Beyond the grand and powerful doors of the 110-year-old building that housed the famed Pearl Brewing Company, in the space once belonging to its president’s headquarters, is Cured – chef Steve McHugh’s highly anticipated first restaurant.
This seasoned chef from a small farm in Wisconsin has accomplished so much within his career. His ten years in the vibrant culinary epicenter of New Orleans were crowned by his work as chef de cuisine for chef John Besh at August, followed by two years opening and overseeing Lüke in San Antonio – Besh’s first establishment outside of New Orleans. Yet, McHugh’s highest achievement of all has been defeating cancer. After such a life-changing triumph, he set out to open his own restaurant, endowing it with a name that speaks to his personal feat, as well as the artisanal cured meats hanging in view – a gritty glimpse of the epicurean pleasures ahead. Beyond will, character and vision, McHugh's rapport with food now instinctively insists on a purity of natural ingredients and hands-on, unadulterated cooking methodology that enhanced his own healing process. His from-scratch focus and his conscious use of ingredients proven to empower the human body – like Blood Orange, Sweet Potato, and Cauliflower – unites science with art, resulting in a purposeful, powerful, seasonally-dynamic menu. Dishes such as Sweet Potato Agnolotti with Bourbon Brown Sugar and Sage and Slow Cooked Heritage Hog with Smoked Andouille and Okra, are complemented by cocktails individually crafted with the same care and attention, right down to the house-made bitters.
One of the driving philosophies of Cured is an appreciation of life, in gratitude and celebration. Steve McHugh has found a way to implement a bit of “gastronomic giving” – by donating $1 from every charcuterie board ordered to a different charitable organization every quarter. The progressive and honest culinary approach resonates throughout the design of the restaurant, which honors its historic roots while adding splashes of modern, old-school and industrial chic accents in stunning juxtaposition.