Rising Star Chef Quealy Watson of The Monterey - Biography

San Antonio, TX

February 2012

If modern chef culture is rife with elaborations and exaggerations of the elusive soul, passionate personality, or otherwise mythologized character of the chef, Quealy Watson does not belong to it. The chef behind San Antonio’s The Monterey, Watson is insistently—and deeply—straightforward. Where other chefs might (successfully) cultivate intricate PR machinery, Watson keeps quiet and lets his food to do the talking.
Which it does. Loudly.

Originally from Louisiana, Watson migrated to San Antonio as a young man. And while his culinary career started in the kitchen of a small Japanese restaurant, Watson’s budding (borderline maniacal) passion for food culture had already predestined him for a career at the helm of something wildly different.

Fortunately for Watson, his mania found an outlet in The Monterey, the 3-month-old San Antonio watering hole that might have remained a simple well-liked local bar but for  Watson, who helped turn it into one of San Antonio’s most creative culinary destinations. From the kitchen of The Monterey comes Watson’s new Southern gastropub fare, a cuisine that incorporates the chef’s obsessions with everything from the blend of old (very old) and new techniques to his love of offal and a strong preference for non-industrial farmers and purveyors—a cuisine that earned him a 2012 StarChefs.com Rising Stars Award. When he’s not avoiding the spotlight or meticulously cutting his green onions, Watson can be found indulging his taste for expensive fish sauce and beer.