Cured isn’t just a popular new gastro pub at the Pearl, with a handsome young chef and house-cured charcuterie; it’s a testament to success and survival and a reminder that good things take time. Chef Steve McHugh—a 2016 semifinalist for the prestigious 'Best Chef: Southwest' James Beard award—is living proof of this.
Diagnosed in 2010 at age 36 with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and grapefruit-sized tumors, the popular New York Culinary Institute of America-trained chef faced two operations and a year of chemotherapy before receiving a clean bill of health. As his grateful shout-out to the Alamo City, McHugh—who had come to San Antonio while running several restaurants with Chef John Besh—opened Cured at the Pearl last Christmas.
“Cured really isn’t about me. It’s about seasonal, sustainable, healthful foods carefully created over time. My brothers and I grew up on a farm where we pickled vegetables, canned fruits, made sausage and cured meats, so this restaurant is as much a celebration of food and family as it is good health,” says Chef McHugh, who today is strong, hopeful and generous, supporting charities like The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, for which he is a board member, and Share Our Strength, a national hunger relief organization helping feed children in need.
“To be given the opportunity to do something I love and share it with others is a gift I appreciate every day,” says McHugh with a big smile. “I'm just so happy and grateful.”