You might’ve recently heard that San Antonio’s own chef Johnny Hernandez will be the guest chef at this year’s Cinco de Mayo dinner at the White House. First of all ― congratulations to the chef! What an honor to be invited by the POTUS! Second, Hernandez is a culinary badass. A chingón. And, as fans of his restaurants, we’re pretty excited that one of our favorite local chefs will be reppin’ San Antonio, yet again, on a national level. (Who could forget his gig on Top Chef?!) Hernandez will be the first guest chef from SA at the White House (as recently reported by the San Antonio Express-News), which we think was long overdue.
If you’ve ever been to one of Hernandez’s restaurants, then you know to expect authentic Mexican dishes and delicious fruity cocktails as you would in Mexico. La Gloria ― located at the Historic Pearl and Hernandez’s first restaurant venture ― features traditional dishes from Mexico City, Oaxaca, Puebla, Jalisco, Veracruz, and various other regions throughout Mexico. (This handy food map on La Gloria’s website shows the dishes by region, if you wish to take a closer look.)
La Gloria holds a special place in my heart because it was the site for my bon voyage dinner with a group of coworkers-turned-friends before I was to venture off to north Texas territory. (Pro-tip: If you find yourself ever leaving San Anto AKA Tacolandia for whatever reason, you should try to devour all of the Mexican and Tex-Mex foods you can handle ― especially if you’re transplanting to a place where they call a taco a burrito [Sorry, but a taco is not a burrito. A burrito is a burrito. But let’s not digress]). The Frutería and El Machito ― two other popular restaurants by Hernandez, and both very different from each other ― are great places as well and offer unique dining experiences. If you haven't been yet, we highly recommend.
So, as we partake in Cinco de Mayo celebrations with all the food (and, OK, maybe/probably cervezas too) that is part of everyday life in SA, let's take a moment to remember chef Johnny Hernandez. We know he'll be representing our city and culture well in our nation's capital.
We just hope POTUS has his bib ready.
Read more about chef Johnny Hernandez.