Underbelly is the story of Chef Chris Shepherd’s journey through Houston. Beneath the city’s surface—its underbelly, the things not seen—lies an endless array of the ingredients and cultures that shape Chris’ perspectives on food. Through his food, Chris asks his customers to experience not just Houston’s flavor, but its culture as well.
When Chris Shepherd learned his good friend and former sommelier Antonio Gianola had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, his first reaction was to “throw a huge party and raise a ton of money.” In October 2015, he turned Underbelly, Hay Merchant and Blacksmith into a huge street party and with the help of his friends in Houston and beyond, raised $184,000 for the MS Society.
The second annual Southern Smoke will take place this year on November 6th and will feature both new and familiar faces: Aaron Franklin, Rodney Scott, Stephen Stryjewski, Ryan Prewitt, Ashley Christensen, Tandy Wilson and the HOUBBQ Collective, made up of Seth Siegel-Gardner, Terence Gallivan, Ryan Pera, Justin Yu and Chris Shepherd.
Chris Shepherd has been looking for the perfect apron for a long time—for himself and for his staff, both cooks and servers. He reached out to local designer and Season 2 Project Runway winner Chloe Dao to custom design aprons exactly to his specifications.
As musicians cover songs by other artists, chefs are frequently inspired by others’ dishes and compelled to make a version of their own. Chris pays tribute to his friends around the country who have created dishes he loves with his “covers” menu.
Pictured here: Chris' take on Ryan Prewitt's smoked fish dip at Peche in New Orleans. View the full set list here.
This menu will only be available in the UB Wine Bar during happy hour, 3-6:30pm and 10pm-close. All wines by the glass are half-off during happy hour as well.