Scottish chef Adam Handling clinches Champion of Champions 2023 title
In a culinary spectacle televised tonight on BBC Two’s Great British Menu, Adam Handling, mastermind behind the Michelin-starred Frog in Covent Garden, has emerged triumphant in the grand banquet.
Handling’s dessert, Food Fight, captivated the hearts and palates of the British animation and illustration industry’s elite, earning him the title of Champion of Champions 2023. This trifle-inspired pudding was a vibrant tribute to Dundee publishers DC Thomson, commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Beano and Dandy. Channeling his love for trifle, Handling’s dish burst with whimsy, featuring throwable custard, smashable cake and wobbly jelly.
Throughout the 18th series, the Scottish chef has produced dishes inspired by his heritage, blending classic and contemporary influences. With sustainability and waste reduction at the core of his craft, the menu was an homage to both pop culture and nature.
The starter The Mouse that Saved the Lion showcased Hen of the Woods mushrooms, potato and crispy nettles, drawing inspiration from an episode in the BBC’s Five Fables animated series. These fables, narrated by the legendary Billy Connolly, are modern adaptations of Aesop’s classic tales.
For the fish course, Handling turned to the enchanting Disney animation Brave, set in the Scottish Highlands. The dish, A Princess Should Not Have Weapons…, featured a succulent piece of barbecued salmon, reminiscent of the catch made by the fiery Princess Merida of Clan Dunbroch, accompanied by wild garlic capers and a delicate whey sauce.
Finally, the main course, Ratty’s Picnic, paid homage to Kenneth Grahame’s timeless classic The Wind in the Willows. This delectable spread evoked the thrill Mole experienced in the story, while adding a personal touch with a bottle of Granny’s Ginger Beer, crafted using his grandmother’s cherished recipe.
Adam Handling’s culinary journey in this year’s Great British Menu has been nothing short of extraordinary, creating dishes that tell stories of his roots, his passions, and his commitment to sustainable practices.
The Food Desk
Photo: Courtesy of Great British Menu