Chris Shepherd

Chef Chris Shepherd has helped change the landscape of the Houston culinary scene since opening Underbelly in 2012. Chris was named one of the 10 Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine in 2013 and was then awarded the 2014 James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest.

In 2018, he closed Underbelly to expand his Underbelly Hospitality restaurant group, which includes Georgia James steakhouse—named the Best New Restaurant in Texas by Texas Monthly and one of the Best New Restaurants in America by GQGeorgia James Tavern, and Underbelly Burger, and Wild Oats.

Chris was a semifinalist for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2019 and was named Robb Report‘s Chef of the Year the same year. Chris’ first cookbook, Cook Like a Local, was published in 2019 and was nominated for a 2020 James Beard Foundation Book Award.
Chris’ foundation Southern Smoke has distributed more than $9.7 million directly to people in the food and beverage industry in need.