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ONE on ONE with HOUSTON Chefs Monica Pope & Chris Shepherd


Monica Pope

t’afia

“We always say that it’s people that make Houston what it is. Small restaurant owners are the people that make Houston.”

– Monica Pope, Founding Chef, Houston Culinary Tours

 

Dubbed the “Alice Waters of the Third Coast,” Germanborn, Houston-reared chef Monica Pope has revolutionized Houston’s culinary scene since she opened her first restaurant in 1992. She shares her passion for connecting local farmers and consumers in her successful Midtown Farmers Market, weekly cooking classes, online cookbook, and t’afia and Beaver’s restaurants. Pope has also enjoyed national recognition in the form of a James Beard award nomination and a spot competing on 2010’s second season of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. She is the only Texas woman chef to be named Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine thanks to her inventive, “eat where your food lives” cooking style.


Houston culinary scene in one word:

Wonderful

 

Favorite local ingredients:

Too many to mention… red okra, wasabina, pinto beans

 

Always in my refrigerator at home:

Green curry paste from Green Plum Kitchen

 

If I weren’t a chef, I’d…

be a film writer

 

Favorite cocktail:

The Final Word at Beaver’s (rye whiskey, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur, lemon)

 

Inspiration for my menu:

The stories behind the people/community that grow or raise the food in Houston

 

 

Chris Shepherd

Underbelly

“There are actually very few people living in Houston that are originally from here, so we have access to so many cultures – things to see and things to taste. People need to take advantage of that”.

–Chris Shepherd, Founding Chef, Houston Culinary Tours

 

Midwest-raised Chef Chris Shepherd spent weekends as a child scouring farms throughout Oklahoma in search of straight-from-the-vine tomatoes, fresh corn and peas. He left boundary-pushing Catalan restaurant – a place Robb Report declared one of its 100 favorite restaurants in the world – to begin work on Underbelly, 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 has brought his farm-to-table passion to fruition at the new spot, which opened in March 2012. Shepherd’s creations also  can be sampled in the new food menu he developed for Anvil Bar & Refuge.


 

Houston culinary scene in one word:

Diversity

 

Favorite local ingredients:

Citrus

 

Always in my refrigerator at home:

Kewpie mayonnaise

 

If I weren’t a chef, I’d…

be a butcher

 

Favorite cocktail:

The Brave at Anvil (Del Maguey Chichicapa Mezcal, Hacienda de Chihuahua Sotol Plata, Averna amaro, orange curacao, Angostura bitters, flamed orange zest)

 

Inspiration for my menu:

Houston’s culinary scene

 


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2012 Culinary Tour Schedule

SEPTEMBER 23

Indian with Monica Pope/Chris Shepherd

OCTOBER 28

Day of the Dead/Airline with Hugo Ortega/David Cordua

NOVEMBER 4

Coffee & Dessert with Rebecca Masson/Ruben Ortega/Avi Katz

NOVEMBER 10

Farm Tour with Claire Smith/Randy Evans

DECEMBER 9

Vietnamese with Byan Caswell/Ryan Pera

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Visit HOUSTON.comHOUSTONCulinaryTours.com

Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau


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