San Antonio, Texas – [June 5, 2024] Chef Johnny Hernandez is pleased to announce that La Villita, San Antonio’s historic center for art, culture, and community, is launching a new program schedule, with exciting events and activities filling the calendar every week throughout the coming year.

This highly anticipated initiative kicks off on Saturday, June 15, with the debut of “Market Days at La Villita: An Art, Culture, and Education program” managed by Chef Johnny’s non-profit foundation for local youth, Kitchen Campus.

Held each Saturday, year-round, Market Days is part of a community-wide collaboration to revitalize La Villita as a cultural arts and culinary center, just as former Mayor Maury Maverick envisioned back in the 1930s. Through the work and efforts of Lori Houston of San Antonio City Center Development, Bexar County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez, and other invaluable community partners, San Antonio is invested in bringing exciting new programing to La Villita.

Market Days at La Villita: A Celebration of Culture and Community. Every Saturday, Market Days at La Villita will transform Maverick Plaza into a vibrant open-air marketplace featuring local artisans, craftspeople, and food vendors. Visitors will enjoy unique arts and crafts, witness live cooking demonstrations from guest chefs and cooks, and watch guest artists at work on their craft. There’ll be free live music, and dance troupes will often perform. Artists from Oaxaca, Mexico, will kick off Market Days on June 15 by carving intricate alebrijes on-site. Jalisco and Nueva Leon guest artists will also visit this summer. Chef Johnny has traveled extensively through Mexico and has amassed a network of artisans from which he will draw to bring creative guests artists to La Villita.

A Year of Cultural Delights Awaits: Market Days are just the beginning of La Villita’s exciting new chapter. As the year unfolds, visitors can also look forward to a diverse calendar brimming with events, including Friday night markets and Sunday afternoon entertainment starting this fall, and big signature events including a new German-style Beer Festival, month-long Day of the Dead festivities, holiday events, and more.

Artist in Residence Program: With a dedicated commitment to the arts, La Villita is also proud to introduce its artist-in-residence program this summer, providing a platform for talented individuals to showcase their work.

A Culinary Cornerstone: To enrich La Villita’s culinary programing, Chef Johnny also draws from his far-reaching network of chefs and señoras (all being cooks/culinary preservationists) dedicated to honoring and sharing the cultural and food traditions of Mexico. Thanks to the generous investment of the City of San Antonio in the new outdoor kitchen at Maverick Plaza, these guest cooks will offer culinary demonstrations each weekend. Events at the outdoor kitchen will include collaborations with the Culinary Institute of America and St. Philips College, as well as area high school students of the Kitchen Campus foundation. All this is possible thanks to the City’s commitment to honor its designation as a World Heritage UNESCO Cultural City of Gastronomy.

Looking Ahead: La Villita will also introduce at least three new restaurants to the village in the near future, including a BBQ restaurant from a rock-star Texas pitmaster, an authentic Alsatian (German/French) restaurant, and “borderlands”-themed, Norteña-style Mexican restaurant from Chef Johnny Hernandez.

A Heartfelt Thank You to Community Partners: La Villita’s revitalization and new programming would not be possible without the invaluable support of our dedicated strategic and community partners including the City of San Antonio and Bexar County, Texas.