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Teddy Lopez, Chef at Killen’s Steakhouse


Teddy Lopez headshotName: Teddy Lopez

Hometown: Wharton, Texas

Current city: Houston, TX

Course of study: Culinary Arts

Graduation: 2001

Personal motivational motto: Tell me what you like to eat, and ill tell you what kind of person you are.

  • Teddy, tell us about your story!

I am Chef de Cuisine at Killen’s Steakhouse in Pearland, TX. Before going to CIL, I was a line cook at a lake resort in Lake Conroe. The chef I worked for told me I had a special talent for cooking and should go to school to pursue it. I remember meeting my chefs at CIL, Chef Jaques Fox, strict and militant cooking style. The other Chef, David Deny, sauve and chill. His cooking techniques were so modern than what I had seen at that time. I knew I was going to CIL because of these two Chefs. And now those two Chefs are my mentors today and fans of my cooking.

  • What inspired you to become a chef?

I started off as a dishwasher; cleaning, rushing, getting all the dishes done. At one point I had the head chef yelling at me and the other workers to hurry up and at that point I wanted to be him one day wearing the pressed whites and tall chef hat, getting all the handshakes, creating all the beautiful dishes.

  • How would you describe the impact of your courses at CIL on your daily life?

If it wasn’t for CIL teaching the basics of cooking, it would be a lot harder today to create dishes I do now.

  • Any memorable moments as a student?

I miss the coffee and croissants in the morning, I wonder what the students in my class are doing now.

  • Do you have any projects in mind or in action?

I currently work at Killen’s Steakhouse going on five years. This company keeps growing so I won’t leave for a while …yet.

  • Would you like to share an anecdote or a recipe with us?

Set goals in what you want to do in this industry because there’s so much out there on what you want to be come and never let anything hold you back from being something. I have seen and cooked in a lot of places and I will never forget that CIL and my CHEFS are the ones that got me there.

  • Outside of CIL, what do you like to do on your personal time?

I like to go fishing and reading cook books.

  • Any words of wisdom to students?

Stick with the basics. You may not think you need them after school is done, but they are part of my everyday life.. Also showing up 10 mins early is being on time.

Killen's Steakhouse interior dining room.     Killen's Steakhouse the back kitchen

Kitchen staff at Killen's Steakhouse     Teddy with Chef Joe from Killen's Steakhouse