Proceeds from the sandwich benefited Shepherd's Southern Smoke nonprofit to support restaurant workers in need around the country.
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Shake Shack
Credit: Kirsten Giliam

Chris Shepherd, executive chef and owner of Houston's Underbelly Hospitality, knows his stuff in the kitchen. And Shake Shack knows how to serve up a heck of a sandwich.

Recently, the two came together and created quite the dish to kick off a series for the fast food company of chef sandwiches to benefit charities nationwide. The Southern Smoke Chicken Sandwich, was sold last Thursday, March 4, at Montrose and Rice Village Shake Shack locations in Houston. The sandwich raised funds for Shepherd's Southern Smoke, a national charity helping those in the food and beverage industry in crisis, an especially pressing need amid the coronavirus pandemic. This delectable menu addition of a crispy, hand-breaded chicken breast topped with spicy bacon jam, bacon sausage, pickled jalapeño mustard, cherry peppers, and shredded lettuce on a Martin's potato roll, was the first of the company's philanthropic Now Serving limited-time menu releases. Next up is chef Pinky Cole in Atlanta and New York on April 8, and you can see the full lineup so far here.

"We've had the chance to get to know Chris since we opened our Montrose location in 2019, and we've been dreaming of the opportunity to partner for quite a while," said Mark Rosati, Culinary Director of Shake Shack, in a company press release. "Not only have we had the ability to create something delicious and unique with a Houston legend, but we're also really proud to be able to support Chris' foundation and the wonderful work he's doing in the community." Along with the sandwich, Shake Shack also hosted two "Donation Days" for Southern Smoke earlier this month on which 25% of the two Houston stores' proceeds went to the nonprofit and customers had the option of making a donation at stores, online, or on the Shack App. In total, Shake Shack raised $3,800 for Southern Smoke.

In November of last year, celebrity chef David Chang won $1 million on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for the nonprofit organization, which we're sure will go a long way to helping those in need. If you'd like to further support Southern Smoke's important work, you can make a donation here.

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Eating Shack Shack for a good cause? You certainly don't have to tell us twice. We're so in, and add a frozen custard to our order, please.