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Five Essential Rules of Nachos From a James Beard Award-Winning Chef

Houston's Chris Shepherd is serious about snack food, and he wants to make sure you win Super Bowl Sunday.
Get your nacho game on.

Get your nacho game on.

Photographer: Kate Krader/Bloomberg

In the world of food, some dishes requires recipes, other don’t. And on the face of it, nachos would seem to fall in the latter category. If you have a pile of chips, some cheese and chili, instructions would seem superfluous. Yet nachos are more involved than you might think.

Chris Shepherd, the James Beard-Award-winning chef at Underbelly and the just-opened meat-centric One Fifth Steak in Houston, has strong feelings about nachos. He considers the extravagant version he makes at his vast beer bar Hay Merchant to be the gold standard of the dish; he serves them late night, after 11 p.m., when they’re a bestseller. “A small plate of nachos is BS,” opines Shepherd, who also isn’t a fan of the overly wrought kind, where each chip has arranged toppings. “I like piles of stuff.”