Chef-patron of the Frog E1 Adam Handling has agreed to become chef patron for the Association of Catering Excellence (ACE).
He joins patrons Chris Sheppardson (Chess Partnership), Marc Verstringhe (MESV Consultancy Int), Tim West (Elior), Wendy Bartlett (Bartlett Mitchell), Jane Sunley (Purple Cubed), Rosemary Osbourne MBE, Alastair Storey (BaxterStorey) and Chris Bray (Sodexo Prestige).
Over the past two years in particular, ACE has encouraged young people in the industry to get more involved in networking. As well as launching the ACE Robyn Awards in July to recognise young talent, ACE’s annual Ready Steady Cook event had an award for promising chefs under the age of 25. Handling was on the judging panel for the event for the first time last year.
Next year, the winning under-25 chef could have a week placement in Handling’s kitchen at the Frog or at another of his ventures. There are also plans for Handling to be involved in a ‘Next Generation Masterclass’.
ACE chair, Paul Hurren, said: “Adam is the ideal choice for a chef-patron – with ACE’s focus firmly on the younger generation, he fits the bill perfectly and we are delighted that he has agreed to take on this position. We’re sure he’ll bring energy and enthusiasm to the role, and he already has some exciting ideas to contribute.”
Handling said: “I’m thrilled to be chef-patron for ACE. Their commitment to supporting young people in the catering industry very much aligns with my own principles – when I opened my first independent restaurant, the Frog E1, one of the visions behind it was to nurture young and creative talent in our industry. I’ve done it myself and know first-hand how tough it can be, so to be able to support younger talent alongside ACE is fantastic. I’m excited for what we have lined up.”