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Houston Chef Smack Down

Top Houston chef smacks down other celebrity chefs to win the ultimate waffle fight

Chris Shepherd Waffle House March 2014 trophy
Underbelly chef/owner Chris Shepherd earned the title of Master Blaster with a victory in the Second Annual Waffle House Smackdown. Katkinsman/Instagram
Chris Shepherd Waffle House March 2014 and Chef Kevin
Shepherd defeated Atlanta chef Kevin Gillespie in the first round. Underbelly/Twitter

Houston's chefs continue to make national waves.

Over the weekend, Underbelly chef/owner Chris Shepherd competed in the Second Annual Waffle House Challenge. Part of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, the event pitted four chefs from across the South against each other in a battle to win the coveted golden skillet and be named the Master Blaster.

Shepherd's competitors were Top Chef veteran Kevin Gillespie of Atlanta’s Gunshow, Michael Hudman of Hog & Hominy in Memphis and defending champion Mike Lata of Charleston’s FIG. Bon Appétit magazine restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton hosted the event.

 Shepherd trained for the event by working a shift at a Waffle House in Pasadena. 

Shepherd defeated Gillespie in the first round before defeating Lata in the finals to take the title. In a bonus match, Shepherd and Gillespie joined forces but still came up short against a six year Waffle House cook, suggesting that cheffy credentials are no match for experience. 

Prior to his trip to Charleston, Shepherd trained for the event by working a shift at a Waffle House in Pasadena to learn the restaurant's jargon

"Waffle House is a way of life for many people in the South, myself included," Knowlton says in the video. "People talk about Southern icons . . .

"And I think Waffle House is an American icon."

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