food & Travel Awards 2015.

Most recently, he received the title of Restaurateur of the Year in the British GQ Food and Drink Awards 2020.

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 9th May 2022

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Adam Handling, chef owner, Frog by AH