Making Moves

Food News: Chris Shepherd's Protégé Gets Top Chef Spot at Brennan's

The man behind plenty of One Fifth's success will now lead a top Houston kitchen.

By Timothy Malcolm April 26, 2021

Matt Staph moves from One Fifth to Brennan's of Houston.

Image: Kimberly Park

Matt Staph, who has expertly led the kitchen at Underbelly Hospitality's One Fifth for nearly five years, has been named the executive chef at Brennan's of Houston. He'll begin working at Brennan's on Tuesday.

Staph was part of the opening crew at One Fifth, chef Chris Shepherd's ambitious restaurant that changed annually with an entirely new concept, visual look, and menu. It went from a steakhouse to a spot celebrating French, Italian, and Spanish cuisine, to a restaurant honoring Mediterranean food, to recent iterations covering Gulf Coast seafood and Southern Comfort fare. Staph had been running the kitchen starting with its second iteration—Romance Languages—earning rave reviews for his ability to execute a number of challenging dishes.

In a press release, Alex Brennan-Martin, owner of Brennan's of Houston, said he was introduced to Staph through former Brennan's chef Chris Shepherd. 

"During our visit, I felt as if I was looking back in time in Brennan’s of Houston history when Chris was an up-and-comer, and we look forward to an exciting future with Matt," said Brennan-Martin. "It doesn’t get any better."

Nick Fine, the opening chef de cuisine of One Fifth who is opening Wild Oats in the Houston Farmers Market, will finish out the string at One Fifth. It is set to close for good in September.

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