Phil Fanning is Executive Chef and owner of Paris House, well known for innovation and creative use of Japanese cooking techniques to refine and deliver exceptional British food.
Phil began cooking at home at an early age and was brought up near Bourne End, attending school in The Wye Valley before moving on to Henley College, where he successfully completed his training in Culinary Arts. Phil’s gastronomic passion was fuelled further when he featured as a finalist on the BBC’s Junior Masterchef as a young teenager in 1997. His first job in the kitchen was as a Commis Chef at Danesfield House under Michael McDonald. Michael saw Phil’s early potential and on acquiring his first restaurant, The Vanilla Pod, offered him a position in his kitchen where Phil spent three years honing his classic culinary skills.
After working at a number of establishments in the UK and abroad, Phil returned to the UK and decided his appetite lay in fine-dining. He joined the 10 in 8 Group in January 2007 and became a Chef de Partie under award winning Chef and Head of 10 in 8, Alan Murchison. On joining 10 in 8 Phil was given a position of Junior Chef de Partie at L’Ortolan restaurant, near Reading. In his first 18 months at L’Ortolan, he was personally trained by Michelin-starred Chef Alan Murchison, Fanning prospered under his leadership and still credits him as a key mentor. The training provided a strong grounding in every section of the kitchen and allowed Phil to develop the specialist skills and techniques required in a Michelin-starred kitchen. Within two years he had risen from a Junior Chef de Partie to a Junior Sous Chef and started to demonstrate his true potential.
Just three years after joining L’Ortolan restaurant a Junior Chef de Partie in 2007, he was appointed head chef of Bedfordshire’s evocative Paris House. Only ten months after taking on his first Head Chef role at the age of just 29, Phil was awarded a Michelin-star. Three months after that came a coveted Acorn Award, which identify the brightest talents in the hospitality industry (previous recipients include Marco Pierre White, Marcus Waring and Michael Caines.) The rapid succession of these two accolades is something very few chefs have achieved.
A lot has changed for Fanning since then, as he now owns Paris House – buying out Murchison in 2014 – allowing him to imprint his own creative flair and skill on the dining experience offered at this unique restaurant. Phil has a very keen interest in Japanese culture, both traditional and new, and looks to incorporate both innovative as well traditional techniques into his menus.
Each seasonal menu is expertly crafted to produce a high impact and sensational dining adventure that can be rivalled by few UK restaurants. The seasonality and quality of ingredients Phil uses are at the heart of everything he creates at Paris House. His ingenious use of refined Japanese cooking techniques is pivotal in getting the best out of each ingredient and achieving maximum flavour in every dish. Whilst these on-trend Japanese techniques are used to great affect the resulting menu is unmistakably British.