Aaron Philips is one of the chef-partners behind Atlanta’s intimate foodie-favorite restaurant Lazy Betty, as well as the newly opened Humble Pie in West Midtown. Dubbed the “@caviarkingpin” on Instagram, he brings years of New York-trained, Michelin-star-earning experience to our local neighborhood and has quickly earned a reputation for ridiculously good food and even better dining experiences. When not cooking up something special, you can find him giving back through nonprofits like KultureCity or spending quality time with his family in Alpharetta.
How do you stay motivated as an innovator?
There are so many great restaurants in our city, so I find my inspiration by tapping into my passion for food, beverage and hospitality, as well as the constant curation and mentoring of talent in all aspects of the restaurant business. I love Georgia boy/Southern Belle, Cooks & Soldiers, Hen Mother Cookhouse, BoccaLupo, White Bull, Lyla Lila, Gunshow, Bacchanalia, Tiny Lou’s and Foundation Social Eatery!
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Don’t bite off more than you can chew, but also—and maybe most importantly, in my industry—take care of your staff and they will take care of the business. This is a “people world,” and it’s wise to try and work well with everyone because you can’t do any of it alone. It’s all about relationships.
What has surprised you the most as you’ve evolved in this industry?
I am most proud of the growth that I have witnessed in my colleagues and employees. The number of amazing people that I have gotten to know, learn from and teach is both inspiring and humbling. The kitchen has taught me discipline, focus and the ability to stay calm under pressure, and my hope is that I can pass that on to the people working with me.
In what ways do you like to give back to the community?
I work closely with KultureCity, which is an organization that serves children with sensory needs and non-visible disabilities like PTSD, autism, dementia and strokes. I also work with The Giving Kitchen, Ronald McDonald House and CURE.