This Is Personal!

Posted: Jul 14, 2018

Three-time James Beard Award Finalist, chef Steve McHugh, is all about Blood Cancer Awareness, having successfully battled non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma prior to opening Cured, his acclaimed gastropub in San Antonio. Every September for Blood Cancer Awareness Month, McHugh hosts the annual Cured for a Cure Dinner to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society [LLS] for $350 per person. On Sunday, September 9, 2018, McHugh will be joined by the four fellow chefs who share his commitment to seasonal, organic, and hand crafted cuisine, the basis of the healthy diet to which he largely credits his recovery, and which is the foundation of all he offers at Cured.

Chef Kelly Fields has long been at the forefront of the sustainable food movement in the South, serving as Executive Pastry Chef at Restaurant August before opening her acclaimed Southern-inspired restaurant and bakery, Willa Jean, in 2015, where she has been nominated three times for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

2015 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Southwest, Aaron Franklin, is one of the most influential pitmasters in the U.S. His legendary Franklin Barbecue in Austin, TX has won every major BBQ award, including honors from Bon Appetit and Texas Monthly, and the restaurant has been celebrated by everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to President Obama. But when you ask Franklin what makes his BBQ so good, he’ll tell you conscientious sourcing.

Chef Justin Yu, who opened his new concept, 28-seat Theodore Rex in Houston, TXlast fall, won the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southwest in 2016 for his acclaimed restaurant Oxheart. At Theodore Rex, Yu focuses on regional ingredients to create inventive Texas-inspired dishes.

With San Antonio’s recent designation as a “Creative City of Gastronomy” by UNESCO, it’s important to look back on the city’s culinary past and its most respected culinary leaders. Since 1985, Chef Bruce Auden, of Biga on the Banks, has continuously inspired San Antonio chefs and restaurateurs through his many culinary ventures, earning seven Beard nominations along the way.

When McHugh was in treatment, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society provided him with priceless support. Now in remission, he serves on the organization's South Central Texas Chapter board of trustees. Last year’s Cured for a Cure dinner raised an astonishing $81K, and this year, McHugh hopes to again increase his charitable giving to the organization that was so integral to his own healing.

This IS Personal!

I wrote one of the first reviews of Cured in a national food publication. Steve McHugh did not realize it at the time but he was one of the major forces leading me to conclude that San Antonio was the fastest improving food city in Texas. That was in 2014. Subsequent events have vindicated the impression that he planted. Now every writer is praising San Antonio, and especially Cured. More power to them.

That review appeared in 2014. The publication it appeared in has long ceased publication (its web site is now a cannabis market). Thanks to the amazing wayback machine I found the original copy. The story of Cured is as true today as it was back then. Here it is....

By Andrew Chalk
July 14, 2018 

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