Eater Houston: Congratulations are in order for Underbelly chef/owner Chris Shepherd, who was named Best New Chef yesterday by Food & Wine. Shepherd is one of 10 Best New Chefs listed by the magazine, and is joined by the likes of Michael Voltaggio at Ink in Los Angeles and Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese in New York City. Eater Houston reminds us that it's been four years since a Houston chef was given this honor -- and that was Bryan Caswell of Reef. In the clip above, Shepherd talks to CBS This Morning about what makes Houston such an interesting city in which to cook.
29-95: In other big news, Justin Vann has departed Oxheart. Alison Cook reports "the split is amicable" and that the sommelier already has big plans. "[Chef Justin] Yu says he will be partnering with Vann on a new project aimed at making the kinds of small-production wines he has championed more accessible in Houston," writes Cook at 29-95. In the meantime, you can always catch Vann at his food and wine blog, B4ttlesong.
Houston Business Journal: Elsewhere downtown, Vic & Anthony's former GM -- industry veteran Tim Kolher -- is being sued by V&A's parent company, Landry's. Shaina Zucker reports in the HBJ that "Kohler signed nondisclosure and non-competition agreements with the company" before his termination and subsequent move to Mr. Peeples Seafood + Steaks. The new Midtown restaurant isn't even open yet, but the lawsuit alleges that Kohler solicited another Landry's employee to come and work at Mr. Pepples in violation of his non-compete.
Gastronaut: Over at the brand-new Gastronaut (Houstonia's food and drink blog) food editor Robb Walsh finds that the red beans and rice at downtown landmark Treebeards are as good as they ever were. No surprise, as they're still cooked to founder Dan Tidwell's family recipe.
Urban Swank: Sunday Funday doesn't have to end when brunch is over. As Shanna Jones recently found out at Azuma on the Lake, Sunday Funday can go all day when happy hour runs all day too. Jones writes that the Sugar Land location of Azuma offers "one of my favorite happy hours at the moment" with excellent food and beverage choices that "don't skimp on the alcohol."