Adam Handling made his way through to the banquet in this year’s highly popular Great British Menu on BBC Two.
Following a vote from the banquet guests – members of the British animation and illustration industries – Handling’s trifle-inspired ‘Food Fight’ dessert was declared the best dish at the dinner, resulting in him becoming the Great British Menu Champion of Champions 2023.
The dessert was inspired by Dundee publishers, DC Thomson, to mark the 80th anniversary of the Beano and Dandy. With trifle being his favourite dessert, it was only natural for Handling to recreate the chaos with his throwable custard, smashable cake and wobbly jelly.
His dishes throughout the 18th series of the programme are based on both classic and contemporary works, with deep-rooted links to his native Scotland. Throughout his menu, Handling created dishes which demonstrate his commitment to sustainability and reducing food waste.
His starter of Hen of the Woods mushrooms, potato and crispy nettles, ‘The mouse that saved the lion’, was inspired by one of the episodes in the BBC’s Five Fables animated series, based on Aesop’s Fables and narrated by Billy Connolly.
The inspiration for his fish course was Disney’s animation ‘Brave’, set in the Highlands. Named ‘A Princess should not have weapons…’, the dish comprised a piece of barbecued salmon – as shot with a bow and arrow by Princess Merida of the clan Dunbroch – served with wild garlic capers and a whey sauce.
‘The Wind in the Willows’ book by Kenneth Grahame sets the theme for Handling’s main course, ‘Ratty’s Picnic’, where Adam created a mouth-watering feast that evokes the excitement that Mole felt. He adds a real personal touch by serving his picnic with a bottle of ‘granny’s ginger beer’, which he made using his grandmother’s own recipe.
Adam Handling is Chef/Owner of the Adam Handling Restaurant Group and owner of flagship restaurant Michelin-starred Frog by Adam Handling, in Covent Garden.