Josh Bout­wood

Philippine Tatler Best Restaurants - - BEST OF AWARDS -

Ad­ven­tur­ous and a big dreamer, the half-Bri­tish, half-Filipino chef Josh Bout­wood clearly knows what he wants—to cook, not to pause, and strive for greater heights. These def­i­nitely man­i­fest in his role as the cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tive chef of the Bistro Group, a col­lec­tion of din­ing brands and home­grown con­cepts, as well as be­ing the chef-cum-owner of the much talked­about reser­va­tions-only restau­rant, The Test Kitchen.

At a young age, he has im­pressed crowds with his culi­nary prow­ess, win­ning three medals, of which one is gold, at the Food Ho­tel Culi­nary Chal­lenge in Sin­ga­pore in 2016. Not only that; he has bagged a num­ber of golds, sil­vers, and bronzes at the World Food Expo’s Philip­pine Culi­nary Cup of the World, and has been awarded Chef of the Year in 2013 and 2014. Last year, Bout­wood was also one of the selected pre­sen­ters at the pres­ti­gious Madrid Fu­sion Manila.

As the creative force be­hind The Test Kitchen, the 20-seater restau­rant has awed pa­trons from all over the coun­try with his ex­quis­ite pro­duce-driven cui­sine and unique din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. Al­most sim­i­lar to the Ja­panese con­cept of putting one’s self into the chef’s hands, here, Bout­wood takes a fan­ci­ful ad­ven­tur­ous ap­proach to cook­ing. Ev­ery dish that comes out of his open kitchen em­bod­ies syn­ergy, each us­ing three pri­mary in­gre­di­ents that seam­lessly play with each other in terms of flavours and tex­tures. This, there­fore, cre­ates a triad of bal­ance that en­gages the senses. There is a sur­prise in each bite, which is sure to de­light both the purist and the ad­ven­tur­ous. Bold and dar­ing as it may seem, there is also a room for tra­di­tional din­ing con­cepts. Clas­sic pair­ings are also of­ten given an in­ter­est­ing twist.

With his cre­ativ­ity, at­ten­tion to de­tails, un­der­stand­ing of in­gre­di­ents and how to make them stand out in a unique way, Bout­wood sits on the throne (and de­serves) this year’s Best New Chef award.

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