Vice President of Food & Beverage | Executive Chef
Chef Philip Butler joined the Bugaboo Creek Steak House in 2005 as director of Food and Beverage, prior to its 2007 acquisition by CB Holding Corp. In April 2009, Butler was promoted to vice president of Food and Beverage for all CB Holding Corp. brand restaurants, which include Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, Bugaboo Creek Steak House and The Office Beer Bar & Grill. Butler’s culinary expertise, creative cooking style and front- and back-of-the-house management skills provide him with all of the assets and talents necessary to ensure the culinary success of all CB Holding Corp. brand restaurants.
Born in South Florida, Philip Butler has been exposed to the world of food since his teenage years. He began his culinary career at age 14, working in kitchens in St. Simons, Ga., focusing on fresh local seafood brought in through the local shrimp and fishing fleets. Prior to attending culinary school, he began waiting tables at The Cloister a 5 Start 5 Diamond resort where he developed knowledge of front-of-the-house management and fine dining service.
Butler’s culinary talent is a culmination of his more than 23years in restaurants and training under some of the finest chefs in the country. In 1993, Butler graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and then moved back to South Florida where he began an externship under New World Cuisine visionary Norman Van Aken at A Mano Restaurant in Miami, Fla.
At the completion of his externship, Butler worked for a year as a personal chef on a private yacht. He traveled to tropical locations throughout the Caribbean and South America and enjoyed the luxury of cooking with exotic foods from multiple countries.
Butler then returned to the United States working under the direction of Norman Van Aiken at Martha’s Tropical Grille in Hollywood Beach, Fla., where he advanced to the position of executive chef. After 5 years in Florida, Butler hoped to change the culinary scenery and relocated to Chicago, Ill. There he expanded his culinary expertise in menu development with the opening of Havana and the Won Ton Club. While at Havana in 1998, the restaurant was nominated one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit magazine.
With Butler’s success in developing customer-attracting menus, he was then approached by Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, the parent company of several chain restaurants including T.G.I. Friday’s and Pick Up Stix, to develop the food and bar menu for a new restaurant called Samba Room. The new restaurant quickly expanded to eight locations across the U.S., and each location was nominated one of the best new restaurants in its area and named “Hot New Concept 2001” by Nation’s Restaurant News. In 2002, the Samba Room’s original Dallas location was voted one of the “Best Bars in America” by Playboy magazine. Soon after, Butler was featured at the James Beard House showcasing the Latin Fusion flavor creations for Samba Room.
Butler’s next culinary adventure took him to LSG Sky Chefs, located in Dallas, Texas, where he worked as the Account Chef for American Airlines. He traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe designing menus and training chefs for in-flight meal service. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the in-flight meal programs were replaced with the Buy on Board program. Butler became an integral part of the Buy on Board program team and helped design new menus inspired by national chains such as T.G.I. Friday’s, Einstein Bagels and Wolfgang Puck.
Before joining the Bugaboo Creek Steak House restaurant in 2005, Butler developed a Fresh Food program for 7-Eleven through its National Bakery and Commissary Partners..
Currently, Butler resides in Mt. Tabor, N.J. with his (supportive!) wife Audrey, 5 year old daughter Keira and 3 year old son Damian. When he’s not cooking in the kitchen, you can find him on his bicycle participating in or training for road cycling races.