Phil Howard

Phil Howard

Phil Howard

Phil Howard has always been a ‘chef’s chef’, quietly notching up years of service and influencing the industry immeasurably. After selling his iconic two Michelin-starred restaurant The Square to open Elystan Street in Chelsea, he has proved himself yet again to be one of the UK's brightest culinary talents.

Phil took up a career behind the stove after stumbling upon a love of cooking while completing a degree in microbiology. After leaving university, he travelled round Australia and found some work in professional kitchens for the first time. Upon his return, he found a role at Roux's contract catering arm where he worked for a year. But it was after a dinner at Marco Pierre White’s legendary restaurant, Harvey’s, that Phil recognised the possibilities of fine dining. He took a role at Harvey's, followed by a stint at Bibendum under Simon Hopkinson. Eventually, he rose to fame as the chef behind The Square, a lauded two Michelin-starred restaurant that is regularly cited as one of the most influential fine dining restaurants London has ever had.

His food can be characterised as modern British, with punchy flavours kept in check by a rigorous approach to seasonality and outstanding technique.

Phil appeared on Great British Menu 2012, winning the fish course round with his dish of Cornish mackerel with oysters, mussels, winkles and samphire. He also released his first cookbook in 2012, a two-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 is a co-proprietor for the Michelin-starred Kitchen W8, The Ledbury (now closed), Church Road in Barnes and Union in La Plagne Montalbert, a ski resort and village in France. He also has interests in the London restaurants Lorne and Perilla, and is an investor in The Wild Room, which supplies foraged ingredients, mushrooms and truffles to the restaurant trade. In 2011, he picked up a Catey Award for Restaurateur of the Year (and rightly so!).

In 2016, Phil sold The Square and now focuses entirely on Elystan Street, which offers a more relaxed menu in a casual setting. Despite this more laidback approach (although Phil's definition of 'laidback' may differ to a lot of other people's!), Elystan Street was awarded a Michelin star just a year after opening. Since then, he has also opened another restaurant called Church Road in Barnes with his business partner Rebecca Mascarenhas.

When the coronavirus lockdown hit in 2020, Phil turned his attention to cooking meals for the hardworking staff at Royal Brompton and Royal Marsden Hospitals from Elystan Street. He also launched a Food to Order takeaway and delivery service, giving people the chance to enjoy dishes from Elystan Street, Church Road and Kitchen W8 at home.