The Standard, London will open in a converted Brutalist beauty of a tower across from the historic St. Pancras in King’s Cross and will house multiple restaurants. Adam’s two places—Isla and Double Standard will have two distinct personalities (with Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ highly anticipated venture on The Standard, London’s rooftop adding a third personality later this year.)
“That’s the part I’m most excited about. There’s something for everyone,” Adam says. Pressed for more specifics, he offers a useful and inspired summary: “Double Standard is like winter. It’s heavy and warm—stuff you want to eat when you’re drinking. And Isla (pronounced eye-lah), is healthy and super light with a big fermentation program.” In keeping with The Standard’s DNA, this juxtaposition between bar food that is “heavy and warm” and Isla’s delicate and seasonal offering adds to the experience and testament to perhaps Adam’s own background.
Isla, an elegant name for human or restaurant, is an homage to the regional and coastal food of Britain; specifically to the coast near his hometown of Winchester, a city some 60 miles southwest of London. One can sometimes imagine the journeys of a chef told through the nuances of his food, and in the case of Adam, at the tender age of 4, he moved to his grandparents’ farm in a tiny village in France that he says, “you’d be lucky to find on Google Maps” and lived there until the age of 14. This continental experience perhaps explaining the references and his approach to cooking.