Chef Chris Shepherd
Midwest-raised Chef Chris Shepherd is an Art Institute alum who worked his way to Executive Sous Chef at Brennan's and then jumped head on into the wine side of the business as their lead Sommelier. He moved back to the kitchen at the boundary-pushing restaurant, Catalan, and in March 2012, opened Underbelly to rave reviews. The ethnic diversity of Houston inspires the menu which changes daily and Chris works with local ranchers, farmers and fisherman to source the best ingredients. The in-house butcher shop utilizes whole animals and feeds Chris' passion for respecting the animals, using all the parts and pieces for steaks, stocks and charcuterie. The 2013 James Beard Award finalist was also named one of 2013's 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 which serve three signature dishes during Houston Texans (NFL) home games. At the 2014 Charleston Wine & Food Festival, Chris cooked his way to the top earning the coveted title of "Master Blaster" at the Waffle House Smackdown. Most recently, he was named as a 2014 semi-finalist for James Beard Best Chef Southwest. This is Chris' first year representing Delta Downs at the Taste of Derby.