Chef at Houston's Underbelly restaurant celebrates big award

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Houston chef earns top award
A Montrose-area chef has just earned a James Beard Award, the so-called Oscar in the culinary world

HOUSTON -- A Houston chef celebrated a big win in the food industry.

Chef Chris Shepherd of "Underbelly" in Montrose earned the James Beard Award for "Best Chef in the Southwest." On Wednesday, Shepherd gave Eyewitness News a first-hand tour of his place and a taste of some great creations.

One you step inside Underbelly, you see the chef's culinary dream come to life.

"I wanted the country table where it felt like you were sitting your grandma's kitchen," said Shepherd with a smile.

Shepard said he wants his restuarant to represent the great food found throughout Houston. That's precisely why many of his dishes incorporate so many different flavors. While honored to receive a James Beard Award, Shepherd looked at the win as one everyone.

"It's really, really good for the city," said Shepherd.

Goat and dumpings seemed to be the most-talked about item and the only one guaranteed to be on the menu.

At lunch Wednesday, you did not need to twist anyone's arm for a review review.

"The food is always good. They use local ingredients which I love," said guest Fabio Pontes.

"It's always changing, different... very good, always very good," said guest Kerrie Boullt.

By incorporating so many different cultures, Chef Chris hoped people feel empowered to step outside their comfort zone.

"We want to break down the walls of inherent fear to be able to go into other cultures," said Shepherd. "That is what exists about this city than in most other cities."