Down in Houston’s hip Montrose neighborhood, Chris Shepherd’s restaurants (which include Georgia James steakhouse, UB Preserv and One Fifth Houston) have thrived. His cooking draws on the rich multicultural traditions throughout the sprawling city, while featuring bold flavors and a playful approach to food. Covid-19 has hit the pause button for the time being, but he’s still offering takeout through Georgia James and multiple H-E-B supermarkets in the Houston area. Shepherd is even making the steakhouse’s outstanding dry aged beef available directly to the public.
But for those not in Houston to grab food from Georgia James, Shepherd joined us on Instagram Live to provide a little inspiration for what you can cook at home. Drawing from his recent book Cook Like a Local he prepared roasted butternut squash with bacon jam. Shepherd showed how versatile the jam could be, providing the perfect salty-spicy-sweet accompaniment to any root vegetable you may have around the kitchen. Or, if you’re feeling bold, he suggests mixing the bacon jam with some mayo for the perfect turkey sandwich topper. To see how it’s made, check out the video below.
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In 2015, Shepherd created Southern Smoke, at first raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. A couple years later, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the foundation changed its mission to help people in the hospitality industry in need. The Covid-19 crisis has hit people in the food and beverage world especially hard, greatly increasing the number of people requesting aid. The foundation would greatly appreciate any donation you could offer.
To make the dish, Shepherd reached for his favorite brand of bacon and a choice of chefs everywhere from David Chang to Sean Brock: Benton’s.
Shepherd, like many chefs offering takeout, is concerned about doing it safely. We recently spoke to infectious disease experts about the health risks of delivery and takeout right now.