Steve’s gastro-pub style restaurant in the heart of the Pearl District of San Antonio is endowed with a name that celebrates his successful battle against cancer, as well as the artisanal cured meats that are the cornerstone of his menu. The two-time James Beard Award finalist began his culinary journey on a small farm in Wisconsin while tending to certain ritualistic takes along with his six brothers. He experiences a vibrant decade cooking side-by-side with John Besh in New Orleans, which ultimately took him to San Antonio where, with a new lease on life after beating lymphoma, he opened CURED.
McHugh’s gastronomic foundation relies on the purity of natural regional ingredients and the hands-on, unadulterated methods that enhanced his own healing process. This from-scratch focus finds its way to seasonally dynamic menus of cured delicacies from charcuterie to pickles. McHugh’s culinary integrity resonates throughout the design of the restaurant - built in 1904 as the headquarters for the president of the renowned Pearl Brewing Company, Cured honors its historic roots while adding splashes of modern, old-school, and industrial chic accents in stunning juxtaposition. The driving philosophy of this restaurant is appreciation, gratitude and celebration of life, and McHugh engages in active “gastronomic giving” by donating $1 from every charcuterie board to a different charitable organization every quarter. Each September, his “Cured for a Cure” dinner raises tens of thousands of dollars for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Kristen and Michael are co-chef and owners of Coquette. Kristen moved to New Orleans from Charleston, South Carolina in 1999, and has had the great pleasure of working with Chefs Emeril Lagasse, Anne Kearney and Susan Spicer. She’s worked in fine dining since 1999, managed farmers markets and started her own boutique catering and private chef business in 2005, all before returning to restaurant kitchens in 2012. Michael moved to New Orleans from Baltimore, Maryland. He most notably worked with Chef John Besh at Restaurant August as a sous chef. Michael opened Coquette, a restaurant located in New Orleans Garden District in 2008 and Kristen joined the team in 2016.
Coquette offers innovative southern cuisine with an emphasis on locally sourced product and international inspiration. Kristen and Michael consider themselves lucky to work with small farms across the south as well as being one of the 2 restaurants that sponsors Paradigm Gardens, a urban farm in New Orleans Central City. The Times Picayune has honored Coquette as one of the “Top Ten Restaurants” in New Orleans for 5 years (2012-2015 & 2017). Kristen has been named a James Beard Semifinalist for “Best Chef in the South” (2017), one of Coastal Living Magazines “5 Coastal Chefs to Watch” (2015), nominated as one of Food & Wines Magazine’s “The People’s Best New Chef” (2015), and one of Times Picayunes “Chefs to Watch” (2014). Michael in addition to successfully running Coquette for the past 9 years has been named a Star Chef’s “Rising Star” (2012), “Chef of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine (2013), and a James Beard Semifinalist for Best Chef in the South (2013- 2017).