Adam Handling appoints Connor Blades as head chef at Ugly Butterfly

The Staff Canteen

Michelin-starred chef Adam Handling has appointed Connor Blades as head chef of the Ugly Butterfly in St.Ives, Cornwall.

The restaurant is Adam's sustainable, zero-waste-focused venue that launched at the Carbis Bay Estate in 2021 and offers British food, especially that inspired by Cornwall.

Connor Blades, 23, joined the Ugly Butterfly team, as sous chef when the restaurant opened and is now taking over from the previous head chef, Jamie Park, who has moved on to another new role within the wider Adam Handling Restaurant Group, that hasn't been announced yet.

Connor said: “I’m over the moon to be taking over as Head Chef at Ugly Butterfly. I really identify with the ethos of the restaurant, being as sustainable as possible and sourcing incredible produce from super local suppliers."

"I’m really proud to have been part of the team that opened the restaurant and to now lead it alongside Adam and Jamie. This is my first Head Chef role and I’m grateful to Adam for putting his faith in me, it’s an exciting opportunity. The AHRG is a brilliant company to work for, we really are a family, and Adam has been a great mentor. He’s taught me most things I know, and he’s always been there for me to talk to when times are good or bad.”

Connor has spent the majority of his career within the Adam Handling Restaurant Group and joined back in 2014. As a college student, after he moved to London, he worked for Adam part-time whilst he was studying.  He loved his time so much that he decided to leave college and join the Adam Handling Restaurant Group apprenticeship programme to become a qualified chef.

When The Frog E1, Adam's first independent restaurant, Connor was part of the original team, staying there for over a year before leaving to gain experience at other restaurants, both in London as well as abroad. He spent some time working with Simon Rogan at Roganic and Aulis, both at the London and Hong Kong locations. 

Then, in December 2020, Adam and Jamie invited Connor to re-join the group and assist in launching Ugly Butterfly in the summer of 2022, at St. Ives.

In 2021, Connor was named ‘UK Young Chef of the Year’ in the Young Chef Young Waiter competition.

Adam Handling said: “Connor has been with me for years. He first walked into my restaurant when he was 15 years old, initially for a stage before he decided he wanted to stay for a while. He was a little legend from the beginning."

"He spent a few years developing his skills abroad before coming back to us, and to see his journey over the eight years I’ve known him, from apprentice to Head Chef, is really an incredible achievement. He’s the youngest ever Head Chef I’ve appointed, he’s even beaten my record! I’m super proud of Connor and if I could pinpoint one person to be the future of our group, it would be him.”

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 19th July 2022

Adam Handling appoints Connor Blades as head chef at Ugly Butterfly