Johnny Hernandez, better known as Chef Hernandez, is a graduate of Kennedy High School’s Class of 1987. Chef Hernandez attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York and graduated in 1989. He owns several restaurants; one he recently opened is The Fruteria on the West Side of San Antonio. He is an innovative business man catering to the demand in the culinary arts world.
Chef Hernandez has been a spokesperson and consultant to McCormick Aguacates of Mexico, The National Pork Board, and the Culinary Institute of America. He has been recognized by Hispanic Business magazine as one of the top 50 Most Influential U. S. Hispanics of 2012, one of the Top 5 Hispanic Chefs in America by Siempre Mujer Magazine, “9 Mexican Chefs to Watch”by NBC Latino, and awarded the “San Pasqual Award of Culinary Excellence” by the New World Wine and Food Festival.
As his success and recognition continue to grow, Chef Hernandez maintains his commitment to the local community that inspired him to pursue a culinary career. He bases his thriving catering business in the same West Side neighborhood where he was raised. He mentors young Hispanic aspiring chefs and gives back through extensive involvement in numerous community, non-profit and professional organizations such as the Latin Foods Advisory Board of the Culinary Institute of American, the New World Wine and Food Festival, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the St. Philips Culinary Advisory Board, and was appointed by Mayor Julian Castro to serve as a commissioner for the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau. More recently, he hosted the second annual Paella Cooking Contest at the old Pearl Brewery. Renown chefs from throughout the world participated in the second annual event. He also hosted a challenge for high school culinary arts programs and our own Memorial High School Program placed 1st in the competition. Students won a trip to New York to attend the Culinary Arts School for one week. Needless to say, the students benefit from both the competition and the visit to such an exemplary school.