photo credit Jason Alfred Palmer
Chef Adam Handling has been appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to Hospitality and International Trade in the New Year Honours List 2024.
Born in Scotland, Adam’s career began at Gleneagles at the age of 16, where he was the first ever apprentice chef, before going on to become Fairmont’s youngest ever Head Chef. Almost two decades on, he is now the Chef Owner of the Adam Handling Restaurant Group, which includes his Michelin-starred flagship restaurant Frog by Adam Handling in London, alongside Ugly Butterfly in Cornwall, his pub, restaurant, and rooms The Loch & the Tyne in Old Windsor, and Eve Bar in London.
Throughout his career, Adam has received a number of impressive awards, including Scottish Chef of the Year, British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year, Craft Guild of Chefs Restaurant Chef Award. He was the youngest person to be one of the Caterer’s ‘30 under 30 to watch’ in the Acorn Awards and was also named Restaurateur of the Year in the British GQ Food and Drink Awards. Awards for his restaurants span from the ‘Sustainable Practices Award’ in the CLASS Bar Awards for Ugly Butterfly and ‘Best Pub for Food’ in the Great British Pub Awards for The Loch and the Tyne, to the Group being awarded the ‘Judges Special Achievement Award’ at the Institute of Hospitality Awards, and multiple inclusions in Top 50 and Top 100 lists, including Frog being listed 9th in the UK in the National Restaurant Awards.
This year, Adam was crowned ‘Champion of Champions’ on the BBC’s Great British Menu, and his Majestic Chicken Pie was voted the winning dish on The One Show’s Coronation Dish competition. As part of his GREAT Ambassadorship, Adam also created an official recipe for HRH King Charles III’s Coronation, for which he presented his Strawberry and Ginger Trifle, which was made at Coronation celebrations across the UK.
Says Adam Handling: “This truly is my proudest achievement yet, to the point that I still keep pinching myself thinking that this just can’t be real. I’ve always been quite a self-motivating person and I’ve set myself goals. One of those goals has always been to promote sustainable British food – it’s to work closely with farmers and suppliers to source incredible quality ingredients, it’s to use ingredients in their entirety and it’s to never a waste of thing, whilst changing the perception of sustainability and making it luxury. I want to help change the way Britain thinks about food and how British food is seen around the world.
It’s incredible to be appointed an MBE for two things that mean the most to me – education and hospitality. I always instil education, inspiration, motivation into my team – that’s our ethos and how we work every day. Inspiring not only my team but also our guests, the future of the industry and the wider public in terms of what British food is all about, in a sustainable and luxury manner, is what I set out to do and what I intend to continue to focus on.
I am so overwhelmingly happy – this is, to date, the most heartwarming, humbling recognition I’ve ever received in my almost 20 years of cooking. Thanks to everyone who has been in my life, who have both positively and negatively contributed – you have all been part of making me who I am today and I really do hope I can make the UK proud.”