monicaSPEAK is a weekly blog by acclaimed Houston chef, Monica Pope, about eating and cooking where your food lives. The blog posts chronicle her Green Plum Cooking School classes which take place (and are free!) every Saturday morning during the Midtown Farmers Market, held at her restaurant t’afia.
Click here for more information about our free Green Plum Cooking School classes every Saturday at the Midtown Farmers Market at t’afia.
about 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 (1996), 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 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 – a restaurant that celebrates all things local, has been featured in Gourmet, O: The Oprah Magazine, Bon Appetit and Fortune, and is home to the weekly Midtown Farmers Market (which Pope helped found).
Never one to say no to a nationally-broadcast challenge (in the late 90’s Monica competed on the Food Network’s Ready, Set, Cook), Monica Pope appears in Season 2 of Bravo TV’s competitive cooking hit, Top Chef Masters (airing in April 2010).
Monica Pope recently published a digital cookbook, Eat Where Your Food Lives (available at www.ChefMonicaPope.com). She is also currently working on a cooking memoir entitled Eating Hope (and Other Things I’ve Had to Stomach), an insightful, poignant and humorous look at a woman’s place in the (restaurant) kitchen.