Chef Colin Shine - Executive Chef, Frank’s Americana Revival
Chef Colin Shine, Executive Chef behind the imaginative reinterpretation of classic, regional cuisine at Frank's Americana Revival in the River Oaks neighborhood of Houston, joined Frank's Americana Revival on day one in 2012 and has been a key influence on the restaurant team. With a passion for food that roots back to Grandma's table and his family's 40-year history in the hospitality business, Chef Colin has diligently strived to perfect recipes, techniques and flavor combinations. A multitude of opportunities to travel, both domestic and abroad, have afforded Colin an opportunity to connect to, and be inspired by, a wealth of people and cultures across many spectrums. These contributions have helped make Frank's Americana Revival & White Star Bar a true destination for forward-thinking reinterpretations of classic regional favorites, and farmers-market-inspired dishes.
Frank's guests have had a chance to try his artful selections, both on Frank's regular menu and on the occasion of wine dinners and special events. Among others, his notable contributions include the Jerk Spiced Black Drum and the ultra-seasonal Soft Shell Crab. In addition is an array of bar bites currently available at Frank's White Star Bar, like the Lamb Meatballs, Argentine Empanadas and the Texas Quail Wings.
If you visit Frank's, you can spot Colin back in the kitchen perfecting a gumbo or balancing the flavors of the daily feature with wonderful ingredients carefully selected at the Eastside Farmer's Market. Yet, don’t be surprised to find him in the bar discussing the perfect pairing for the next wine dinner with his brother Chris.
Chef Edelberto Gonçalves, Fielding's local kitchen + bar
At age 15, Edelberto Gonçalves became an apprentice to the chef at Goumard Prunier, a two-star Michelin restaurant in Paris. During the next 10 years, he apprenticed in a number of European restaurants, including Patrick Guilbaud in Dublin, Ireland; Restaurant L’Etoile d’Or, Le Regence, Le Bourdonnais and Les Antiquaires in Paris. Back in Houston, he obtained a position at Masraff’s as Executive Sous Chef where he rapidly became the Executive Chef. In early 2002, he left Masraff’s to start working on his own restaurant with investors, Rouge, which he opened in 2003. Rouge rapidly became one of the hottest restaurants in Houston, receiving accolades in publications such as Houston’s My Table Magazine, which awarded Rouge its distinction as one of the Best New Restaurants in 2003. In the Fall of 2005, Chef Gonçalves was hired by Cary Attar and left Rouge to accept the Executive Chef position at Central Market. In 2008 Chef Gonçalves joined Hubbell & Hudson as its executive Chef overseeing its award-winning Bistro, catering and food service operation. Since 2013, Chef Gonçalves has been working as Executive Chef and Culinary Director first at Fielding’s Wood Grill, then at Fielding’s local kitchen + bar. Together with CEO Cary Attar, Chef Edel is developing a third concept and planning to expand the group even beyond Houston.
Chef Gonçalves is known as one of the most innovative chefs in the city, a Frenchman of Portuguese descent from whom you can always expect creative interpretations of classic dishes and the most flavorful combinations. He has earned both Fielding’s restaurants several recognitions and awards, including Best Burger in The Woodlands 2015 (Woodlands Online), #1 Best Brunch Spot in The Woodlands (Houston Press), Best Burger In The Woodlands 2014 (Living Magazine), 2014 Shining Slider Champion (Sips, Suds & Sliders, The Woodlands Wine and Food Week), Alison Cook’s Top 100 Restaurants (Houston Chronicle), Alison Cook’s Best 12 New Houston Restaurants in 2015 (Houston Chronicle) and more.
Chef Martha De León, Pax Americana
Martha De León, Executive Chef of Pax Americana, began cooking in high school, predominately for friends and family. Her family had always had sit-down dinners where most of the food cooked was from scratch. This constant communion of cooking and eating together influenced not only her career choice, but her perception of food altogether.
De León enrolled in culinary school at The Art Institute of Houston and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management. During that time, she interned at Recipe 4 Success, a non profit organization that educates school children in the importance of gardening, cooking and eating healthy. She also interned at what would become her first kitchen job, RDG Bar + Annie. After her internship ended with Bar + Annie, De León stayed on as a line cook for about a year and a half, working through the majority of the stations. At the end of her time there, she desired to learn more about butchery and curing meat, so she applied at Revival Market. Though she worked primarily in prep and the sandwich station, she observed all she could. They often brought in split pigs and large beef primals, cured and made salumis and sausages, sourced local produce, and sold local cheese and other small local vendor products. Also at this time in Houston, places like Underbelly, Hay Merchant, Oxheart, and Pass and Provisions were either in their first years, opening up, or in the planning stages and build outs. The chefs would often visit Revival and test recipes, prep for events, or buy product. All of this was extremely exciting and motivating for De León, and after a year of working at Revival, she joined the opening team of The Pass & Provisions.
The next two years at The Pass & Provisions were some of the most challenging but rewarding years in her career. It was a time of growing and learning. She worked through all of the stations in both concepts, and was also promoted to a Junior Sous Chef after a year of working there. When her time there came to a close, she took a month off to spend some time with her family.
While job searching, De León was approached by Adam Dorris, the chef at the time of Pax Americana. She took a sous chef position at Pax, and began to learn a new skill set of not only pickling, preserving, and fermenting, but also managing staff and developing menu items. After a year and a half at Pax, De León was promoted to Chef de Cuisine, and continued to oversee the daily and nightly operations of the restaurant. At the beginning of January 2017, Dorris left the restaurant, and De León assumed the role of Executive Chef after having worked at Pax Americana for just over two years.
After a complete menu reboot in early February, De León still focuses on using the same fresh ingredients that Pax has always used, while implementing her style and creativity and rotating menu items in and out throughout the seasons.
Chef Alex Padilla, The Original Ninfa's on Navigation
Alex Padilla was born in San Pedro, Honduras. At age 16, he moved with his family to Houston where his mother was hired by Mama Ninfa as a line cook. His mother’s workplace was Alex’s first exposure to the restaurant world. His experience set Alex on the road to a remarkable career. At age 19, he left Houston for San Francisco and went to work for Nancy Oakes, one of the most celebrated chefs in America. Alex soon became an apprentice to Ms. Oakes and she trained him to be a master chef himself. Alex ultimately rose to become the executive sous chef of Boulevard, Ms. Oakes’ critically-acclaimed James Beard award-winning restaurant.
Alex has traveled extensively in Mexico and Europe to research menus and develop his kitchen techniques. In 2006, Alex decided to come back home to Texas to become the Executive Chef of the Original Ninfa’s on Navigation. He has worked tirelessly to honor the standards set by Mama Ninfa and to keep The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation on the cutting edge of Mexican cuisine in the South.
Chef Lance Gillum, Uchi
Lance grew up in Lubbock, Texas, but also spent a lot of time in the Houston area. Lance received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and later attended Le Cordon Bleu in Austin. He became the Chef de Cuisine at Uchi Houston in 2016. When he’s not in the kitchen, Lance loves to garden and recreate civil war battles in his backyard. His favorite local restaurants are Barley Swine and Launderette. Asked to choose his favorites in the world, Lance named Quince and Benu in San Francisco.
Chef Samir Canaan, Truluck's Seafood Steak and Crab House
“Anything with a kick” would seem to be an appropriate motto for Chef Samir Canaan. Not only does he love all foods Asian--Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese--but he is also a martial arts practitioner. Not exactly what you would normally expect from a chef that hails from Maracaibo, Venezuela. But then again, Chef Canaan isn’t your ordinary chef.
He started his culinary education in his mother’s kitchen. There he learned about preparation, selection, attention to detail, and most importantly how to respect the ingredients. For not only was his mom a great cook, but she was also a well-respected chef in her own right.
Upon his arrival in Florida, the acclaimed Blue Point Grill Hard Rock snatched Chef Canaan up almost immediately. While there, he continued to innovate, creating such mouth-watering dishes as his signature spicy Pad Thai from scratch.
Fortunately for us, Chef Canaan brought his considerable talents to Truluck’s ten years ago. He works hard every day to bring Houston fresh seasonal dishes that are good for the plate, the palate and the planet. His love for experimentation while utilizing only the choicest ingredients keeps our kitchen happy and our customers happier.
Chef James Cole, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse
With over 25 years of service in the restaurant industry, Executive Chef James Cole is an inventive culinary professional. In leading the Del Frisco’s Double Eagle culinary team, Chef Cole ensures flawless preparation of all items that leave the kitchen. In addition to running his high-volume kitchen, Chef Cole is also responsible for the creation of the unique daily feature items that Del Frisco’s guests have come to love. Prior to joining Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Chef Cole’s resume boasts names such as Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, along with Mezzaluna and Sfuzzi, both of which are well-renown restaurants in Austin, Texas. Prior to becoming an asset to the hospitality industry, Chef James Cole served in the United States Military as an Army Medic.
Chef Jonathan Levine, Jonathan's The Rub
Self-proclaimed as the oldest line cook in Houston, Jonathan Levine didn't grow up wanting to be a chef, rather, he discovered his talent when perfecting his stir fry dinners he prepared for his college roommates in exchange for chores and school assignments. He took his MBA and new love for cooking and began his life in the restaurant industry.
Jonathan owned three restaurants on the East Coast before moving to Texas and starting a catering company, restaurant, and spice rub: Jonathan's The Rub. The name was inspired by his mother and her uncanny ability to memorize soliloquies which she'd recite for the family. Of those recitals came "The Rub" from Hamlet's "To be or not to be."
Jonathan's love for experimenting in the kitchen lends well to his naturally eclectic, alternating menu that attracts loyal diners from all over, especially the Memorial community. Jonathan, his son, Sam, and daughter, Jessica, have been a part of the restaurant from the beginning. The family will celebrate Jonathan's The Rub's 10th year with an expansion to a second location at Memorial Green.
Chef Jonathan "Sopha" Long, Grace's
Born and raised in Cambodia, Jonathan “Sopha” Long made his introduction into chef-dom by working alongside famed chef Daniel Boulud of Le Cirque. Starting as an intern, Chef Boulud insisted Sopha work full-time to learn hands on. Taking Chef’s advice, Sopha worked along with Chef Boulud becoming a master saucier.
Two years later and with a passion for travel, Sopha transitioned making his way to Chicago (The Four Seasons), Hawaii (Ihilani), Singapore (Peninsula Excelsior), Jamaica (Hilton Club), and a host of others before landing in Houston to assist in opening Masraff’s in the galleria area.
After leaving Masraff’s, he worked together with Chef Mark Holley at Pesce in the Upper Kirby District before being recruited by famed Houston restauranteur Johnny Carrabba to develop two new concepts, Mia’s Table and Grace’s on Kirby.
An avid cookbook collector (with a collection that boasts over 700 books!), he spends his free time leisurely on home projects with his wife and teenage son.
Chef Eric Romero, Benchmark Kitchen + Tap at The Met
Eric discovered his passion for the culinary arts when he began his career at the age of 16 at the Pappas Restaurant chain. He then continued on to Pesce, learning the ins and outs of a major Houston hotspot. Serving under Chef Mark Holley and Jonathan “Sopha” Long he went on to such places as Ristorante Cavour, Brennan’s and the Houston Country Club. Serving within every capacity of the hospitality industry has led him to appreciate and understand what it takes to serve and lead in the kitchen.
Chef Mark Whitaker, Monarch at Hotel ZaZa
Chef Mark Whitaker, a native Houstonian, decided to pursue his passion by attending the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Houston. After graduating with honors, he gained much experience working many events along with professionals met through school. Chef Whitaker began his career with the Monarch at Hotel ZaZa in 2012 as a line cook. His energy and talent have since led him to shine within the company, with promotions since to chef de partie, sous-chef and most recently chef de cuisine. Chef Whitaker’s passion for Modern Gulf Coast and Southern inspired cuisine brings vibrancy and a true light to the kitchen and Monarch team. In his spare time, Chef Whitaker enjoys his love for salt water fishing.
Chef James Reedy, Jackson and Company
Jackson and Company’s Chef de Cuisine bring years of talent and training from the Four Seasons and Hotel Icon, along with a wealth of experience in high-volume production at Houston Country Club. James leads a team of ambitious culinary upstarts who’s hard work combines to make entertaining effortless for our clients.
James is skilled in developing menus that are at once, creative and relatable. As a native to Louisiana, James hasn't forgotten his culinary roots. Today he serves elegant and contemporary food that is not only delicious, but exquisitely presented.
Having an opportunity to serve a refined clientele is one of the most exciting aspects of the job. James is an award winning Chef who is also a sought after speaker and teacher.
Chef Greg Martin, Bistro Menil
A native Houstonian and staple of the local restaurant community, Greg developed the concept for Bistro Menil over several years of international travel, enjoying outstanding regional food and wine. He has worked with several cooking luminaries, including American icon of French cooking Julia Child. His menus reflect the best of his culinary experiences, featuring food prepared with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. If you want to relive the experience of the sublime pizza you enjoyed in Rome, the duck confit that delighted you in Paris, or the excellent wines sampled while touring Provence, you will certainly understand the care and appreciation he has for his food.
Chef Jonathan Levine, Jonathan's The Rub
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