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Crawfish and Courtship

Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Brown get engaged with a ring from Zadok Jewelers

By Carol Besler

Chris Shepherd and Lindsey Brown are a culinary power couple who were brought together by food, so it makes sense that Lindsey’s favorite entree played a part in their engagement. “The first time we met, both of us were completely focused on someone else,” says Lindsey. “At the time, I was PR director for the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, and I brought the food critic from Esquire magazine to Catalan, where Chris was executive chef. Both of us were so focused on the critic having an incredible time that we barely remember meeting each other.” That focus paid off in two ways: That year (2006) Catalan was included in Esquire’s list of Best New Restaurants in the country; and Chris and Lindsey became friends. They eventually fell in love, and recently got engaged.

“I frequently brought journalists to dine at Chris’s restaurants because I quickly realized he was one of the biggest Houston cheerleaders,” says Lindsey. “After meeting with Chris, journalists couldn’t help but fall in love with the city. He was one of the founding chefs of the Where the Chefs Eat culinary tour program that I led for five years.”

Lindsay now runs her own PR firm, with several clients in the food and hospitality sector, and Chris owns and operates four restaurants under the umbrella of Underbelly Hospitality. Together, they are a food-focused power couple. Chris went so far as to use food as a prop in their engagement. “He offered to cater a birthday party for our friend Julie, who requested a crawfish boil,” says Lindsey. She never suspected Chris’s ulterior motive, even though in retrospect, she says “there were all kinds of hints that he was up to something. He left the house very early to start cooking for a party that started at three. Then he mentioned his parents were going to stop by, which was an odd thing for them to do for our friend’s birthday party. Then I found out my sister was invited. I thought it was weird that our families were there for a party that was not really for us.”

During the party, Chris offered to make Lindsey an extra spicy batch of crawfish, and he brought it over to her in a silver tin. “I took the top off, and immediately noticed the crawfish weren’t spicy at all — they were clean! And then I saw the ring on top. Crawfish season is our favorite time of year, so the proposal summed us up perfectly,” says Lindsey.

The ring is a dazzling infinity band with 20 baguette-cut diamonds totaling six carats, set in platinum. It was exactly what Lindsey wanted. “A good friend of mine had an infinity band that I loved,” she says. “She knew how much I loved it, so I asked Chris — should he ever want to buy a ring — to talk to Kristy, and she’d know what to do.” Kristy sent Chris to Zadok Jewelers. “I talked to Segev about what ring I thought she wanted,” says Chris. “He started pulling everything out and went through a class with me on the infinity bands — the different cuts, the inlays, how each diamond was set into the ring — and it ultimately blew my mind. After a long time, we narrowed it down to exactly what I wanted to give to her. And it was perfect: simple, timeless, and absolutely gorgeous.”

There are no set plans for the wedding yet, but one thing is for sure: there will be great food involved! “We’re still figuring it out!” says Lindsey. “We’re about a month away from completing a three-year home renovation, so we’ll start seriously thinking about wedding plans once we’ve settled into the new house.”


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