Phil Howard, co-owner, The Square Restaurant, London

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Phil Howard is one of the most highly respected and successful chefs in the country. After developing a love for cooking at university, Phil has spent over 20 years at The Square Restaurant. The Michelin-starred restaurant is based in London where he became head chef after having only two years experience. Phil is also co-proprietor at the Michelin-starred Ledbury Restaurant, where colleague, friend and protégé Brett Graham, has flourished into a great chef. Phil was also recently named as the Chef’s chef of the Year and has also previously been given the Special Award at the Craft Guild of Chefs; this he describes as one of his greatest achievements.grilled lobster Phil has spent a lot of his career nurturing young chefs and Brett Graham is the perfect example of a protégé. Based on their mutual respect for French inspired and ingredient-oriented cuisine Brett was chosen by Phil to take the lead on The Square’s sister restaurant, The Ledbury. Brett thrived under Phil’s tutelage due to his calm and heartening direction. The Square opened in 1991 and since then has maintained a high-quality reputation. Led by Phil’s simple yet seasonal French cooking, the menu is refined and elegant; helping this eatery fit into its Mayfair setting. Phil has been the head chef since its inception providing seasonal ingredients that are accurately cooked and brought together on a plate with harmony and elegance. Phil has held two Michelin stars for 15 years, this he marks as another of his greatest achievements. He has several signature dishes that appear on The Square’s menu, these include: foie gras, a cheesecake, lasagne with crab, a langoustine dish and a lamb dish. Phil co-owns the restaurant with restaurateur Nigel Platts-Martin. IMG_7519He has also participated in The Great British Menu as a contestant in 2012 and judged by Jason Atherton, he won his heat having his fish course chosen as the winner for that category. Phil has also taken part in a partnership that provided food for schools- in the autumn of 2014 pupils at two Northamptonshire schools were served their lunch by the chef. Phil also teamed up with school catering firm Cucina restaurants to create a special ‘British classics’ school food range for British food fortnight. The chef has also featured on the panel of The National Chef of the Year award repeatedly and has been part of both the Young Chef of the Year award and the young waiter award. The winning prize for the young chef included a stage at The Square and the chef gave the opportunity to take part in a Q&A with the participants, taking place the day after judging.Strozzapreti and pulled rabbit Along with co-owning The Square and The Ledbury, both with Nigel, Phil also operates Kitchen W8 and Sonny’s Kitchen with restaurateur Rebecca Mascarenhas. Chef Mark Kempson was hired to head the restaurant since its launch and it was his cooking that landed them their first Michelin star in 2011. Phil has also produced a cookbook based on his restaurant titled, The Square: The Cookbook, which informs readers how to produce Michelin standard food. By Leanne Nichol
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The Staff Canteen

Editor 14th July 2015

Phil Howard, co-owner, The Square Restaurant, London