Chef Chris Shepherd (UB Preserv, Houston) Biography (Texas)

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Discover the culinary genius of Chef Chris Shepherd, the visionary behind UB Preserv in Houston, Texas. Delve into his inspiring biography and witness his passion for redefining American cuisine. Explore his journey, culinary creations, and commitment to sustainability, all while immersing yourself in the vibrant flavors that make UB Preserv a culinary destination like no other. Experience the artistry of Chef Chris Shepherd and indulge in a world-class dining experience that embodies the essence of Houston’s culinary scene.


Chris Shepherd is a celebrated chef and culinary visionary, known for his innovative approach to regional cuisine and his commitment to redefining the dining experience. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Shepherd has made a name for himself in the culinary world with his acclaimed restaurant, UB Preserv, and his dedication to supporting local farmers and artisans. This biography explores Shepherd’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming one of the most influential chefs in Texas and beyond.

Early Life and Background:

Born and raised in Houston, Chris Shepherd developed a deep appreciation for food and cooking at a young age. Growing up in a diverse city known for its rich culinary heritage, he was exposed to a wide range of flavors and cuisines, which sparked his passion for cooking. Shepherd’s interest in the culinary arts led him to enroll in the Art Institute of Houston, where he honed his skills and began his journey towards becoming a professional chef.

Culinary Education and Career Beginnings:

After completing his culinary education, Shepherd embarked on a journey of exploration, working in various kitchens across the United States. He gained invaluable experience working under notable chefs, absorbing different techniques and styles that would shape his own culinary philosophy. Shepherd’s talent and dedication soon caught the attention of acclaimed chef Robert Del Grande, who invited him to join the team at the renowned Café Annie in Houston.

The Café Annie years proved to be formative for Shepherd, as he had the opportunity to work closely with Chef Del Grande, refining his skills and embracing a farm-to-table approach. The experience deepened his understanding of local ingredients and ignited his passion for showcasing the diverse flavors of Texas.

UB Preserv and the Evolution of a Culinary Vision:

In 2018, Shepherd opened his flagship restaurant, UB Preserv, in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood. This establishment quickly garnered critical acclaim for its inventive, globally influenced cuisine that highlights the unique flavors of the Gulf Coast region. UB Preserv quickly became a favorite among locals and visitors alike, earning Shepherd numerous accolades and solidifying his status as one of Texas’ most exciting culinary talents.

The philosophy behind UB Preserv reflects Shepherd’s commitment to showcasing the best of Texas’ culinary heritage while embracing flavors and techniques from around the world. The restaurant’s menu reflects a fusion of cultures, combining influences from Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the American South. Shepherd’s vision is to create a space where traditional dishes are reimagined and transformed into something unexpected and exciting, while still paying homage to their roots.

Farm-to-Table Advocacy and Community Engagement:

Beyond his culinary endeavors, Chris Shepherd is deeply committed to fostering a sustainable food system and supporting local farmers and artisans. He believes in the importance of building strong relationships with local producers to ensure the freshest and highest-quality ingredients for his dishes.

Shepherd’s dedication to community engagement led to the establishment of the Southern Smoke Foundation, a nonprofit organization aimed at providing financial support to those in the food and beverage industry during times of crisis. The foundation has raised millions of dollars to assist hospitality workers affected by natural disasters, medical emergencies, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognition and Impact on the Culinary World:

Chris Shepherd’s innovative approach to cuisine and his commitment to supporting local communities have earned him widespread recognition and accolades. His contributions to the culinary world have not gone unnoticed, as he has been honored with several prestigious awards and nominations.

In 2019, Shepherd was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest, a testament to his exceptional talent and dedication to his craft. He has also been featured on numerous television shows, including Top Chef and Iron Chef, where he has showcased his culinary prowess to a national audience.


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