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Houston chefs on the way to James Beard Awards impress foodies in D.C. with signature dishes

Chefs Chris Shepherd of Underbelly and Hugo Ortega of Backstreet Cafe and his namesake restaurant, Hugo's, have been crucial in Houston's recent emergence as a foodie destination, but it's time that their show-stopping, internationally-inspired cuisine reached a larger audience. 

En route to the James Beard Foundation awards ceremony in New York City, which takes place Monday night, the two Best Chef: Southwest award nominees made a stop-over in Washington, D.C., to impress the press corps with their signature dishes: Shepherd's Korean braised goat with dumplings and Ortega's beef cheek sopes. 

Also on the menu? Hugo Ritas and churros con chocolate made by Ruben Ortega, Hugo's brother. 

"We tried to bring as much Houston as possible," explained Lindsey Brown, director of marketing and PR for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, which hosted last Thursday's event along with Modern Luxury and The Four Seasons.

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