Adam Stokes

Adam Stokes

Adam Stokes

Adam Stokes has achieved a lot in his career so far – including a Michelin star in two out of his three cheffing jobs. From refined country cuisine in the lowlands of Scotland to more modern, inventive dishes at his own restaurant in the heart of Birmingham, the themes that remain strong are intense flavours, beautiful British ingredients, stunning presentation and intricate technique.

Adam Stokes grew up in Northampton, in a family that 'always wanted to eat well'. His father cultivated (and still cultivates) all the family’s vegetables in his allotment. 'I grew up knowing what a carrot tasted like, I knew it was something pulled out of the ground, rubbed with a scourer, then cooked. It was not the supermarket stuff you can buy these days. That probably sparked my love for food – maybe it just came out of a love of eating, because we were exposed to decent, quality food when we were young.'

After two years at college, studying hotel and catering management, Adam began his professional career, spending seven years learning his trade at Hambleton Hall in Leicestershire under Aaron Patterson. 'Aaron taught me the basics, but I also learnt huge amounts about game and the importance of sourcing quality ingredients,' he says. Leaving this role as sous chef, in 2008 he became head chef at Glenapp Castle in the lowlands of southwest Scotland, aged only twenty-six. In the four years he stayed in Scotland, he secured a fourth AA rosette and his first Michelin star, only a few days before his 30th birthday.

At Glenapp he featured locally shot game, lobster and crab fished nearby and fresh produce from the castle’s own greenhouses, enhanced with savoury hits of umami from truffles, ceps and flavour-packed sauces, in the finest tradition of British country cuisine. His Grouse with beetroot, spring onions and girolles with an intense blackberry sauce is an excellent example of this style.

Adam has since moved on to the less rural surroundings of central Birmingham, where he and his wife Natasha initially set up their two-year trial restaurant, Adam’s – bringing his extraordinary food to a wider audience. Less than six months after opening, Adam Stokes and his wife Natasha were awarded their own Michelin star – only the fourth restaurant in Birmingham with this recognition, with three AA rosettes following shortly after.

In January 2016, he moved Adam's into a much larger, more permanent site near St. Phillips Cathedral. The second incarnation of the restaurant has allowed Adam to really push on, evolving and advancing his dishes, and making Adam's one of Birmingham's most popular restaurants. His restaurant has become so popular since that in late 2018, Adam announced that he would be opening a second restaurant in Birmingham – 'The Oyster Club' – which would specialise in fish and seafood.

Although he no longer has ready access to the foraged delights of the Scottish sea and woodlands, Adam still sources the highest quality ingredients from around the UK, finding 'the best British ingredients as close as possible' and crafting them into dishes that 'allow the ingredients to really sing'.

His presentation may be a little more refined and a little sleeker in his current city centre location, but the traditional flavour combinations, inventive twists and brilliant execution that Adam is famous for remain.