Square Root, New Orleans
Phillip Lopez is Executive Chef and Co-Owner of Root and recently opened Square Root in New Orleans, Louisiana. The son of a military family, Phillip spent his childhood living in Germany, France, Spain, Austria, Holland, and Puerto Rico. After moving to New Orleans, he landed his first culinary job with Chef John Besh. In 2005, Phillip was displaced to Washington, DC following Hurricane Katrina, and had the opportunity to train under Highly celebrated Chef Michel Richard of Citronelle. Returning to New Orleans several months later, Phillip again joined Besh and eventually worked at five of his restaurants, including Restaurant August and American Sector at the World War II Museum. In 2010 Lopez became Executive Chef of Restaurant Rambla, a contemporary restaurant with French and Spanish influences.
Parlaying his significant experience and training, Lopez opened Root in November 2011 to much acclaim. Root was named one of Bon Appétit’s 50 Best New Restaurants; it was awarded “Best New Restaurant” by New Orleans Magazine; received the “So Hot Right Now” Eater Award for New Orleans; and earned a rare 4-bean review by The Times Picayune, all before the first anniversary. Root and Lopez have been featured in Southern Living, Fodor’s Travel Intelligence, and Forbes magazine, as well as many local and regional publications. In February 2014, Square Root opened in the burgeoning Lower Garden District neighborhood of New Orleans. Square Root centers on a contemporary kitchen design, where modern culinary techniques are the main attraction. As a force for new ideas in food preparation, techniques, textures, and service Philip’s concept behind Square Root earned him a pre-opening mention in Condé Nast Traveler.
Lopez has also been honored with numerous awards—the 2012 Eater Awards for New Orleans named Chef Philip “Chef of the Year,” Star Chefs named him one of its “Rising Star Chefs” in 2012, Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine named him a “Chef to Watch” in 2011, and most recently he was named to Gambit Weekly’s list of “40 Under 40.”