Chris Shepherd's TV show
Chris Shepherd hosts new TV show spotlighting local hot spots, hidden gems, and personalities
Chef Chris Shepherd has always guided people to his favorite restaurants around town. When he owned Underbelly, every diner would leave with a list of restaurant recommendations with the gentle suggestion that they not return to Shepherd’s place until they’d visited at least one of the establishments that influenced it.
Beginning in September, the James Beard Award winner and co-founder of the Southern Smoke Foundation will have a much larger platform to share his favorite places. Shepherd has partnered with local TV station KPRC 2 to produce Eat Like a Local, a TV show that will, in the station’s words “spotlight the Greater Houston area’s diverse food culture, culinary hotspots, and hidden gems that make our city unique.” The name is similar to Cook Like a Local, his Beard Award-nominated cookbook that shared recipes for many of Underbelly’s signature dishes.
Scheduled to debut September 16 at 10 am, the show will take viewers behind the scenes with chefs, farmers, and other people who make Houston’s food scene one of the best in America.
Rather than a cooking show, Shepherd will interview the people that inspire him and visit the places that are important to him — everywhere from barbecue joints and Tex-Mex restaurants to crawfish farms and oyster reefs.
“I want to know the stories of people and the why [behind] their dishes and what made them think of doing it this way,” Shepherd tells CultureMap. “Could be anywhere from a Tex-Mex restaurant to a traditional central Mexican restaurant to barbecue to crawfish to burgers. Just venturing out into our city.”
Shepherd has been filming steadily throughout Houston. It’s taken him to some of his favorites like Candente and Saigon Pagolac but also to new spots.
“The more conversations you have about food, the better you are with it. You get to see and try new things,” he says. “My biggest fun part is going to shoot new places that I haven’t been to. Just learning why. I think that’s a very important question to ask is why.”
In the year since Shepherd parted ways with Underbelly Hospitality, the local restaurant group behind restaurants such as luxurious steakhouse Georgia James and Texas comfort food restaurant Wild Oats, he’s served as an ambassador for the Southern Smoke Foundation, done some consulting for clients in California, and started writing about wine for CultureMap. Hosting Eat Like a Local will add to his growing portfolio.
KPRC 2 has posted a few preview stories on its website. Watch the trailer for Eat Like a Local below: