The Bravery Chef Hall is starting to take shape. The new downtown food hall, a project that unites Prohibition owners Ahn Mai and Lian Nguyen with partner Shepard Ross, will feature five stands operated by local chefs.
Already announced are Nuna Nikkei Bar, a Peruvian concept from Andes Cafe owner David Guerrero, Blind Goat, a Vietnamese restaurant from Masterchef winner Christine Ha, and Cherry Block Craft Butcher and Seasonal Kitchen, a steakhouse from Black Hill Meats owner Felix Florez. Next up is BOH Pasta, an Italian concept from local chef Ben McPherson.
Although McPherson is known for his work at Batanga, Prohibition Supper Club, and, most recently, Krisp Bird & Batter, he's always had a passion for Italian cooking. Childhood trips to Italy cemented a love for the country's cuisine.
“I was in college by the time my dad moved to Italy," McPherson said in a statement. "My love for food had already started. Everyone in culinary school wanted to cook Southern and I had this thing for Italian I couldn’t shake.”
Named after both the industry term for kitchen workers (back of the house) as well as an Italian phrase meaning "I don't know," BOH will serve handmade pastas as well as Italian charcuterie and cheeses. A wood-burning Marra Forni oven will produce both Neapolitan-style pizzas and wood-roasted entrees.
McPherson has always had a commitment to sourcing great ingredients, and BOH is no exception. Pasta doughs will be made with heirloom flours from Texas' Barton Springs Mill, Hayden Flour Mills or Southern legend Anson Mills. Farm fresh eggs and seasonal produce are also on the agenda. Of course, Ross will contribute wine pairings for the various dishes.
Diners can get a preview of what the chef is working on at a special pop-up on April 10. The meal will include appetizers like artichokes alla Romana and bruschetta, two pastas, pizza, and porchetta with salsa verde. Tickets are on sale now for $50.
McPherson tells CultureMap that he'll spend most of April and early May in Romagna, Tuscany, Rome, and Piedmont conducting additional "research" in the form of eating and drinking. Tough work to be sure, but one that Houston diners will benefit from when Bravery arrives this summer.