Root's Phillip Lopez: Making The Ordinary Extraordinary

Chef Phillip Lopez, head chef and owner of Root in New Orleans, is making the ordinary extraordinary with his twist on salads, seafood, and pork, among many other American staples.

Voted as one of Food and Wine's Best New Chef Nominees and Star Chefs' "Rising Star Chefs" in 2012, Lopez pours his heart into what he does because, as he explains, Root is the story of his life. "To me, cooking is a form of communication, and I want to talk to my guests through each bite they take. Meals were an important part of my childhood; eating together as a family, talking about the past and the future, and food invokes those memories and helps create a new story."

Lopez grew up in an Army family and traveled around the world, finally settling in New Orleans and getting his first job with Chef John Besh, working primarily at August. He opened Root in November of 2011 and has had immense success since. He's looking to open another restaurant, Square Root, in a trendier part of New Orleans to spread his delicious dishes to different places, like his well-known grilled duck heart salad and glazed pork belly.