Born in Greenwich, London, Philippe worked initially as an insurance broker in the City prior to spending two years as manager of the Paris branch of Moss Bros, the gentlemen’s outfitters.

In 1970 he joined the British Army, becoming an officer in the Army Catering Corps. Following a 30 year career in the Army, during which time he commanded the Army School of Catering, Philippe was appointed Chief Executive of the Institute of Hospitality in 2002.

He left this post in 2012, and assumed the role of Executive Secretary to the Master Innholders, retiring from this role in April 2017.

He holds an honours degree in Hotel and Catering Management from the University of Surrey, an Open University honours degree, and a MBA in Catering Management from Bournemouth University. More recently, he has received Honorary Doctorates from the University of Surrey and the University of West London