Chef Chris Shepherd

Popular Chef's New Venture

Chris Shepherd launches innovative dining concept in Houston

By Becca Hensley

James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd of Houston's popular Underbelly debuted an unusual undertaking in the Bayou City in January. When offered the option to take over the lease of a former church-turned-restaurant in the Montrose area for a finite five years, the storied chef didn't hesitate. He considered it an opportunity to pursue some of his other epicurean aspirations.

Christened One Fifth, Shepherd's innovative plan will dish out five unique concepts in the same historic building, with only one operating at a time during the five-year timeline. Each will stay open for a substantial period before closing to make room for the next one. During a one-month reprieve, the building's interiors will be redesigned, staff uniforms reinvented, and new menus and wine lists developed.

The first restaurant, One Fifth Steak, brings the chef's sustainable version of a steakhouse to fruition. One Fifth Romance Languages, showcasing French, Spanish, and Italian cuisine, will follow, then One Fifth Fish. Shepherd hasn't revealed the final two yet. 1658 Westheimer Road. 713-955-1024; onefifthhouston.com

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