CHICAGO - On a night when the Houston Rockets win Game 1 of the NBA Western Semifinals and the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park as part of the Lone Star Series, one of the most notable chefs in Houston takes home one of the greatest national honors in the culinary arts.
Chef Hugo Ortega won the 2017 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest during a ceremony in Chicago, Ill. The southwest region includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. Ortega won the honor for his work at Hugo's on Westheimer Road near Mandell Street.
In addition to Hugo's, other restaurants included in Ortega's H Town Restaurant Group include Backstreet Cafe, Caracol, Origen and Xochi, which opened at the Marriott Marquis Houston in early 2017. His wife and business partner Tracy Vaught was also a 2017 semi-finalist in the Outstanding Restaurateur category.
Before his win on Monday, Chef Ortega was a five-time finalist for the James Beard Award. Hugo's was also a 2017 semi-finalist in the Outstanding Service category.
Watch Chef Hugo Ortega's segments on FOX 26 Morning News at Xochi with contributor Cleverley Stone: