Chef Steven McHugh of Lüke - Biography

San Antonio, TX

January 2012

Steven McHugh is from a large farming family—seven boys—in a small, Wisconsin town that couldn’t be farther from the rich, culinary tradition of New Orleans. But McHugh made his way to the Culinary Institute of America and eventually to New Orleans, where he worked at some of the city’s most legendary kitchens, from Metro Bistro and Dickie Brennan’s SteakBacco. He later teamed up with Chef John Besh and was named chef de cuisine at Besh Steak in 2003 and then executive chef at Restaurant August. After Hurricane Katrina, McHugh worked 20-hour days side by side with Besh, reopening August and feeding FEMA workers.

In 2010, McHugh set his sights on a new challenge, the role of executive chef of Lüke San Antonio, where he pays homage to his family’s agricultural roots by using ingredients sourced from local farmers. McHugh also continues the Besh Restaurant Group’s tradition of serving the region: following the destructive fires in Central Texas, McHugh traveled to Bastrop to cook for families displaced from their homes. A lymphoma survivor, McHugh is also active with the South Central Texas Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.