2018 Talent

Chris Shepherd

Owner/Executive Chef, Underbelly

Midwest-raised Chef Chris Shepherd left boundary-pushing Catalan restaurant to open Underbelly in March 2012, featuring locally-sourced food inspired by the ethnic diversity of Houston. The Art Institute-alum and former Executive Sous Chef-turned-Sommelier of Brennan’s brings his farm-to-table passion to fruition at Underbelly, which sources ingredients from the Gulf Coast, surrounding farms and ranches.  The in-house butcher shop, which only uses whole animal, supports Shepherd’s passion for butchering and charcuterie. The 2014 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Southwest was also named one of the Top 10 Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine . Underbelly was named one of the best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit and Esquire and one of the 70 best new restaurants in the world by Conde Nast Traveler .  In 2013, Chris opened two Underbelly kiosks inside Reliant Stadium to serve three signature dishes during Houston Texans (NFL) home games.