While it is certainly true that chef Chris Shepherd's vision for a restaurant that represents the "soul of Houston" drives Underbelly's ever-changing menu, another way the restaurant sets itself apart is that it does all its own butchering. Since it opened in March, former Anvil bartender Peter Jahnke has been Underbelly's butcher, but Eater has learned that his last day will be June 23. Jahnke, always a bit of a restless soul, has decided to move to San Francisco. He tells Eater that "I need to live in other cities and I want to be back by the ocean. San Francisco is a blooming city, great for the food industry and learning new things." Despite his moving on, Jahnke says he's valued the experience. "I am honored that Chris picked me to start a program, something thats never been done, and become an industry leader in the use of whole animal butchery." While Shepherd is sad to see Jahnke go, he knew when he hired Jahnke that he would not be with Underbelly forever; as Shepherd described it, "[Jahnke] does what he wants." As for the butchery program, Shepherd has already tapped line-cook/chef Lyle Bento and long-time employee Javier Salvador to step in for Jahnke. Allen The Leg declined comment.
Peter Jahnke with Les Sauvages collaborator Justin Bayse [Roflhouse.com]