Chris Shepherd

Chris Shepherd



Running the kitchen at Catalan Food & Wine had the most significant impact on my career. I pushed myself to trust and believe in what I was doing and to understand the food I wanted to cook. It taught me to look at the product differently and to let the product speak to me.


JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION AWARD
EXPERIENCE
EDUCATION
I think establishing a healthy work/life balance is a struggle that everyone has, and I’m not perfect by any means. I believe it is essential to understand that being away from the restaurant, sometimes that can be just a few steps away from The Pass, can help you clear your head, spur creativity, and better understand what is going on. But it took a long time for me to realize that and not be in the restaurants every night.
I look for two attributes in an individual when I’m hiring: heart and giving a shit. Neither of these can be taught or trained; both are important and breed success.
The philosophy we live by in my restaurants is "Always Learning." We change menus a lot to force people to experiment, to read, to try new techniques. It teaches the staff not to be afraid to fail, because that is what makes you better—but only if you learn from it.
I continue to work and excel in this industry because I’m not finished saying what I want to say yet. I have so many thoughts and ideas in my head and so many people on our staff that I want to push to excel in this industry alongside me.
I couldn't do this job without my team. The team that we’ve built is inspired, loving, compassionate, and mindful. Everyone is supported, and as a result, held to a higher standard.

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James Beard Award