Chef Name: Phil Howard
Title: Chef/Owner Elystan Street and co-owner of The Ledbury, Kitchen W8, Sonny’s Kitchen, Perilla, Lorne and Union (France).
Awards: Two Michelin Stars, The Square, 1998-2016.
AA Four Rosettes, The Square, 2004-2016.
8/10 Good Food Guide, The Square, 2000-2016.
AA Chef of the Year, 2008.
Catey Chef of the Year, 1998.
Catey Restaurateur of the Year, 2011.
Craft Guild Special Award, 2005.
Chair of Judges for Young Chef Young Waiter, 2003-2005.
Chair of Judges for National Chef of the Year, 2012-2015.
Square Meal Awards of Excellence, The Square 2001, 2007.
National Restaurant Awards Chef of the Year, 2016.
Square Meal Award of Excellence, Elystan Street, 2017.
GQ Chef of the Year, 2017.
AA Restaurant of the Year, Elystan Street, 2017.
One Michelin Star, Elystan Street, 2018.
How old were you when you started cooking professionally?
22. I left university with a degree in Microbiology but never pursued it professionally. I headed straight into cooking, finding a trainee job with Roux Restaurants Ltd.
What’s your earliest and fondest first memory of food?
Probably eating sweets! I have a sweet tooth and early pocket money tended to only go one way.
Which chefs inspire you most and why?
I am inspired by both dedication to one’s craft and culinary integrity expressed through the respect of ingredients and seasonality. As it stands now, Simon Rogan is a man at the top of his game.
What are your two favourite cookbooks and why?
Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course and Marco Pierre White’s While Heat. The former because it contains all the things we actually want to eat – and how to cook them, and the latter because it reminds me of the reason why I became a chef – a passion to cook.
Which two ingredients could you not live without?
Onions and sugar.
What is your favourite comfort food to cook at home?
Roast chicken with a fine green salad.
If you could eat at any Michelin star restaurant in the world today, where would it be and why?
Alinea. I have recently come to understand just what an extraordinary chef Grant Achatz is. His quest for perfection, his appetite for innovation and his ability to achieve his goals set him apart from others. His conquest of cancer was an inspiration too.
And who would you take as your guest?
My son – he too finds him inspirational.
What do you look for in a good chef?
Palate, craftsmanship and energy.
What advice would you give to chefs starting their career paths now?
Learn how to cook, stay classical with flavours and put the hard work in to learn your craft.
Chef Phil Howard is Chef/Owner at Elystan Street.
Address: 43, Elystan Street, Chelsea, London
Telephone: +44 207 628 5005