The young stellar chef serves up his hottest online haunts.

At just 31, Adam Handling is the owner of the Adam Handling Restaurant Group, which includes Frog by Adam Handling, Eve Bar and Adam Handling Chelsea. But the journey to culinary stardom in the capital began many miles away amid the rural grandeur of Gleneagles in Scotland, where he was the first-ever trainee chef, before going on to become Fairmont’s youngest-ever head chef, scooping Scottish Chef of the Year at just 23.

It marked just the beginning of a trajectory that has been studded with such accolades. Also under Adam’s star-studded belt are a slew of awards that would make a veteran twice his age proud: Scottish Chef of the Year 2015, Newcomer Restaurant of the Year in the Food and Travel Reader Awards 2015, as well as the British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year 2014.

On a high following after such ecstatic recognition, he upped sticks and moved to London to go it alone with his first restaurant. A runaway success, it won him Best Restaurant of the Year in the 2017 Food & Travel Reader Awards, three AA rosettes and a Michelin Bib Gourmand – garlands that only spurred him on to go bigger and better. A year later, Adam opened another, larger restaurant on Hoxton Square: The Frog Hoxton. In, by now, signature Handling style, it immediately won him similar acclaim in the form of a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

But Adam Handling is not a man to sit still for longer than it takes to wolf down a plate of Mother (his celeriac, truffle and apple signature dish). Despite that his Hoxton establishment is also home to an events space and sustainable café Bean and Wheat, he found that he had some extra time on his hands. And what better way to fill it than by opening a flagship restaurant – immediately hailed as one of the finest in London – in Covent Garden? Frog by Adam Handling is, like the man himself, covered in awards.



Add to this dizzying mix the fact that he’s also proprietor of a bar – Eve – as well as an outpost of his restaurant out west: Adam Handling Chelsea at the uber luxurious newly renovated Belmond Cadogan Hotel, where you can also tuck into one of the finest and most nostalgic afternoon teas under his auspices, and you have the measure of surely the busiest and most ambitious (not to mention prodigiously talented) restaurateur in the city.

But, as he tells us, this gastronomic empire all starts with good, simple and seasonal ingredients. Here he shares where he heads to online for seasonal info, which chef is saying what all the others are thinking – and why he never, ever switches off.

My favourite website...


I love Eat the Seasons. It’s a guide to what produce is available and at its best now. I’ve been using it since I started as a sous chef, and I’ve based parts of my new book on the way it’s referenced. It very much fits in with the food philosophy we adopt at our restaurants and bars.



My favourite app...


Google Maps. I’m rubbish at following directions and finding my way around without it.

My favourite blog...


I follow both the Michelin Guide and 50 Best. They’re useful as guides to trends in food – and for choosing where we’re going to eat next!

My Internet hero...


Alexa. She’s always very helpful – does that count?

My favourite podcast...


Off Menu. Not surprisingly, another food-focused choice. But this time, it’s pretty funny. Ed Gamble and James Acaster are entertaining and good hosts

My favourite YouTuber...


Schieffer Bates – his impressions are brilliant, and fast!

My most recent buy online...


New tables for our restaurant Frog by Adam Handling. With social distancing, we’ve had to set up a new layout in the restaurant and needed smaller tables. Actually, I’m really pleased with the way it looks.



Last book you downloaded or read...


The Mirazur Cook Book, one of the top chefs in the world Mauro Colagreco’s stunningly beautiful book.

Favourite tweeter...


Gary Usher who operates a group of bistros in the north. His posts are really bold, he says what everyone else wants to.

Favourite Instagrammer...


@chefdup – distinctive content, and he’s very supportive of the hospitality industry (especially me!).

Favourite tech gadget...


My car, does that count? I love it. It’s a BMW i8 Roadster.

The most useful gadget/item on your desk?


My headphones and face mask. I can get some time to myself when they’re on!

Most inspirational digital resource during lockdown?


Didn’t have time – we were so busy with cooking free meals for key workers, creating home recipe videos, and setting up our home restaurant food delivery company Hame during lockdown.



First thing/app you look at on your mobile when you wake up/in the morning...


My emails, they can really build up, even overnight.

Last thing you binge-watched?


Gangs of London. Incredible series. London can be a dangerous place!

Favourite brands you've discovered online...


Paige trousers. I’m 6ft 3 inches, so finding stuff that fits can be difficult. Also, Rick Owens – I love their stuff.

Social media allowed me to meet...


Lots of chefs. It’s incredible how active the UK hospitality industry is on social media.

The best digital advice I've been given...


From my PR agency: ‘Don’t ever post on social when you’re angry!’

My screensaver is...


My little boy, Oliver.

My standout online memory...


When FOUR Magazine named me online as one of their chefs to watch. I felt I was getting somewhere.

My pet online hate is...


Trolls. I’ve been the target, and it’s horrible.

Do you have any online rules or resolutions...


My only rule is never to switch anything off.

The Internet. On balance, a force for good or ill?


A force for good – it’s all about the person who is using it.

By Nancy Alsop
August 2020

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