Diners probably most closely identify Canopy at 3939 Montrose with chef and restaurateur Claire Smith, who was highly praised for the fresh, inventive fare at Daily Review Café, which opened in 1994. She closed it in 2000, traveled for a few years, then returned to open Shade in The Heights. Her follow-up act was opening Canopy in the Montrose area.
Photo by Phaedra Cook Chef Liz Brooks of Canopy and Woodbar
While Canopy strongly reflects Smith's sensibilities, the executive chef responsible for executing that vision is Liz Brooks. Brooks brings her own ideas to the table as well, so the cuisine at Canopy is a reflection of both women. Brooks's newest responsibility is Woodbar, a multipurpose space that serves pastries in the morning and cocktails with an accompanying bar menu in the evening.
In this first part of our Chef Chat with Brooks, we'll find out how an unhappy period ultimately led her to her true calling. We'll also learn about the career progression that ended up bringing her full-circle -- interning at and ultimately coming back to Smith's restaurants.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for Part 2, where we'll talk about Canopy and Woodbar's food, and the challenges of being both a chef and a mom.