After several San Antonio area chefs were named as semifinalists in the Best Chef: Texas category of the 2022 James Beard Awards last month, one emerged Wednesday as a finalist.

Steven McHugh, chef and owner of Cured, was named as a finalist during a ceremony in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Now, he will compete with four other chefs for the Texas title.

Award winners will be honored at the James Beard Restaurant and Chef Awards ceremony on June 13 at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

In February, four other San Antonio-area chefs were named as semifinalists in the regional Best Chef: Texas category that included McHugh. They were: Esaul Ramos Jr., pitmaster and co-owner of 2M Smokehouse; John Russ, chef and co-owner of Clementine; and Ernest Servantes and David Kirkland of Seguin’s Burnt Bean Co. 

Area semifinalists in other James Beard Awards categories were: Mixtli for Outstanding Restaurant; Sofia Tejeda of Mixtli for Outstanding Pastry Chef; David Cáceres, co-founder of La Panadería, for Outstanding Baker; and High Street Wine Co. for Outstanding Wine Program.

McHugh has been nominated for a James Beard Award six times. He was a semifinalist in the Best Chef: Southwest category each year from 2016 to 2019 and again in 2020 when Texas got its own Best Chef category.

Ramos of 2M Smokehouse also was a semifinalist in 2020.

Raquel Torres

Raquel Torres is the San Antonio Report's breaking news reporter. She previously worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph and is a 2020 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University.