Wine on Starchefs
Brennan’s of Houston
3300 Smith Street
Houston, TX 77006

Chris Shepherd - The “Wine Guy”

Chris Shepherd talks about his work and his co-workers like he is talking about his family. And in a sense, he is.

He joined Brennan’s Restaurant more than six years ago when he was recruited by his culinary school classmate and best friend, Chef Randy Evans. They met at the Art Institute of Houston’s culinary school and have been pushing one another in their field ever since. This kind of long-standing loyalty is rare in the restaurant business, and it inspires both competition and cooperation in the kitchen that is unique to the Brennan’s family.

Chris has worked his way through the ranks of the kitchen at Brennan’s, from purchasing to fromagier, most recently serving as Executive Sous Chef for the past two years. He is one of few people who can articulate the subtle differences between the honeycombs reserved only for Brennan’s, versus others. Chris’s highly attuned palate, coupled with a passionate commitment to good food and wine, afford him a great versatility in showcasing his talents at Brennan’s. When Chef Randy Evans was appointed Executive Chef in November 2003, Shepherd stepped out of the kitchen and into the world of wine, assuming the position of sommelier, or as he is called at Brennan’s, “The Wine Guy.”

Having an unparalleled knowledge of the cuisine at Brennan’s, from the earth to the table, Shepherd is able to approach diners with his suggestions comfortably and casually, and articulate why the palate finds the flavors so complementary. He and his staff believe that nothing about wine snobbery is conducive to enjoying a good meal, therefore he encourages each guest by saying, “drink what you like.” Once those inhibitions about trying certain wines are gone, he relishes in the opportunity to bring his depth of knowledge to the forefront and assist people in discovering just what it is that they truly like.

Chris hosts the Wine Table at Brennan’s; it is available Monday-Saturday for parties of four or more. This fun and memorable experience includes six courses of food uniquely paired with different wines.

 Published: August 2004