Johnny Hernandez

Founder, President

True Flavors Inc.

Chef Johnny Hernandez is the founder and President of True Flavors Inc. and Grupo La Gloria.

True Flavors is one of San Antonio’s largest catering and event services companies which cater to the San Antonio Convention Center among other notable clients. It operates Casa Hernan, a private event space architecturally reminiscent of a Mexican Hacienda, showcasing unique dining experiences that celebrate Mexico’s diverse culture.

Grupo La Gloria is Chef Hernandez’s restaurant portfolio with locations in San Antonio, Houston, Las Vegas and the United Kingdom. He and his restaurants have been featured in acclaimed publications such as Texas Monthly, Bon Appetit, Poder, Saveur, Travel & Leisure, Martha Stewart Magazine, Garden and Gun, NBC Latino, Tasting Table and Southern Living. Johnny also served as a Guest Judge on Season 9 of Bravo’s Top Chef and has appeared on Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food and Simply Ming, as well as Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Below is a brief description of his restaurant concepts:

  • La Gloria was created to celebrate the rich and delicious street foods from interior Mexico. From tacos al pastor in Mexico City, tlayudas in Oaxaca, to coctéles de mariscos from Veracruz, Mexico's street foods are as unique and colorful as its traditions, people and culture.
  • The Fruteria y Botanero by Chef Johnny Hernandez offers fresh fruit, smoothies, tortas and tostadas by day, then transforms into a contemporary Botanero by night.
  • El Machito specializes in mesquite grilled meats prepared in the style of the carne asadas of northern Mexico and the campestre style of Guadalajara. Specialties include Cecina Asada, a specialty of Yecapixtla, hand- made Mexican sausages and the chef’s signature dish-- locally sourced Cabrito Al Pastor.
  • MEXIco currently has two locations in the United Kingdom. Real, honest, Mexican food, inspired by recipes handed down through generations. MEXIco serves authentic home-cooking from Mexico, drawing from each of the diverse regions, with some exciting new dishes and flavours thrown in for good measure.

In addition to his acclaimed eateries, 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 has been recognized by Hispanic Business magazine as one of the Top 50 Influential Hispanics of 2012, 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.

Chef Hernandez’s newest development is Pakal, a Direct Trade Import Organization that employs responsible and fair business practices to source the highest quality Latin American cacao. Pakal seeks to rehabilitate and restore the Cacao market in the Central American region. Pakal Direct Trade is dedicated to working hand-in-hand with our Partner Growers and the Culinary Industry to highlight the elegance, flavor, and beauty of Cacao.

Chef Hernandez is a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York and has a long career of serving on many corporate and non-profit boards including the Latin Foods Advisory Board of the Culinary Institute of America, the New World Wine and Food Festival, the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the St. Philips Culinary Advisory Board and appointed by Mayor Julian Castro to serve as a commissioner for the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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