Handling ‒ who was a finalist in the BBC show MasterChef The Professionals 2013 ‒ is set to leave his Adam Handling at Caxton operation (at the 331-bedroom St Ermin’s Hotel in Westminster), which was awarded three AA Rosettes in its first year.
The new openings – with at least three set for the next few months ‒ will also coincide with a relocation for Handling’s flagship Caxton operation.
With 60 covers, a 14-cover bar, and a 15-seat private dining room, The Frog will be overseen by head chef Steven Kerr, and will aim to provide a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Much of the senior team from Adam Handling at Caxton will join The Frog.
It will seek to focus on fresh produce, technical cooking skills, and what Handling has called a “lightly theatrical touch”, with particular use of ingredients from local markets, including Spitalfields and Smithfields. The restaurant will also feature an “urban cultivator” to produce herbs for the kitchen and bar.
The menu will offer a daily-changing five-course tasting option at £40 per head, plus drinks; while small a la carte plates will cost around £10 each. Lunch and dinner will be served Tuesday to Friday, with brunch also available at the weekend.
Local distillery Portobello Gin is set to create a special The Frog gin, while brewer group Brewdog will supply beer and other drinks, including mainly New World wines. The bar will also focus on homemade Kombucha tea drinks and original cocktails.
The sites – especially The Frog – will also aim to support young artists and creative ventures, including art students, DJs, young wine makers, and food producers. Guest chefs will be invited to the space, which is to be designed by Gloucestershire-based Offbeat Interiors to create an eclectic, artisan-style atmosphere.
Parent company Adam Handling Ltd is supported by creative entrepreneur funding group Toucan Ventures, and has appointed former investment banker Phillip Seers as non-executive director.
Handling said: "This 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 comings months including a new location for my signature Restaurant Adam Handling [at Caxton]."
“We want The Frog to become a showcase for young creatives, so we’re going to be working…to provide an ever-changing canvas for the best of their ideas and experiences.”
Rasha Khawaja, founder and chief executive of Toucan, said: "We are immensely proud of what [Handling] has managed to achieve. 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."
Now aged 27, Handling first began his career at Scottish luxury hotel Gleneagles, and went on to open Adam Handling at Caxton in September 2014, at the St Ermin’s property, which forms part of the Autograph Collection at Marriott International.
He co-published the cookbook Smile or Get Out of the Kitchen with Monica Galetti in early 2014, and also launched olive oil and vinegar range Olivia by Adam Handling last year, in collaboration with his partner Macarena Vila-Onieva.