Chef Adam Handling is to leave Adam Handling at Caxton in London's St Ermin's hotel to launch his own restaurants, starting with the Frog in the City of London.
The experienced competition chef and current holder of the Scottish Chef of the Year title told The Caterer: "The Frog in Spitalfields will be the first of a number of restaurants to be opened under my new restaurant and bar brand over the next five years - with three opening over the coming months, including a new location for my signature site Restaurant Adam Handling".
The new venture is set to open on 8 June in Ely's Yard, situated next to the Old Truman Brewery in east London, and Handling and his team will be using ingredients and products from local London markets, including Smithfields and Spitalfields.
"We'll be offering dishes with finesse, but served in a more informal and relaxed atmosphere so that we appeal to the wide tourist, business and residential audiences in the area," added Handling.
Small a la carte dishes will be priced at around £10 each, with a daily-changing five-course tasting menu at £40 per head (excluding drinks).
Handling's senior team from Adam Handling at Caxton will join him in his new venture, including head chef Steven Kerr, who will run the kitchen at The Frog.
The Frog restaurant will be designed by Offbeat Interiors with a rustic and comfortable interior style. The space will have seating for 60, with a private dining room for up to 15, situated on a mezzanine floor, overlooking the kitchen.
The organic bar will have a technical emphasis offering home-made kombucha tea drinks and cocktails, and cocktail and beer pairings that complement the menus. There will also be an exclusive the Frog gin curated by Portobello Gin, and Brew Dog will be supplying beers and other drinks.
Wines will be mostly from the New World, and will be accessible in style and price. The separate bar area will seat 14 and will provide an alternative area for both drinking and dining.
An urban cultivator (hydroponic indoor gardening appliance) will be sited in the restaurant, producing herbs for the kitchen and bar, and will, said Handling, be one of many talking points for diners. "We want The Frog to become a showcase for young creatives," he added.
"We're going to be working with art students, up-and-coming DJs, young winemakers and food producers, and guest chefs to provide an ever-changing canvas for the best of their ideas and experiences."
Philip A G Seers has been appointed non-executive director of Adam Handling Ltd. A former investment banker, Seers is director of a number of established companies as well as a series of early-stage companies.
Adam Handling is supported by Toucan Ventures, which provides long-term support to creative entrepreneurs by connecting its members with first-class mentors and services, and directing them to appropriate funding sources.
Rasha Khawaja, founder & CEO of Toucan, said: "We are immensely proud of what Adam has managed to achieve with the advice and support from the Toucan community. By launching the Frog, he has made the first leap on his entrepreneurial journey, and we are looking forward to supporting him well into the future."
Handling was a semi-finalist in the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chef of the Year competition in 2014 and 2015, and was recently announced as a finalist in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 competition.
In 2014 he was awarded the British Culinary Association Chef of the Year, he was a MasterChef the Professionals finalist in 2013, and that same year received an Acorn Award from The Caterer.
Handling and his partner Macarena Vila-Onieva and her family also produce and supply Olivia by Adam Handling - a range of world-class olive oils and sherry vinegar for the hospitality sector sourced from the Vinolea winery and mill in Cordoba, Spain.
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