About Us

Chef Johnny Hernandez is a celebrated chef, entrepreneur, and founder and President of Grupo La Gloria and True Flavors Inc..  He is one of the premier Mexican cuisine chefs in the United States and a recognized authority on Mexican cuisine and culture. He first garnered notoriety as a rising star on the culinary scene in 2010 with the launch of his acclaimed flagship concept, La Gloria.  His culinary ventures have since expanded to become Grupo La Gloria, a diverse and growing portfolio of signature restaurants and culinary projects.


chef johnny hernandez

Chef Hernandez was born and raised in a community of first-generation Mexican-American families and grew up surrounded by the foods and traditions of interior Mexico that made their way across the border. Encouraged by his father to become a chef, he attended the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York.  Johnny began his career at a number of exclusive resort destinations, including the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara, California.  Upon returning to San Antonio in 1994, he opened his first venture, True Flavors Catering which earned national recognition for catering excellence.

The most profound influence on Chef Hernandez’s culinary style has been his extensive travels throughout Mexico. His time spent exploring the cultural nuances of each region’s art, agricultural, and street foods has shaped his vision to create authentic and accessible interior Mexican cuisine for American diners. His mission is to celebrate and preserve traditional Mexican food, ingredients and techniques. This mission serves as the guiding principle for creating unique dining experiences that reflect the rich and diverse flavors and culture of Mexico.

Chef Hernandez has received acclaim in publications such as Texas MonthlyBon AppetitPoder, SaveurTravel & Leisure, Food & WineMartha Stewart MagazineGarden and GunNBC LatinoTasting Table and Southern Living.  He has been featured as a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and has appeared on the Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food and Simply Ming, Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay as well as Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Food Paradise. In 2016, Chef Hernandez showcased his culinary expertise and the flavors of Mexico at the White House as Guest Chef for President of the United States, Barack Obama.

chef johnny hernandez

culinary ventures and projects include:

  • Five La Gloria restaurant locations in Texas, celebrating the rich and delicious street foods found across the diverse regions of interior Mexico.
  • Two Frutería-Botanero restaurants with a menu focused on authentic and contemporary Mexican-style tapas and fresh Mexican-inspired cocktails, many made with fresh fruit, some even featuring local lavender and Texas honey, and incorporating house-made tequila infusions.
  • Burgerteca, with three locations in San Antonio, reimagines the classic American hamburger. Chef Johnny’s signature burgers are inspired by the cooking traditions and regional flavors of Mexico.
  • Casa Hernan Cantina, Chef Hernandez’ former residence and event space, was reimagined, renovated, and reopened in spring of 2023 as a Southtown cantina and Mexican botanero bar (think tapas spot, only with Mexican-style eats) with an ambience that evokes the grandeur of historic haciendas of Merida, Mexico.
  • Super Bien Tex Mex Cocina is Chef Johnny’s newest concept located in Terminal A of the San Antonio International Airport, offering made-to-order Tex-Mex favorites for travelers.
  • Tortillería La Gloria reflects Chef Hernandez’s commitment to traditional culinary practices. The molino provides the fresh corn products made from locally grown, non-GMO corn for each of his establishments in the San Antonio area.
  • Five La Gloria Margarita Trucks offer at-home delivery of La Gloria’s signature margaritas and availability for special events, weddings, and parties.
  • Two La Gloria Food trucks offer at home delivery or will show up for your next party with assorted menu items


In Development

  • Look for the return of Chef Hernandez’ long-awaited El Machito restaurant, as it returns as an outdoor patio eatery featuring mesquite-grilled meats prepared in the style of the carne asadas of northern Mexico and the campestre style of Guadalajara.

the future of la villita

La Villita Historie Village, a 300+-year-old enclave of architecturally arresting buildings edging the River Walk, home to San Antonio’s first neighborhood, is undergoing a dynamie transformation.

Honoring its significance to the city’s richly diverse cultural history while celebrating its exciting future, big changes are taking place in this little village listed on the National Register of Historie Places.
Guided by UNESCO principies, the curator of the reimagined historie La Villita, acclaimed chef Johnny Hernandez, is pleased to revive and reintroduce La Villita as a vibrant cultural epicenter.
As it has for centuries, La Villita will sustain a local artisan community, offering shops and galleries featuring the works of Texas, Southwestern and Mexiean artists and craftsmen/women. The new La Villita Historie Village will honor Texas’ deeply nuanced culinary narrative, with new restaurants showcasing the cuisine of San Antonio’s Mexiean, German, Spanish, French heritage and more. La Villita is evolving to become a better and brighter manifestation of one of the city’s most culturally significant landmarks and the pride of San Antonio. lnnovations are slated for completion in 2025, so visit again soon to see just how exciting our “Little Village” can be.

    Philanthropy and Accolades

    In 2014, Chef Hernandez founded Kitchen Campus in memory of his father, Johnny Hernandez, Sr. who inspired him to pursue his culinary dreams. Kitchen Campus is a non-profit organization that encourages middle and high school students to pursue the culinary arts as a path to financial success. Students learn about food, nutrition, cooking, community involvement and leadership while exploring careers in the culinary industry. Kitchen Campus has raised over $350,000 in scholarship funds through Chef Hernandez’s yearly Paella Challenge competition.

    Chef Hernandez established the City of San Antonio’s Culinary Task Force in 2015. Partnering with the City of San Antonio, Chef Hernandez and the task force members highlight current food and beverage endeavors to help establish San Antonio as a renowned culinary destination.  Johnny also serves on many corporate and non-profit boards including the Alumni Board and Entrepreneurial Advisory Board of the Culinary Institute of America, the St. Philip’s College Culinary Advisory Board, and the University of Houston Hospitality College.

    Chef Hernandez has acted as spokesperson and consultant to McCormick Spice Company, Aguacates of Mexico, the National Pork Board and The Culinary Institute of America. He was recognized by Hispanic Business magazine as one of the Top 50 Influential Hispanics, one of the Top 5 Hispanic Chefs in America by Siempre Mujer magazine and awarded the “San Pasqual Award of Culinary Excellence” by the New World Wine and Food Festival. In 2014, he was awarded the “Con Corazón” award from the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau for his continued work to spotlight San Antonio as a culinary leader and destination.

    In 2017, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated San Antonio a Creative City of Gastronomy, making the city part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The designation is the result of a collaborative community effort that included Johnny Hernandez, the City of San Antonio, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, local nonprofit organizations, Chef Elizabeth Johnson and the team at Edible San Antonio. Chef Johnny Hernandez was invited to cook at the prestigious James Beard House alongside San Antonio chefs Steve McHugh and Elizabeth Johnson in celebration of San Antonio’s tri-centennial anniversary. Their indigenous and historically inspired menu proves why UNESCO honored San Antonio as just the second U.S. city worthy to join the Creative Cities of Gastronomy network.

    Chef Hernandez is currently working on his first book where he will share the beautifully vivid cultural journey that has shaped the foods of his restaurants.