Lyle Bento

Chef de Cuisine

Lyle Bento has cooked in some of Houston’s most respected restaurant kitchens, including his own, Southern Goods. He understood regional cooking at a young age. Growing up in Hawaii with a Louisiana-born mother, he’d eat poke one night and gumbo the next. Lyle moved to Beaumont, Texas as a teenager and enrolled in the Art Institute of Houston after high school. After stints working at Bedford and Rainbow Lodge, he opened Stella Sola as a line cook in 2009. He left to run the kitchen at nationally-recognized nose-to-tail restaurant Feast when the owners opened their second location in New Orleans. Lyle opened The Modular food truck in 2011, which gave him the opportunity to showcase his own cooking style for the first time. It was a hit—his food was featured on both The Food Network and the Cooking Channel. He opened Underbelly in 2012 as a line cook and was promoted to sous chef within a few weeks. He spent three years at Underbelly and was part of the team that garnered numerous national best new restaurant nods and earned Chef Chris Shepherd a James Beard Award. Lyle left Underbelly to open his own restaurant, Southern Goods, in 2015. The popular neighborhood restaurant was lauded for its creative, casual food—the burger was named the best in the city by the Houston Press—and the restaurant received a Heights Neighborhood Award for the building renovation. Lyle, known for his ability to create delicious food under pressure, is a two-time winner of the Houston Press Chicken Wing Challenge, as well as a back to back champion of the Iron Fork Chef Competition. He closed Southern Goods after a kitchen fire in 2017 and returned to Underbelly Hospitality in 2018 as chef de cuisine.