For Adam, nothing was more important about his time at The Ritz than what it taught him about classical cookery. ‘That’s where I fell in love with gastronomy and the craftsmanship side of things,’ he explains. ‘It opened my eyes to the fact that you can go to a restaurant that’s been open for 100 years but is still serving food that’s relevant today, and I loved that.’ A three-month stage at Paris’ legendary three-star Le Meurice in 2012 gave Adam the opportunity to flex his classical ability at the highest level and when he returned to the UK, he decided it was time to move on from The Ritz to try something new.

‘I was twenty-four and I was number two in a brigade of seventy chefs at The Ritz,’ says Adam. ‘So I wanted to move somewhere smaller where I could actually touch everything again.’ A head chef position at The Devonshire Arms Hotel’s Burlington Restaurant in north Yorkshire provided Adam with the opportunity to do just that, leading a team of just eight chefs. However, he quickly realised that he preferred being able oversee the entire food offering of a hotel, rather than just one part of it, so that he could ensure the philosophy and approach of the cookery was consistent across the board. As a result, within just four months of joining, Adam was made executive chef of the entire hotel, and went to on achieve four AA rosettes at The Burlington.

Given his love of working in hotels, it’s no surprise that when Adam was given the opportunity to become executive chef at Coworth Park in 2016, he jumped at the chance. ‘Something that really appealed to me was that they weren’t just chasing Michelin stars,’ he explains. ‘I think the more you try to cook for something, the less chance you’ve got at getting it. The reality is if you step back, cook freely and make sure that your guests are happy, everything else will follow.’ Going in with this attitude proved fruitful, and within just a year of taking over Adam was awarded a Michelin star.

At Coworth Park, Adam has stuck to his guns and continues to cook his own take on the classical style of food that he first fell in love with at The Ritz. ‘The best chefs create their own style in what they do,’ he says. ‘I’m very proud to say that everything we do is classical and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. There are no flavour combinations here that people are going to sit down and say ‘Wow, I’ve never had that before!’ but hopefully they’ll think ‘I’ve never had it like that before’.’

It’s no easy task making classical food new and exciting in the modern day, but Adam Smith has shown that with enough thought, skill, ambition and confidence, it can still compete with – and surpass – everything else around it.