The Culinary Institute of America

Steven McHugh Challenges Graduates to Build on their CIA Education

Chef-Owner of San Antonio’s Cured Speaks at Commencement

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Jeff Levine
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San Antonio, TX – Steven McHugh, who graduated from The Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde Park, NY campus in 1997, provided advice and encouragement to the college’s newest alumni on July 3. Chef McHugh delivered the commencement address at the CIA’s San Antonio campus at the Pearl Brewery complex, which is also home to Cured, his new restaurant that opened in late 2013.

“You have shown you are committed,” McHugh told recipients of associate degrees in culinary arts. “What’s important is to take what you have learned and build on it.”

Cured is a sustainable, seasonal restaurant chosen by both San Antonio Current and the readers of the Express-News as Best New Restaurant for 2014 and as one of Eater National’s Restaurants to Watch.

For 10 years, Chef McHugh worked for fellow CIA alumnus John Besh ’92, first in New Orleans, then at Besh’s first San Antonio restaurant, before setting out on his own. He continues to “pay it forward” by hiring many young CIA graduates at Cured.

The Walworth, WI native advised the graduating class to get involved in the community, as he and Besh did following Hurricane Katrina, serving hundreds of meals to relief workers in New Orleans. His final piece of advice was to “do it before it’s too late.” Chef McHugh was just 34 when he was diagnosed with lymphoma four years ago. After completing chemotherapy, he said it was time to realize his dream of opening his own restaurant.

In fact, Cured refers to both McHugh’s triumph over cancer and the house-made meats served at the restaurant.


Photo Caption and Hi-Res Image

Chef Steven McHugh speaks to graduates at The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio on July 3. McHugh is a 1997 graduate of the college's Hyde Park campus. (Photo credit: Darren Abate/CIA)
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Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor's degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts, and culinary science, as well as certificate programs in culinary arts and wine and beverage studies. As the world's premier culinary college, the CIA provides thought leadership in the areas of health & wellness, sustainability, and world cuisines & cultures through research and conferences. The CIA has a network of 46,000 alumni that includes industry leaders such as Grant Achatz, Anthony Bourdain, Roy Choi, Cat Cora, Dan Coudreaut, Steve Ells, Johnny Iuzzini, Charlie Palmer, and Roy Yamaguchi. The CIA also offers courses for professionals and enthusiasts, as well as consulting services in support of innovation for the foodservice and hospitality industry. The college has campuses in Hyde Park, NY; St. Helena, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Singapore.

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