Archive | May 23rd, 2011

CIA: Video Podcast with Steve McHugh of Lüke

CIA: Video Podcast with Steve McHugh of Lüke

Check out a new video podcast from the CIA, with Steve McHugh, executive chef of Lüke San Antonio.

During the podcast, McHugh speaks about his experiences working with chef John Besh (owner of Lüke in New Orleans), the process of opening Lüke here in San Antonio, and the myriad of culinary resources that exist within this city.

“San Antonio is a tourist destination for people seeking history and culture,” says McHugh. “Within the last 10 years the city has also become a culinary destination. What visitors find when they eat in the restaurants here is cuisine rich with Latin and German influences.”

Steve McHugh of Luke featured on CIA video podcast.

McHugh partnered with Besh, a renowned New Orleans chef, to open Lüke on San Antonio’s River Walk in 2010.

Thirteen years earlier, he had graduated with his associate degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America’s flagship campus in Hyde Park, NY—the same program Besh completed in 1992.

McHugh also takes the opportunity to reflect on how his CIA education prepared him for the challenge of working alongside Besh. In addition, he speaks about the CIA expanding its San Antonio offerings to now include a full associate degree program in culinary arts, and what the college’s presence means for the city.

“I think the CIA opening up here in San Antonio is going to do a lot for the city,” says McHugh. “Having these students and graduates available right here to bring into our restaurants is a great asset to all of us.”

The first class for the CIA San Antonio associate degree program starts on August 22, 2011. For more information about the program, or to learn more about upcoming admissions information sessions, visit

To view the video, connect here to YouTube page.

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Fennel Ratatouille

Fennel Ratatouille

Fennel is a vegetable with a light, licorice flavor and it's delicious in soups, stews and sautés.

Ratatouille is a kitchen sink kind of dish, where you put in lots of fresh vegetables, add garlic, basil, tomatoes and simmer until you have a wonderful, thick stew. It was turned into an extraordinary, deconstructed chef masterpiece in the film of the same name.

This week, with two bulbs of fennel on hand, I made a small adjustments to the classic recipe by adding in the sautéed fennel bulbs. The delicate licorice taste of the vegetable really made the dish, and, just like any ratatouille, it was even better reheated the next day. I didn’t put in fresh basil when I made it, because I was really enjoying the fennel flavor. I will next time, just to see how it goes. Peppers usually go into ratatouille as well; add sliced red or green bell pepper to the sauté pan if you like.

For a variation, put some fresh shrimp into the dish at the end and cook them until they are just tender. Ratatouille is also good used as a filling in an omelet.


Fennel Ratatouille

1/4 cup olive oil
2 bulbs fennel, trimmed and cut into slices about 1/4-inch thick. (Also, thinly slice some of the small stalks about an inch above the bulb, and mince some of the leaves, too. You can slice off some of the thick core on the bottom.)
1 medium yellow or white onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 medium zucchini, sliced into coins
1 Japanese eggplant, unpeeled, sliced into rounds
2 large, vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch dice
Fresh basil, several large, fresh leaves, sliced, or to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet or a good, heavy-bottomed saute pan. Add the sliced fennel and onion. Keep the heat on medium and let the slices sauté and turn them when they start to lightly caramelize. When the onions and fennel are starting to soften and are browning a little, add the garlic and cook another minute or two, stirring. Add the zucchini and eggplant and cook until these are just tender.  Add the tomatoes and fold all the vegetables together, gently, and cook until the tomatoes are fully heated and beginning to melt into the other vegetables. Add basil, then season.

Makes 6-8 servings.

From Bonnie Walker



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‘Top Chef’ Tour Is Coming to SA

‘Top Chef’ Tour Is Coming to SA

The “Top Chef” tour is coming to San Antonio on June 11 as part of the Bravo show’s 21-city tour.

This is the fourth year of the tour, but things are going to somewhat different this year. A showdown between two former chef contestants from the show competing in front of a panel of judges and audience members is planned. The chefs coming to San Antonio have not been announced.

What has been announced is that there will be three sessions here They are set for 10:30 a.m., noon and 1:30 p.m. at the H-E-B Alon Market, 8503 N.W. Military Hwy.

Only a few tickets will be issued in advance. The majority of tickets will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis. For more information, check out the show’s Facebook page or the Bravo website.

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