Houston Chef Chris Shepherd
Chef Chris Shepherd cooking in the Saveur test kitchen in 2015, the same year he started Southern Smoke. For the first couple years, the foundation raised money for multiple sclerosis research. But when Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston in 2017, the organization shifted its focus to provide funding to food and beverage industry workers in need. Matt Taylor-Gross

With James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd tossing chewy rice dumplings in a hot wok in our Test Kitchen, bartender Bobby Huegel giving us pours of a 62-year-old Cognac, and a real life astronaut seated at our dinner table, we had a few momentous firsts at last night’s SAVEUR Supper.

The night started like all Suppers do with cocktails and snacks to pick at—except the snacks were vibrant pickled vegetables and house-made charcuterie, and the drinks were perfectly-chilled daiquiris made by Huegel and wines (donated from Miner Family Winery). Once we had mingled and downed a cocktail or two, we all took our seats at the table and gave our attention to Shepherd after Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs rang the dinner bell. “We wanted to bring our backyard to you,” Shepherd said, just before dishes of charred vegetables, grilled fish, and clams with fermented black beans descended upon the table.

And after more plates of Coca Cola-pickled onions, “meat chips,” and Korean braised goat with rice dumplings, the music got a little louder, Shepherd took a seat at the dinner table, and we ended the meal as all meals should end: With coffee, cobbler, and Cognac.

Check out Chris Shepherd’s menu for an Asian-inspired Texas barbeque.

menu chris shepherd bobby heugel miner family vineyards
Chef Chris Shepherd’s dishes were paired with cocktails by Bobby Heugel of Anvil in Houston as well as wines from Miner Family Vineyards. Matt Taylor-Gross
sommelier NoMad serving rosé
Miner Family Vineyards donated all the wines, a popular one being their rosé. Matt Taylor-Gross
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Shepherd and his team prepping in our test kitchen. Matt Taylor-Gross
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Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs taking careful notes from chef Chris Shepherd Matt Taylor-Gross
To start: charcuterie and pickled vegetables. Matt Taylor-Gross
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Bartender Bobby Heugel of Houston’s Anvil Bar & Refuge created cocktail pairings for the event. To start: daiquiris made with Ron Navazos Palazzi 15 year old cask strength rum. Matt Taylor-Gross
chris shepherd dumplings
Chris Shepherd tossing up his crowd-pleasing dumplings. Matt Taylor-Gross
Shepherd’s charred cabbage salad, one of three vegetable sides his team served. “We wanted to bring our backyard to you,” Shepherd said. “Not that much grass here.” Matt Taylor-Gross
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Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs, writer Francis Lam, and chef Andrew Carmellini. Matt Taylor-Gross
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Guests enjoyed the fish right down to the bones! Matt Taylor-Gross
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Up close and personal with Shepherd’s clams, which were served with fermented black beans (and bowls for the empty shells). Matt Taylor-Gross
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Editor-in-Chief Adam Sachs and Deputy Editor Yaran Noti are all smiles when Chris Shepherd comes to visit the test kitchen. Matt Taylor-Gross
Mike Massinimo, an astronaut and Shepherd’s close friend, goes for a glass of wine. Matt Taylor-Gross
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“And now, for the taco portion of the evening,” Shepherd said as he plated short ribs marinated in fish sauce, skirt steak marinated in soy, and Coca-Cola pickled onions. Matt Taylor-Gross
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Pouring the second cocktail of the night, the Brandy Crusta: cognac, grapefruit liqueur, and lemon with a sugared rim. Matt Taylor-Gross
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As the evening drew to a close, Shepherd thanked everyone and announced that it was time for the 3 C’s: coffee, cognac, and cobbler. Matt Taylor-Gross
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Meet our new interns, chefs Ilan Hall and Dale Talde. Matt Taylor-Gross
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Guests made quick work of the peach-raspberry cobbler. Matt Taylor-Gross