Chef Steve McHugh poses for a photo near the entry way to Cured. Photo by Scott Ball.
Chef Steve McHugh has made it to the second round as a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

The James Beard Foundation has named San Antonio chef Steve McHugh of Cured a 2018 nominee for “Best Chef” of the Southwest.

This is McHugh’s third nomination for the award, considered the U.S. food industry’s highest honor. He was a semifinalist in 2016 and a finalist in 2017.

Three San Antonio chefs made the James Beard semifinalist list of 2018 Restaurant and Chef Award, announced Feb. 15 – chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres of Restaurant Mixtli and McHugh.

“This [recognition] is great for the city. It’s great to put a national spotlight on such a great food city,” McHugh said last month, acknowledging the work of the Cured restaurant team.

McHugh opened Cured in 2013 in the historic Administration Building at the Pearl. The restaurant is known for its menu of hand-crafted cured foods, from charcuterie to pickles.

As a 2018 finalist, McHugh joins other acclaimed chefs in the Southwest for the top prize, including Michael Fojtasek, Olamaie, Austin; Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin; Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe; and Alex Seidel, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Denver.

The winner of the 2018 James Beard Awards be announced May 7, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Shari Biediger is the development beat reporter for the San Antonio Report.