UBH's new top chef
Houston's Underbelly Hospitality restaurant group anoints D.C. chef with Michelin-star cred to direct culinary ops
Houston’s Underbelly Hospitality has filled a key leadership role. Scott Muns will serve as culinary director for the local restaurant group that currently operates four establishments — Georgia James, GJ Tavern, Wild Oats, and Underbelly Burger.
A Texas native, Muns comes to Houston from Washington, D.C., where he worked for the prestigious Rose’s Restaurant Group, among others. During his tenure as head chef at Pineapple & Pearls, the restaurant earned two Michelin stars and a finalist nomination in the James Beard Awards for Best New Restaurant. He also worked as chef de cuisine at Rose’s Luxury when Bon Appetit named it one of America’s best new restaurants.
As culinary director, Muns will work with the company’s existing chefs — Greg Peters at Georgia James, Tim Reading at GJ Tavern, and Chris Davies at Wild Oats — by serving as a mentor and guiding the restaurants’ culinary operations.
"Throughout my career, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to teach and guide talented professionals that are passionate about hospitality both internally and externally,” Muns said in a statement. “What drew me to Underbelly Hospitality is that we share the same high regard and passion for hospitality, and I couldn’t be more excited to work alongside this incredible team. Houston has also been leading Texas dining into national attention for a long time, and I’m excited for the role Underbelly Hospitality and its chefs will play in this movement.”
Muns joins Underbelly Hospitality at a time of transition. Founder Chris Shepherd parted ways with the company last summer, and former culinary director Nick Fine left in November. Muns will provide experienced leadership as the company prepares to open Pastore, an Italian restaurant next to Georgia James, and Spring Branch locations of Wild Oats, its Texas comfort food restaurant, and Underbelly Burger.
“Learning is among our core values, and Scott will be instrumental in developing the talent within Underbelly Hospitality and helping to refine the flavors and techniques of our current and future concepts,” Underbelly director of operations Nina Quincy added. “Our chefs are excited to learn from him, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Scott to our growing team."