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Phillip Basone

Executive Chef

Phillip Basone, the Executive Chef at Sempre Oggi, has been cooking since he was eight years old, learning at the knee of his grandma Dolores in their Connecticut home. Dolores, who he called Mema, was French, and she leaned into simple meals: roast chicken and potatoes, an impossibly delicious white turkey chili, breads, muffins and cookies. On birthdays and holidays there were no video games tucked inside boxes for Phillip; instead she presented her young grandson with cookbooks, a Kitchen Aide, and the ultimate gift: a fire-breathing creme brulee torch. 

By High School, Phillip was making meals for the entire family. "My parents emphasized the importance of always having a hot meal and eating dinner together, regardless of the time and our schedules, we always made sure to sit down as a family. My mother is not the most adventurous eater, which was always reflected in the dinners she prepared for us, which kind of initially sparked the encouragement of me getting in the kitchen to start making new things."

After graduating from The French Culinary Institute, Phillip came up under the wing of Jonathan Waxman at Barbuto, where he carried on a deep respect for the simplicity of seasonal ingredients, sourced locally. “I really try to embrace the integrity of the food and keep it super seasonal and local,” he said. With Waxman as his mentor, he became the executive chef at the original Barbuto when he was just 23, a position that propelled his career at a young age. 

Phillip went on to become sous chef of Upland under Justin Smillie, and then Chef de Cuisine at the acclaimed all-day bistro Le Crocodile, in Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel, before returning to open the new Barbuto with Waxman in 2021. 

At Sempre Oggi, Phillip takes the Executive Chef role for the first time. "It is what I have worked for my entire life. I am so excited, but more grateful to be given full autonomy to honor the traditions and techniques that I have learned as well as being able to support artisanal farmers, both local and abroad. "

As you might expect, he leans into Mema Dolores’ hallmark “less is more '' sensibility, underscored by classic French cooking technique, Italian style, and Mediterranean flavors. A sense of purity and simplicity anchors every dish. The menu will change often, vegetables will take center stage, and pastas and breads will be made fresh daily. 

Sempre Oggi translates to “always today,” a phrase that emphasizes the importance of gratitude for small everyday moments. For Phillip, that sense of joy takes center stage in the dining room where he plans meals to bring people together to create moments and memories; cuisine that helps the neighborhood celebrate the everyday. It’s a philosophy he lives at home as well, where he and his partner Patrick love to make fresh pasta, bake bread together, and hang out with their adopted pup Pongo. They’ve even created their own starter which Phillip uses for Sempre Oggi’s warm fresh housemade bread: “Patrick’s Focaccia.”