Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, a blue-collared town in the middle of the Rust Belt, Philip Meeker discovered cooking around the age of 13. But Meeker wasn’t just a curious young cook—he was looking to escape frozen-food aisle dinners that his working parents stocked for his after school meals. His early experiments included everything empty-the-kitchen-cabinets barbeque and he eventually built up skill duplicating recipes out of old Bon Appetit magazines.
To pay for university, this enthusiastic cook started working in restaurant kitchens, first tossing pizza dough in between deliveries at a local pizzeria, then taking a garde manger position pre-plating salads at a steak house. He eventually came to an everything-made-from-scratch kitchen in Indianapolis at a restaurant named Capri. There he learned to make demi-glace and rolled his first pastas. Meeker’s experience at Capri solidified his desire to work with food as a career. He chose to attend l’Ecole Superieur de Cuisine Française Gregoire-Ferrandi in Paris, France, where he was introduced to both the culinary history and Michelin-starred cuisine of the country. During his time there, Meeker worked at a boulangerie, a boucherie, and several restaurants, including Alain Senderens.
Returning stateside, Meeker moved to Atlanta to work at the five-star French restaurant Joël, run by Cyrille Holota. Looking for a new challenge, outside the normal confines of his fine-dining experience, Meeker came across Holy Taco, and the original style of Chef-owner Robert Phalen. At Holy Taco, Meeker found his home, taking the position of sous chef in 2010. When Phalen opened his new restaurant, One Eared Stag, in spring of 2011, Meeker took over the kitchen at Holy Taco, running it and working with Phalen to continually change the menu.