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Houston, TX /
Josephine's Gulf Coast Tradition

Lucas McKinney, 30, is the Executive Chef at Josephine’s Gulf Coast Tradition in Midtown Houston. Originally from Ocean Springs, Miss., he opened Josephine’s in the summer of 2023 after a stint at Jimmy Kimmel’s South Fork Lodge in Idaho.

A rising culinary star, Lucas moved to Houston in 2018 to work under James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd with Underbelly Hospitality. His culinary career began in Oxford, Miss., while he was a student at Ole Miss, where he worked with acclaimed chef Kelly English at The Second Line. He further honed his craft in Oxford under James Beard Award winner John Currence at City Grocery, James Beard winner Vishwesh Bhatt at Snackbar and chef Nick Reppond at Grit Restaurant in Taylor, Miss. He also worked as a prep cook with chef Drake Leonard at Eunice in Houston while at Underbelly Hospitality.

A proud steward of Gulf Coast ingredients, Lucas is a Gulf Coast enthusiast with a love for boating and fishing, embodying the spirit of his upbringing. He also is an ardent supporter of agriculture and aquaculture, working with local purveyors, farmers and conservationists. In his downtime, he indulges in fly fishing and camping, and enjoys the company of his dog Clyde.