Growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, Phillip Costas understood food in his own way at a young age. Food wasn’t so much about what you were eating, but who you were eating with. How you were feeling. It was long picnic tables --casserole dishes and towering platters-- served family style amidst the chatter of stories. The rumbles of laughter. Food was a feeling and that little realization nestled deep within him and became a cornerstone of his approach to his cooking.
Phillip studied hospitality management at Ole Miss and worked front of house back in Atlanta before heading to Boulder to attend Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts (and sneak in some skiing, too). He worked the line at Lola, The Regional and Beast & Bottle before landing at Mizuna in August of 2018 where the invitation to put sensations and feelings on a plate was particularly prominent.
A battery of personality tests will tell you that Phillip is an introvert - he will tell you he’s an introvert. Though mellow and even-keeled in conversation, Phillip’s food is anything but. A plate from Phillip is playful yet refined. Unique yet somehow familiar. It begs to be explored with all five senses and the thoughtfulness and intention behind it is apparent.
“Prep,” he says, “should be the stressful part. Service should be where the magic happens.” And when Phillip is behind the line, magic does indeed happen. The white table cloths of Mizuna become his picnic table. The dining room fills with the murmur of stories told. Of memories relived. Of food felt.