Chef Monte Sheffield

Monte Sheffield

Palmer's Restaurant Bar & Courtyard

Monte Sheffield

Palmer's Restaurant Bar & Courtyard

* ASPA Chef of the Year 2020 *

As a born and raised Texan, Chef Monte Sheffield’s passion for cooking and serving others dates back to his early childhood years when he would help his parents in the kitchen, prepping for their large dinner parties. “I was usually the last to join the kids while I would hang in the kitchen with mom and dad getting everything ready for the evening”, said Chef Sheffield. While Sheffield did not anticipate working in the restaurant business, he fell in love with the hospitality industry and eventually grew to become the first in his family to work in a restaurant.

Sheffield is now the proud chef and owner of Palmer’s Restaurant, located just south of Texas State University in San Marcos. Palmer’s Restaurant, Bar and Courtyard  “has a Texas-sized portion of pleasure waiting for you.” Chef Monte Sheffield and his family, who have owned the iconic restaurant since 2010, make sure this is the case.

Situated at the “gateway to the Hill Country” since 1978, the restaurant has featured signature margaritas, “Mexican martinis” and classic cocktails with regional fusion cuisine from New Mexico to New Orleans. Palmer’s has several fireplaces and courtyard views. Featuring the only courtyard in Hays County the restaurant has several private rooms. “Our concept at Palmer’s is based on foods that come from the Texas Hill Country, along with regional offerings from New Mexico, Mexico, the Gulf Coast and New Orleans”, said Chef Sheffield.

Of course, Chef Sheffield also advocates the use of Wild American Shrimp. He has been named Best of Hays County in both 2019 and 2020 and was the runner-up Wild American Shrimp Chef of the Year in 2019. Some of Chef Sheffield’s most popular shrimp dishes are parmesan-crusted snapper with lemon cream shrimp, Louisiana barbecue shrimp.

“We only source and promote Gulf shrimp and stand strong behind our GO TEXAN and Texas Shrimp Association,” said Chef Sheffield.

This avid hunter, outdoorsman, and father of 3 children is a board member of the Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Shrimp Association, and President of Truly Local SMTX – a movement involving businesses that started in San Marcos.


The original structure was built in the 1920s and was once a home for a professor at, previously named, Southwest Texas University, and his family. It was later transformed into a German Restaurant called Hansel & Gretel’s.

In 1978 it was purchased by Mike Palmer McKinster who named his restaurant Palmer’s, in honor of his mother’s maiden name. In 1980 Palmer’s was purchased by two young, ambitious brothers from Lubbock. Rick Travis and Rob Haug transformed Palmer’s from a burger joint with a beer garden into the beautiful upscale restaurant it is today.

In that time the Amethyst Room, Bar, and Courtyard were all added to the original structure.  In 2010, Travis sold Palmer’s to Monte and Kristin Sheffield. The Sheffield’s had their eyes on Palmer’s for several years, hoping to someday own this beautiful San Marcos icon. The Sheffields, with over 45 combined years in guest hospitality, continue the tradition and legacy of Palmer’s.

Featured Recipe
by Monte Sheffield

A plate of Gulf Snapper and Confetti Shrimp.

Gulf Snapper and Confetti Shrimp