A quiet culinary professional, an absolute chef’s chef and highly respected culinary figure, Phil Howard was the chef and co owner of The Square from it’s opening in 1991 until its sale in March 2016, and now very much back in the kitchen having opened Elystan Street in Chelsea Green, London SW3. 

Philip HowardHis work life started at Roux Restaurants in 1988 having decided not to pursue a career in Microbiology, a degree in which he attained at the University of Kent at Canterbury. From here he moved on to train under Marco Pierre White at Harvey’s and Simon Hopkinson at Bibendum.

Phil’s distinctive modern French food has enjoyed great critical acclaim and huge consumer success. It’s reputation has been forged through the delivery of pleasure through harmony of flavour rather than technical wizardry or innovation. A first Michelin Star was awarded in 1994 and a second followed four years later in 1998. Both Phil and The Square won a vast array of other awards over the years including Chef’s Chef of The Year and Restaurant of The Year in many guides and publications.

Whilst Phil very much remained at the stove throughout his years at The Square he  also made many popular appearances on TV, the most notable of which was his successful participation in The Great British Menu 2012 where his fish course won a place at the final banquet. He is a regular guest on Saturday Kitchen and Masterchef. He has also written two critically acclaimed cookbooks – The Square; The Cookbook : Volumes 1 and 2 – Savoury and Sweet.

Phil has cooked at many events both nationally and internationally. Industry events, high profile charity fundraising dinners and corporate hospitality have all profited from his cooking. Hotels and restaurants in Australia, Singapore, Dubai, Maldives, New York, Boston, Belfast and Moscow have welcomed him to their kitchens for a variety of gastronomic events.

Phil has played a significant role in the progression and development of two culinary competitions; Young Chef Young Waiter and National Chef of the Year.

Alongside his restaurant interests Phil is now advisor and shareholder in Pots and Co, the UK’s leading dessert manufacturers as well as  an investor in The Wild Room – supplier of wild foods to the UK’s top restaurants.

He is married to Jennie and has two children, Millie and Ali. He is a keen runner (25 marathons), triathlete and skier. He was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1966.

  • 2 Michelin Stars (1998-2016)
  • AA 4 Rosettes (2004-2016)
  • 8/10 Good food guide (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 (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 2017 – Elystan Street
  • 1 Michelin Star Elystan Street 2018
  • London Restaurant Festival chef of the year 2017
  • Honorary Doctorate University of Kent July 2018
  • Michelin Guide Chef Mentor award 2022


  • Great British Menu
  • Masterchef
  • Saturday Kitchen
  • Chef’s Question Time