Monica Pope

Named 2009’s Best Chef at the Houston Culinary Awards, Monica Pope is a 2007 James Beard Award Nominee for Best Chef: Southwest and the owner of t’afia and Beaver’s in Houston. The only Texas woman to ever be named a Top 10 Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine, 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. After working in Europe and San Francisco, Pope returned home to Houston to open her first restaurant, the critically acclaimed The Quilted Toque.  Soon after opening her second Houston restaurant, Boulevard Bistrot, she garnered national praise from top critical publications including Travel & Leisure, which hailed her “one of the most ingenious restaurateurs around.” Her latest venture, t’afia, has been featured in Gourmet, O: The Oprah Magazine, Bon Appetit, and Fortune. She recently published a digital cookbook, Eat Where Your Food Lives (available at and is currently working on a cooking memoir entitled Eating Hope (and Other Things I’ve Had to Stomach).

Competing for: Recipe for Success

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