Dubbed the "Alice Waters of the Third Coast," Texas-reared chef Monica Pope has been revolutionizing Houston's culinary scene since she debuted her first restaurant in 1992. As a high school student, she dreamed of “opening a restaurant and changing the way Houston eats.” Pope shares her passion for connecting local farmers and us, the co-producers, by hosting interactive cooking classes and Pop Ups in a Field or any beautiful place. Pope has enjoyed national recognition in the form of a James Beard Award nomination and a spot competing on the 2010 second season of Top Chef Masters on Bravo. She is still the only female Texas chef to be named a Top Ten Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine thanks to her food philosophy, "eat where your food lives".
Hailed by Travel & Leisure magazine as "one of the most ingenious restaurateurs around," Pope first learned to cook from her Czech grandmother and went on to earn her Chef's title from Prue Leith's School of Food and Wine in London, UK. After working in Europe and San Francisco, she returned home to Houston to open the Quilted Toque, which was followed by a succession of acclaimed restaurants, including Boulevard Bistrot, t'afia and Sparrow Bar + Cookshop. Pope is the founding chair of Recipe for Success Foundation's Chefs Advisory Board. She most recently co-founded the organization, I’ll Have What She’s Having, with some bad ass doctors & chefs to help raise awareness and funds in support of women’s healthcare in the hospitality industry.