Texas Chef Chris Shepherd Named Best in the World
Back in March, three Houston establishments tied for the title of Texas Monthly's best new restaurants in our state. What's most remarkable about that is all three are owned and operated by one man - chef Chris Shepherd.
Having all three of your eateries (UB Preserv, One Fifth Mediterranean, and Georgia James) named tops in Texas is a phenomenal accomplishment in itself, but Texas Monthly now reports that Shepherd has been named the best chef in the world - THE WORLD, folks - by luxury lifestyle magazine the Robb Report.
Since I don't usually splurge on yachts, jets, and fine dining, I wasn't familiar with the publication either. It looks like they're quite the authority on these things, so receiving the honor of best chef from them is by no means a minor accomplishment.
If you read the Robb Report article, it's clear that Shepherd was up against global competition. The magazine's contributors were dining within stone-throwing distance of Incan ruins and in Hong Kong fusion restaurants.
What made Shepherd stand out seems to be his daring practice of closing his wildly successful restaurants to open new ones while challenging himself and his customers with new spins on his popular dishes and creative culinary experiments.
If you ask me, that's a pretty damned Texas approach. Shepherd isn't a native of our State (KPRC reports he was born in Nebraska and grew up in Oklahoma), but he's certainly got a Texas cowboy mindset of riding that bull while the riding's good, then moving on to bigger challenges. Even today, Texas is the sort of place where people flock to take big risks knowing that they're more likely to pay off here than just about anywhere else in the world.
I love that Shepherd was surprised by the news. He had just returned from a trip to Paris with his wife when a friend texted to congratulate him. When he asked why, the friend sent him a photo of the Robb Report cover and it blew the chef's mind. He told Texas Monthly he had no idea that writer Jeremy Repanich was there to review his cooking, and he hopes the positive publicity will bring more hungry travelers to Texas.
Congratulations to Chef Shepherd! Next time I'm in Houston, I'm definitely going to be stopping in one of your places for a steak.