Phil Howard has always been a ‘chef’s chef’, quietly notching up years of service and influencing the industry immeasurably.
He has done so from his restaurant, The Square, Mayfair, where he has achieved 2 Michelin stars, 8/10 in The Good Food Guide and numerous other awards.
Phil Howard took up a career behind the stove after stumbling upon a love of cooking while completing a degree in micro-biology. ‘An instant and obsessive interest in cooking just happened one day at university and has fortunately never left me’, he told one website.
After leaving university, Howard travelled round Australia and found some work in professional kitchens for the first time.
Upon his return, he found a role at Rouxs’ contract catering arm where he worked for a year. It was after a dinner at Marco Pierre White’s legendary restaurant, Harvey’s, though, that Howard recognised the possibilites of fine-dining. He took a role at Harveys, followed by a stint at Bibendum under Simon Hopkinson.
His food can be characterised as modern, progressive French, with punchy flavours kept in check by a rigorous approach to seasonality and outstanding technique.
Phil Howard appeared On Great British Menu 2012 - winning the fish course round with his Cornish mackerel with oysters, mussels, winkles and samphire dish. He also released his first cookbook in 2012, a 2 volume tome of recipes from The Square including dishes like lasagne of crab with a cappuccino of shellfish and a champagne foam and braised veal cheek with hand-rolled macaroni, cauliflower and truffle.
Phil Howard is also a co-proprietor for Michelin starred establishments Kitchen W8 and The Ledbury. In 2011, he picked up a Catey Award for Restaurateur of the year.
Despite his extra-curricular success, Howard is reluctant to relinquish his Head Chef duties just yet,
‘My culinary and spiritual home is at The Square and I would like to take the restaurant as far as it can go – everything we have achieved has been organic, progressive and over time and we will keep doing that into the future’.
The Square Cookbook: Savoury: 1