The Restaurant with a Texas-Sized Heart of Gold

Chef Steve McHugh’s Cured wins Texas Restaurant Neighbor Award

With awards season in full swing, the first and credible to look for are the ones from the National Restaurant Association. The Texas state chapter has just announced that Cured, in San Antonio, is the winner of the Texas Restaurant Neighbor Award. One of only two restaurants in the state of Texas to receive awards from the Texas Restaurant Association, this is the first step for Cured on the way to national honors.

A spirit of charity is fundamental to Cured’s being and its business; after barely a year on the San Antonio culinary scene, the restaurant is already regarded as a pillar of its community and industry. As a recent cancer survivor, chef-owner Steve McHugh has been deeply touched by the work of charities in his own journey of recovery, and in the spirit of giving back, he and his staff of sixty contribute significant hours and in-kind resources to local charitable events.

The signature giving program at Cured is tied to a popular centerpiece of its menu, the Charcuterie Board: for each of these ordered, Cured donates $1 to a single charity of its choice, a different one for each quarter of the year. McHugh, a pioneer of ‘gastro-giving,’ welcomes staff suggestions in choosing a given quarter’s beneficiary, and Cured actively develops other promotions and events to augment its donations.

The year-old restaurant now advances to compete with other state winners for the prestigious National Restaurant Neighbor Award honoring Outstanding Community Service Projects. A prize of $5,000 for charity will be awarded to the top four winners, along with a trip to the nation’s capital to be honored at an awards dinner. Cured is surely a strong contender, having raised over $16,000 in its very first year for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Team Gleason for ALS support; Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry; and Susan G. Komen. Meanwhile, it is now focused on The American Red Cross, its designated Charcuterie Board charity for the first quarter of 2015.

That’s a lot of charcuterie, and that is the nature of Cured.