What Josh Boutwood, the Superstar Chef of Helm, Carries Every Day

The rigors of kitchenwork require something easy.

Josh Boutwood, the young chef that has Manila's tastemakers buzzing, is, at the moment, very busy with Helm, his ultra-exclusive ten-seater restaurant that serves, among other wonders, blue crab tarts and chocolate-durian desserts. “It's really an exciting time and also taking a lot of my time,”  says Boutwood. “I'm planning already for next year’s restaurant openings.”

As a most-wanted man whose culinary talents are needed in many kitchens—Boutwood is also the corporate chef of The Bistro Group and manages up to 14 casual dining brands—he focuses on what's important, which is the creation of gastronomic delights, and thus needs everything else to support this goal. 

It is no surprise then that, when it comes to clothes, he is ruled by what's practical: “In all honesty, I dress to be comfortable, because working in the kitchen is hot. I prefer to make sure the clothes are breathable.”

That's well and good for the Kitayama beef that he will plate right in front of you, but never think that Boutwood, a man who has lived around the world, from England to Spain to Boracay, is content with keeping himself within four walls. 

He says, “I like to challenge myself, thus I continuously set goals to complete.” While we await what the chef plans to do next, here is a peek into how he gets things done. Below, the tools that he can't live without.  

IMAGE: Apple

1| A mobile phone to keep track of the restaurant. Having four restaurants of my own, and 70-plus [people] in the company, the cellphone becomes one of my most important items. Although, it would be nice sometimes to not need it. 


2| A camera to capture memories and moments. Much of my culinary inspiration comes from the art world. Photography for me is quite therapeutic. 

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IMAGE: Macy / Miyabi Kaizen Cutlery

3| My knives for work. [They are the] tools of our trade. Much like a writer has his favorite pens, knives for chefs need to have a soul, a balance and perfect weight. That's why my custom knives are honestly a must-have for me. 

IMAGE: Church's

4| Good shoes as I am on my feet all day. I work 16 hours a day and the majority of that is on my feet on hard floors. Shoes need to be versatile and fashionable at the same time.

IMAGE: Blind Barber

5| Hair wax because I’m vain when it comes to my hair. I'm OC about my hair staying put in all weather and work conditions. 

Josh Boutwood is part of the CH Carolina Herrera Insignia Exhibition, which celebrates the label's first anniversary in the country.

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Clifford Olanday
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