MICHELIN Guide Ceremony 1 minute 15 February 2022

Chef Mentor Award for The MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2022

Find out more about Philip Howard, one of our Special Award winners…

Philip Howard is this year’s winner of our Chef Mentor award, sponsored by Blancpain

When the much-missed restaurant 'The Square' was at the height of its popularity, it was not uncommon to see a table occupied by a gaggle of chefs, busy taking it all in and seemingly ordering dishes with abandon. They would have come to see what made this such a successful and influential restaurant – and the answer would have invariably been staring up at them from the plate.

From its early days in King Street to its heyday in Bruton Street, The Square was perpetually at the vanguard of modern British cooking. Its food was exquisitely prepared, beautifully balanced and ultimately hugely satisfying. It was also a beacon of reliability and consistency. And at its helm was this year’s winner of our Chef Mentor Award, Philip Howard.

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Phil is a classically trained chef who has a complete understanding of complementary flavours. He’s never attempted to reinvent the wheel, but that’s not to say his cooking is old fashioned or predictable. His food has always been about wonderful seasonal produce, taste and satisfaction. Like many talented people at the top of their profession, whether sportsman, artist or chef, he’s managed to make it all look quite easy.

A quick glance at some of the chefs who passed through his kitchen – Brett Graham, Gary Foulkes, Mark Kempson and Jun Tanaka to name a few – shows the important role Phil played in forging the careers of other successful chefs.

The influence that he exerted can still be seen today in any number of restaurants run by these talented graduates.

When The Square changed hands, Phil moved on to Chelsea and opened Elystan Street, where he continues to satisfy his fanbase by focussing on great seasonal ingredients, prepared with care and understanding.

He’s largely eschewed the bright lights of TV and media stardom and his courage and openness in talking about the personal challenges he has faced in his career will have encouraged many others to not be afraid to seek help if they get into difficulties.

He’s been there and done it – with honesty, integrity and intelligence. It’s no surprise that Philip Howard is referred to a “chef’s chef” and is a worthy recipient of our Chef Mentor Award.

Click here for more information on all five Special Award winners.

MICHELIN Guide Ceremony

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