Movie star chef Chris Shepherd steps away from his Houston eating places to give attention to Southern Smoke Basis


HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — In a seismic shift within the Houston restaurant scene, James Beard award-winning chef Chris Shepherd is stepping away from Underbelly Hospitality, a restaurant group that runs among the most well-known eateries within the metropolis.

As first reported by ABC13, sources confirmed the pending separation earlier this week.

The pending separation has been the main focus of Houston’s vibrant restaurant scene discussions for the previous few weeks, as Underbelly has been a frontrunner in Houston’s efforts to showcase itself as a foodie vacation spot in america.

SEE RELATED STORY: Chef Chris Shepherd impressed by meeting with teen heart patient

Up till now, Shepherd has been the face of the corporate and its eating places.

At present, the group operates Georgia James, GJ Tavern, Underbelly Burger, and Wild Oats. At the very least one different restaurant is about to nonetheless open.

This afternoon, the 2 sides issued a press release that targeted on the constructive elements of the separation.

“We have carried out quite a bit in 10 years,” Shepherd stated in his assertion.

“It is time for me to give attention to smaller tasks and dedicate extra time to Southern Smoke. Underbelly Hospitality is in nice fingers with MLB Capital Companions and the crew now we have assembled over the past 5 years. They’ve offered super assist and have been instrumental in Underbelly Hospitality’s success.

I’ve put my coronary heart and soul into these eating places, and I am so happy with what we have completed. I need to thank the complete Underbelly household for at all times being there, displaying up, and giving it all the pieces, at all times.

Southern Smoke is on a path that myself, Lindsey, and the entire crew are very happy with, and it is time to push that even additional. We’re about to hit $10 million in grants and we’re increasing the free psychological well being initiatives into 5 states inside the subsequent few months we plan to be in all 50 by 2028.

Thanks, Houston, for the previous, current and future assist. That is my residence, and I am not going anyplace. I am excited to see what the long run holds for all of us.

As I at all times say, Underbelly is not a restaurant it is a lifestyle. Discover your environment. Study individuals, the place they’re from, and the right way to dine on the identical desk. Be taught from anybody, no matter race, faith, ethnicity, age, or gender. Perceive that everybody has a narrative to inform. We’re at all times studying. It is time for me to be taught a brand new chapter.”

Within the joint assertion, Underbelly additionally referred to as Shepherd an unbelievable expertise and grateful for his contributions.

“Chris is an unbelievable expertise. We’re grateful for his immense contributions to each Underbelly and the business as a complete, stated Todd Mason, Managing Associate, MLB Capital Companions. Our proficient crew will proceed to ship Underbellys signature fare with unmatched approach and hospitality. Our focus has been and can proceed to be the supply of considerate meals and beverage experiences.”

The Southern Smoke Basis, a nonprofit that raises cash to assist meals and beverage employees, will proceed. The inspiration’s signature occasion, Southern Smoke Pageant, is presently scheduled for October.

SEE RELATED STORY: Southern Smoke awards $4.5M to hospitality works since start of pandemic

For information updates, comply with Miya Shay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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