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Congratulations, Steve McHugh!


It’s been a good week for Steve McHugh of Cured at Pearl.

Cured chef Steve McHugh

Cured chef Steve McHugh

The chef won Sunday’s Paella Challenge. Then on Tuesday, he was named a finalist for this year’s James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the Southwest, an area that includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Utah in addition to Texas.

McHugh is up against several other Texans, including Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine in Austin as well as Hugo Ortega of Caracol and Justin Yu of Oxheart, both in Houston. The other finalist is Alex Seidel, Fruition of Denver.

McHugh is only the third chef from San Antonio to be a finalist for the award. Bruce Auden of Biga on the Banks and Andrew Weissman for his former restaurant, Le Reve, have also been nominated.

There was another Texan on the list of nominees. Grae Nonas of Olamaie in Austin was a finalist for Rising Star Chef of the Year, an award given to “a chef age 30 or younger who displays an impressive talent and who is likely to make a significant impact on the industry in years to come.”

The other Rising Star nominees are Alex Bois, High Street on Market, Philadelphia; Angela Dimayuga, Mission Chinese Food, NYC; Matt Rudofker, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, NYC; Daniela Soto-Innes, Cosme, NYC and Jenner Tomaska, Next, Chicago.

The awards will be presented in New York on May 2. Tickets are available at www.jamesbeard.org/awards/tickets.

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Esquire Sings the Praises of Cured at the Pearl


Esquire’s Josh Ozersky gets it.

Cured chef Steven McHugh

Cured chef Steven McHugh

Last year, the magazine’s food writer heralded the Granary ‘Cue and Brew as the future of barbecue. This week, he named Cured as one of the best new restaurants in America.

“An ancient building, gutted out, and filled with all the products of a skilled chef’s imaginings; the place is named for its hams but it’s the whole hogs and other roasted meats that soar the highest,” he writes of the restaurant at 306 Pearl Parkway.

“It took me by surprise,” chef and owner Steven McHugh said of the writeup. “It’s great how many people saw it and are congratulating us.”

There’s been a lot of love for San Antonio’s dining scene in the national press, and not just from Esquire. In the past week, Food & Wine singled out three places in town for having some of the best dishes in the state of Texas. Earlier this year, Bon Appétit cited Hot Joy as the sixth best new restaurant in America, while Cured was among its top 50.

Ozersky’s love for Texas dining extends to his pick of Austin’s Paul Qui, owner of the eponymous Qui, as Chef of the Year.

 

 

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Bakery Lorraine Relocates and Other Pearl Notes


Bakery Lorraine has relocated to the Pearl Brewery.

Bakery Lorraine and the French macarons have moved to the Pearl.

Bakery Lorraine and the French macarons have moved to the Pearl.

The bakery, which has been hailed as one of the best in the nation, is known for its French macarons (not macaroons) as well as its pain au chocolate, sticky buns, scones and sandwiches.

Look for the bakery nestled in among the restaurants, coffee shop and other food lovers’ favorites in the Pearl compound. It’s open for breakfast and lunch.

For more information, call (210) 862-5582.

Here’s some more Pearl news:

It’s time for Latin Flavors

The annual Latin Flavors, America’s Kitchens conference has returned to the San Antonio campus of the Culinary Institute of America.

This annual gathering of chefs and food professionals from throughout the Americas is generally a lot of shop talk and recipe sharing, with demonstrations of dishes indigenous to countries such as Peru, Argentina, Brazil and the Caribbean islands as well as the various regions of Mexico.

This symposium is an invite-only event, but this year, there are several dinners open to the public. One is at Nao on Thursday evening, featuring chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino. The others are on Friday at Arcade Midtown Kitchen, Boiler House Texas Grill, Casa Hernan and Sandbar. For more information on the dinners, click here.

Cured Pink BeerOktoberBreast: Booze for Boobs

If you can’t get to Munich for the famous Oktoberfest, head to Cured at the Pearl, owned by cancer survivor and chef Steve McHugh.

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, he’s serving up a special beer made by Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling. The pink-hued brew, Lucky Ol’ Sun Golden Belgian-Style Ale, may seem light, but it’s said to be full-bodied while boasting great flavor.

Every day during October, beer lovers can get a mug of Lucky Ol’ Sun pink beer on its own for $9 with $1 from every rosy ale sold going directly to Susan G. Komen. Pair it with the Charcuterie [“Charc”] Board starting at $18 for a total of $2 going to Komen, Cured’s charity of choice the entire quarter.

Looking forward to Southerleigh

Those who attended Sunday’s KLRN Fine Wine and Cuisine Tasting got a fine preview of Southerleigh, Jeff Balfour’s restaurant, which will be in the forthcoming Hotel Emma.

The chef served up crab claws in a lively dressing alongside a Dortmunder beer and a honey mead that are being brewed in-house. Yes, they worked up our appetite for more. But we’ll have to wait a little while longer.

Word is that the restaurant with its coastal cuisine could open in December, if all goes according to schedule. That may seem like a long way off, but it’s really not, as we’re in October already.

 

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‘Do It Before It’s Too Late,’ McHugh Tells CIA Grads


Steven McHugh, who graduated from The Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde Park, N.Y., campus in 1997, provided advice and encouragement to the college’s newest alumni on July 3. McHugh delivered the commencement address at the CIA’s San Antonio campus at the Pearl Brewery complex, which is also home to Cured, his new restaurant, which opened in late 2013.

Steven McHugh addresses the CIA graduation.

Steven McHugh addresses the CIA graduation.

“You have shown you are committed,” McHugh told recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts. “What’s important is to take what you have learned and build on it.”

Cured is a sustainable, seasonal restaurant chosen by San Antonio Current as Best New Restaurant for 2014 and one of Eater National’s Restaurants to Watch.

For 10 years, McHugh worked for fellow CIA alumnus John Besh, ’92, first in New Orleans, then at Besh’s first San Antonio restaurant, before setting out on his own. He continues to “pay it forward” by hiring many young CIA graduates at Cured.

The Walworth, Wisconsin, native advised the graduating class to get involved in the community, as he and Besh did following Hurricane Katrina, serving hundreds of meals to relief workers in New Orleans. His final piece of advice was to “do it before it’s too late.”

McHugh was just 34 when he was diagnosed with lymphoma four years ago. After completing chemotherapy, he said it was time to realize his dream of opening his own restaurant.

In fact, Cured refers to both McHugh’s triumph over cancer and the house-made meats served at the restaurant.

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Events: Luke and Mardi Gras; NAO Chefs and More


Featuring six of San Antonio’s most well-known chefs, Nao and USA Today are excited to present “Experience Food & Wine in Texas” on Thursday, March 13 from 6 – 11 p.m.
Chef Johnny Hernandez of La Gloria

Chef Johnny Hernandez of La Gloria

While focused on ingredients that come from the Lone Star State, this event is an opportunity to taste the cuisine of chefs including Geronimo Lopez and Alain Dubernard of Nao, Steve McHugh of Cured, Johnny Hernandez of La Gloria and Michael Sohocki of Restaurant Gwendolyn and Andrew Weissman of Il Sogno,in one spectacular meal. To start up the evening, guests will have the chance to join the visiting chefs, all of whom are CIA alumni, as they come back to cook at their alma mater.

The six-course dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature wine pairings with each course. There also will be live music. Tickets are now on sale for $100 per person and can be reserved by calling Nao at 210-554-6484.
Party like it’s New Orleans!

Luke San Antonio is bringing the flavor of New Orleans straight to Texas with a special Mardi Gras party on Fat Tuesday,  March 4,  from 3 p.m.- 8 p.m.

The event takes place during Luke’s weekly extended happy hour. Featured drinks include a signature Hurricane cocktail and Abita Beers on tap, including Amber, Purple Haze, Turbodog, Restoration Pale Ale and Mardi Gras Bock. For those who want to start Mardi Gras festivities early, we’ve attached our Hurricane recipe below.

crawfish1Luke San Antonio will be giving away T-shirts and there will be opportunities to win John Besh’s Mardi Gras-themed Besh Boxes. see more at beshbox.com.

Chef John Russ will be serving New Orleans party fare, listed below, at happy hour rates:

$2 King Cake with chances to win Besh Box
Hot Boiled Crawfish
$5 Gulf Shrimp Étouffée
$3 Andouille Jambalaya
$4 Peeler Farms Fried Chicken Wings
Hurricane glassIf you want to make your own Hurricanes for Mardi Gras, here’s a recipe from Besh Restaurants.
*
Hurricane Recipe
1 ounce tangerine-infused rum
1 ounce bourbon barrel-aged dark rum
2 ounces pineapple juice
2 ounces orange juice
1 ounce passion fruit juice
3/4 ounce pomegranate syrup
Pour ingredients over ice in a shaker and shake. Pour into a hurricane glass and garnish with fruit slices, such as a slice or orange or pineapple.

 

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