Chris Shepherd cooks up Italian comfort food with 'Red'-hot new One Fifth concept
Chris Shepherd is taking can’t stop/won’t stop to a whole new level.
Just a day after his Southern Smoke Foundation received global, “best of the best” accolades from luxury publication Robb Report, the Houston powerhouse chef/restaurateur is stirring things up in his ephemeral restaurant concept, One Fifth.
As CultureMap’s Eric Sandler previously reported, One Fifth’s current iteration, The Georgia James Tavern Takeover is set to end Saturday, June 26.
That means a fresh new concept will be served up Tuesday, June 29. This time, Shepherd is drawing from the comfort food of his childhood to concoct One Fifth Red Sauce Italian.
Before devoted fans cry foul, Shepherd makes an important note: The concept is “very different from the food served during One Fifth Romance Languages,” a press release notes. Instead, diners can expect familiar Italian-American fare: spaghetti and meatballs, baked pastas, chicken parmesan, and New York style cheesecake.
“I’ve said this for every One Fifth concept, but I’m really excited about this one,” Shepherd tells CultureMap. “This is the food I grew up with—my mom’s lasagna, my grandmother’s meatballs, toasted ravioli inspired by one of my favorite childhood restaurants, Mr. C’s. And we’re taking these nostalgic dishes and sourcing the best product we can find from our farmers and other amazing vendors. I can’t wait until Tuesday!”
And, neither, we’re guessing, will fans. Only one pizza—the ubiquitous pepperoni—will be on the menu. Shepherd, a press release notes, will pay homage to some of his friends with dishes on the menu: Pass and Provisions’ Caesar salad; Monteverde's Ragù alla Napoletana (tomato braised pork osso bucco, meatballs, cacciatore sausage, fusilli rustic, broccoli rapini); and his childhood favorite, Mr. C’s toasted ravioli.
Pastry director Victoria Dearmond’s dessert menu includes a tiramisu and a hearth-baked chocolate torte (yum).
Shepherd reports that his team is already getting saucy, with some of the following tomatoes used for his red sauce:
- Atkinson Farms: used for the fresh tomato sauces and as the base of the red sauce for pasta to add acidity.
- Goodthyme Farm: used for fresh tomato and slightly cooked dishes, like the roasted tomato and burrata.
- Bianco Dinapoli Tomatoes: used for the base of the pizza sauce because plum tomatoes add sweetness and structure.
Importantly, One Fifth is still closing this year, Shepherd’s longtime representative notes, with a seamless close then opening of Wild Oats. The space is currently under construction; no open date has been set.
CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler is on vacation.