Monica Pope is a Top Chef Master, Rebecca Masson showed her skills on Top Chef Just Desserts and Bryan Caswell came pretty close to becoming The Next Iron Chef. But when it comes to celebrity chefs working in Houston, no one can touch Aquiles Chávez.
Chávez, a native of Tabasco, Mexico, is famous throughout Latin America for his two shows — Toque de Aquiles and Aquilísimo — which air on Utilisima, a Spanish-language lifestyle network. According to food critic Katharine Shilcutt, he's as famous south of the border as Anthony Bourdain is here.
Now Chávez has moved to Houston and is opening a new restaurant in the Rice Military area just off Shepherd Drive and south of the Katy Freeway. La Fisheria opens on Saturday, serving upscale Mexican cuisine and seafood, and Shilcutt reports that there will be cameras there, too, to capture Chávez's Texas experience for a new show, Aquiles in Houston.
But this restaurant is no mere television gimmick. As Chávez told Eating Our Words, the decision was prompted by the escalating violence in Mexico and, like the legend of conquistador Hernando Cortés, he has burned his boats and intends to stay.