Chef Phil started out in his early teens as a washer of pots and pans at a restaurant near where he grew up in Wales. He continued his culinary training in London under the tutelage of Michel Roux Jnr at the acclaimed two star Michelin restaurant, Le Gavroche. “Those were formative years; it was a tough kitchen environment,” he recalls. Rising through the ranks from commis chef, he learnt a lot about “working efficiently and quickly, about classic techniques and flavours, and showing rigorous attention to detail”.
La Gavroche set him in good stead for what came next: a three-year stint as Senior Sous Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze London. His first Executive Chef role followed at MAZE Prague, where he garnered a Michelin star within the first year of the restaurant’s opening. After serving as the inaugural Executive Chef of Maze Cape Town at the One&Only, he joined The Social Company, the award winning chef Jason Atherton’s international restaurant and catering company. As its Group Executive Chef he set-up and launched two award winning restaurants: Esquina tapas bar in Singapore and The Little Social in London. From 2013 to 2021, Phil served as Executive Chef of The London EDITION Hotel, a 173-room five star hotel home to the heralded Berners Tavern. The restaurant, a joint venture with Jason, won the AA’s 2015 Restaurant of the Year.
Twice the Welsh champion of the BBC’s Great British Menu show, Phil believes that the secret to a great meal is to keep it simple. “Don’t over-complicate – don’t put too many things on the plate,” he says. “Perhaps most important of all is using the best ingredients you possibly can.”
This approach is central to his cooking philosophy. He says, “I believe in minimal intervention and timeless cooking techniques. This allows the ingredients to take centre stage.”
At the Manor House, Chef Phil cooks with fire in an open hearth kitchen, using stellar seasonal ingredients to create memorable farm-inspired dishes that beautifully complement Spier’s terroir-driven wines.
“For a chef like me, Spier is the ultimate package,” he says. “Through their regenerative approach to farming, Farmer Angus and Spier Food Garden Specialist Megan McCarthy, are providing a bounty of nutritious and intensely flavourful ingredients that are a dream to work with in the kitchen.”