Man Behind the Chef: Adam Handling

The Staff Canteen

(At time of filming Adam was head chef at restaurant Adam Handling at Caxton)

In association with


In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2017- supported by Westlands, at ScotHot 2017, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage.

We dig a little deeper to find out what they are hiding under those chef whites next up is Adam Handling, chef patron of The Frog and former head chef of his self-titled restaurant, Adam Handling at Caxton which achieved 3 rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide.

Adam Handling has had an impressive career in his 28 years. At 16, he was the first ever apprentice chef to learn at the prestigious Gleneagles Hotel before becoming head chef at the Esperante restaurant at Fairmount St. Andrews.

He was awarded Scottish Chef of the Year in 2011 and regained the title in 2015. Adam reached the final three in the BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals in 2013 and appeared again in 2016. He also appeared on BBC2's Great British Menu in 2016.

In 2014, Adam served as head chef at his self-named restaurant, Adam Handling at Caxton. His restaurant gained 3 AA rosettes in its first year and won Newcomer Restaurant of the Year in the Food and Travel Reader Awards 2015.

Adam began an ambitious new project last year when he opened his first independent restaurant in East London, The Frog, E1. Adam recently announced plans to open his second restaurant in Covent Garden.

Adam Handling
Adam Handling

What item of food do you hate cooking?

There’s nothing I don’t enjoy cooking!

What food, if any, are you allergic to?

None, thankfully.

What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?

I find cauliflower one of the most interesting ingredients to work with, and I love cooking with chocolate – but not at the same time!

What’s your guilty pleasure food?

Heinz tomato soup.

What three ingredients would you take with you to a desert island and why?

The first one would have to be gin – it would keep me warm at night and if things get too bad it’s a great back up. I get incredibly grumpy if I don’t have sugar so I’d definitely bring chocolate with me, and thirdly would be flour. You can make so many things with flour and it’d stop me from dying!

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

When I was a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, but then I realised I was terrified of heights.

>>> Read more in The Behind The Chef series here

What radio station do you listen to in the kitchen?

We don’t – it’s an open kitchen in The Frog so we can’t really but we play some great music in the restaurant anyway, particularly on the weekend when we have DJs playing.

Which other kitchen would you most like to work in?

I’d love to work in Sat Bains’ kitchen as he’s a huge inspiration of mine.

Traditional cooking methods or modern techniques?

In my opinion both are as important as each other. You have to have the foundations for a building otherwise it will fall down. Once you know the classics you can then start to play around with modern techniques, so it’s pretty hard to do one without the other.

Why did you choose to get involved with TSC Live?

The Staff Canteen has supported me throughout my years working as a Chef, particularly in London. I’m very happy to go to Scotland to help them out.

>>> ScotHot takes place on March 15-16, 2017 and you can register now here 

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live here

>>> Read more from The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at ScotHot here

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th February 2017

Man Behind the Chef: Adam Handling