While he may not have won yesterday, Hugo’s namesake chef, Hugo Ortega, joined the crème de la crème when he was nominated for Best Chef Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in March - the only Houston talent nominated for the food world’s most prestigious honor. But to Houstonians, there was no competition – the beloved Montrose based chef has enjoyed quite the year, releasing his first cookbook, Hugo Ortega’s Street Food of Mexico, late this summer. And still, after opening in 2002, enjoying success in the form of full dining rooms. Ortega was named Chef of the Year by the Houston Culinary Awards 2011, as well as Hugo’s Restaurant winning Best Margarita and sister restaurant Backstreet Cafe winning Best Sommelier in Houston Press’s Best of Houston awards last year.
Read more on Ortega’s success and nomination, including a favorite recipe on Chron.com.
Full interview with Ortega on his James Beard nod on KUHF, including what would happen if he did not win, ” … he says he’s already received all the appreciation he needs from the city that gave him a chance.”