Adam Handling is a chef who’s been a leading light in tackling food waste in the restaurant industry. He already has Bean & Wheat, a coffee and beer shop attached to his restaurant The Frog in Hoxton, which uses by products and off cuts from the main restaurant to create zero waste, sustainable food and drink. And now he’s taken this idea to the next level, with his latest restaurant Ugly Butterfly, which has just opened on King’s Road in Chelsea.
With Ugly Butterfly, Adam is aiming to show that zero-waste can also be luxurious. The new sustainable restaurant has been opened in collaboration with The Cadogan Hotel (where Adam is in charge of the restaurant), Quintessentially Foundation and The Felix Project, with 2.5% of the takings being donated to the food waste charity.
As well as the interiors being made from upcycled and re-purposed materials, the dishes are all made from ingredients usually destined for the bin, with much it coming from Adam Handing at The Cadogan. For example, one of our favourite dishes at Ugly Butterly was a slice of croissant, left over from the Cadogan’s breakfast buffet, that had been lightly fried and spread with cod’s roe. Then there’s leftover cheeseboard doughnuts, one of Adam’s signature snacks, and no less brilliant for being leftovers! We also loved the banana bread which is courtesy of the Cadogan’s afternoon tea, and served with Adam’s chicken skin butter.
Other standouts for us were the retired dairy cow tartare with crispy potato peelings, and the epic, unbelievably rich oxtail toastie with a pot of dipping gravy. For dessert, make sure you save room for the reformed doughnuts with overripe fruit jam. All of that is served alongside a huge champagne list, because waste food can still be fancy.
Ugly Butterfly will also eventually become a hub for other sustainability initiatives, with a range of food and drink, fashion, tech and craft businesses hosting discussions and experiences twice a week. It’s great to see a chef such as Adam Handling taking a lead in talking about food waste and demonstrating just what can be done with a bit of dedication and invention. We loved it here and can highly recommend checking it out.
To see more amazing Londoners doing their bit and championing change, check out our Top 50 LOTI Heroes.
55 King’s Road, London, SW3 4ND