Chef Steve McHugh of Cured - Biography

San Antonio, TX

August 2017

Steve 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 paid homage to his family’s agricultural roots by using ingredients sourced from local farmers. McHugh continued 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. He left Lüke in 2013 to open his first solo project, Cured, in the revitalized Pearl District. For his work at Cured, McHugh was nominated for the James Beard Award "Best Chef: Southwest" in 2016 and 2017. A lymphoma survivor, McHugh is also active with the South Central Texas Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.