Western Days update: chef bios, demos, concerts

Visitors at Lewisville’s Western Days festival this weekend will have a chance to watch eight professional chefs at work in a series of cooking demonstrations featuring members of World Master Chefs Society – Team USA. Free demonstrations at the new Culinary Corner, sponsored by Castle Hills/Bright Realty and Southwest Displays & Events, will be Saturday, Sept. 24, at noon, 2, 4 and 6 p.m.

The festival started in 1964 and continues as a celebration of the city’s rich heritage and culture.

Western Days is held annually in Old Town Lewisville on the fourth weekend of September and is organized by the City of Lewisville and Lewisville Convention and Visitors Bureau. The festival started in 1964 and continues as a celebration of the city’s rich heritage and culture. Pat Green and Josh Abbott, two of the brightest young stars in Texas country music, will headline the two-day festival in 2011.

The festival is free, but a ticket is required. Free tickets are available at the festival website, lewisvillewesterndays.com, and through entertainment sponsor 99.5 The Wolf. Festival schedule is 7-11:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, and 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

Saturday’s cooking demonstrations have been coordinated by Morris Salerno, owner and executive chef of the Grotto in Highland Village and Salerno Restaurant in Flower Mound. He is the USA president for the World Master Chefs Society.  Salerno has been a competing member of the World Master Chef Society – Team USA since 1992. He was named Dallas Chef of the Year by the Texas Chefs Association in 1989 and 1991, and won a gold medal with Team Grotto at the 2005 Iron Chef of the Southwest competition sponsored by the Texas Restaurant Association.

The full schedule of chefs, and expected menus, includes:

Noon    Morris Salerno and Salvatorre Gisellu

Wilted spinach salad with crispy proscuitto and sweet onions with blackened strip sirloin and gorgonzola cheese

2 p.m.   Pat Mitchell and Michael Scott

Sautéed Texas Gulf shrimp with Jalapeno mango glaze on Jicama slaw

4 p.m.   Andre Bedouret and Bill Phelan

French Beignets with crème anglaise

6 p.m.   Joe Chiles and Seane Daniels

Crepes suzette

Music remains a highlight of the Western Days festival, this year including live performances on three stages.

Pat Green will be the featured performer on Saturday night to close the festival

Pat Green will be the featured performer on Saturday night to close the festival, taking the stage at 10 p.m. He will be preceded by Hudson Moore at 8:15 p.m. Both shows will be on the Bud Light Main Stage. Green is a native Texan heavily in demand at clubs and festivals throughout Texas and beyond. Music has been part of his life since he was growing up in a blended family with nine children in Waco, and his love for music shines in his most recent album, What I’m For.

Josh Abbott Band will be the featured act on Friday night, the opening night of the two-day event, starting at 10 p.m. No Justice will open at 8:15 p.m. Both shows will be on the Bud Light Main Stage. Abbott’s playing career developed during his college days at Texas Tech when he and three other members of Phi Delta Theta fraternity began performing at the famed Blue Light Live in Lubbock. The group’s most recent album, She’s Like Texas, has broken into the Top 10 Texas Music Chart and is earning national airtime.

Enjoy two days of great family fun including arts and crafts vendors, gunfight re-enactments, trick ropers and more.

In addition to the best of Texas country music and local performers on three live stages, Lewisville’s Western Days festival offers two days of great family fun including arts and crafts vendors, gunfight re-enactments, trick ropers, Memory Lane Car Show presented by Lewisville Morning Rotary Clib, the 7th annual World Tamale Eating Championship sponsored by Angelina’s Restaurant, Tailwaggers Ranch pet zone, First Choice Power Food Court, and a Stickhorse Rodeo for kids.

Also new to the 2011 festival will be activities sponsored by Gilley’s inside the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater, the city’s new 40,000-square-foot arts center in Old Town. Offerings include an air-conditioned Cowboy Café, free line dancing lessons, a Western film festival featuring three of the finest Western movies in American cinema, live music in the Performance Hall, and “The Art of the American West,” a retrospective of the works of noted artist Hollis R. Williford.

Sponsors for Western Days 2011 include City of Lewisville, Lewisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, First Choice Power, Gilley’s, Time Warner Cable, Castle Hills/Bright Realty, Angelina’s Restaurant, TIAA-CREF, The Apparel Group, Chase, MedFusion, Horizon Health, Orthofix, Vinson Process Controls, Southwest Displays & Events, Vista Ridge Village Shopping Center, Bud Light and 99.5 The Wolf. Community supporters include Old Town Business Association, Old Town Preservation Society, Lewisville Morning Rotary Club, Greater Lewisville Kiwanis Club and Lewisville High School.


World Master Chef Society – Team USA

The Society

The Epicurean World Master Chefs Society was founded in 1947, by the past world president Jean Conil. The Society reaches senior chefs worldwide with chapters across the globe including USA, Canada, Japan and many in Europe.

At the Epicurean World Master Chef Society our main objectives are the promotion of the art and science of fine cuisine, creativity and production, education through demonstrations, product endorsements, promoting the interests and recognition of Master Chefs and others within the culinary profession. The Society actively supports the high standards of culinary excellence in every field of food production.

World Culinary Competitions

The Epicurean World Master Chef Society – USA Chapter has competed in numerous culinary competitions throughout the world, along with serving at many charity related functions.  Representing not only the chapter but the United States, Team USA has performed with professionalism and achieved high level results.  Epicurean World Master Chef Society – USA Chapter won the prestigious Epicurean World Master Chef Society Golden Platter competitions in London, Dallas and Limerick, Ireland. 

The USA Team has competed twice in the London-based bi-annual International Hotelympia La Parade des Chefs, bringing home a gold and silver medals.  Epicurean World Master Chef Society – Team USA earned a gold medal at The International Expo in Bangkok, Thailand.  The team has also won gold medals at the International Culinary Sculpture Competitions in Limoges, France, Limerick, Ireland and Dallas, Texas. 

Over the years, Epicurean World Master Chef Society – USA Chapter has won over 100 culinary competition-related individual medals worldwide. The USA Society has also displayed their culinary proficiency by cooking for events in Budapest, Hungary, Mendoza, Argentina and Niagara Falls, Canada.

Chef Biographies

Andre Bedouret

Born in the Pyrenees region of Southwestern France, Andre went to work as an apprentice at age 13 due to family hardships. He served his apprenticeship in Lescar at the Auberge du Panache Blanc and moved to a three-star restaurant, La Caravelle, for two years before serving a military commitment in West Germany. He then moved to Paris to work at the famous Restaurant Laurent to receive his classical culinary training. Andre sharpened his skills in Spain, Switzerland and The Caribbean. The U.S. has been home for 34 years, working in various major hotels. Andre is presently the Chef Instructor at Milestone Culinary Center in Dallas, Texas. His passion is developing young talent in the culinary field. He is an active member of the World Master Chef Society, and has been a culinary advisor and judge for their competitive teams in England, Sweden, Thailand, Hungary, Argentina, and more.

 Sean Daniels

After serving in the U.S. Navy and obtaining his culinary degree, Sean completed his apprenticeship at The Fairmont Hotel, in Dallas. He held the position of sous chef for The Fairmont Hotel, covering the up-scale Brasserie and Pyramid Room restaurants. Sean moved on to the Adams Mark Hotel in Dallas, cooking for the upscale 2,200 room convention hotel. He then became the Executive Chef at The Denton Country Club in Denton, Texas. During that time he traveled and supported The World Master Chef Society Team USA competitions in Sweden and England. He has participated in the ACF Adopt-A-Ship Program. Sean currently is the Corporate Chef for Advance Sales & Marketing and competes in area ACF sanctioned culinary competitions.

Salvatore Gisellu

Salvatore was born in Sardinia, Italy. He graduated at the top of his class from the prestigious Ente Sardo Formasione Professionale in Sardinia, Italy in 1987, then moved to Dallas, Texas, as Executive Chef at Arcodoro & Pomodoro Ristoranti. It was here that he introduced authentic Sardinian dishes never before available to the Southwestern American palate. This partnership brought many years of success and recognition for culinary excellence, allowing him to work as an Executive Chef and Consultant at several popular Italian restaurants in Dallas. In 2002, Salvatore purchased Daddy Jack’s Wood Grill in Dallas, and in 2009 he co-opened and is the Chef Proprietor of Urban Crust in Plano, Texas. Salvatore has been a member of the World Master Chef Society Team USA since 1998, competing in Canada, England, Ireland, Sweden, Thailand, Hungary and Argentina.

Patrick Mitchell

Patrick is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and has worked with The Marriott Corporation for over 20 years. He is currently Corporate Executive Chef for Ben E. Keith Foods in Fort Worth, Texas. He won the American Culinary Federation’s Chef Professionalism Award in 2004 and was inducted into the American Culinary Federation Academy of Chefs in 2005. Patrick has competed in culinary events for more than 20 years. He has won awards in virtually every aspect of competition, including salons, hot food competitions and mystery baskets. Patrick has competed in Canada, France, Germany, England, Ireland, Sweden, Thailand, Hungary, Argentina and the U.S.  He is also an American Culinary Federation Certified Culinary Judge.

Bill Phelan

Born in Troy, New York, Bill graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 1986. He cooked at various hotels and country clubs in the Houston area during the 1980s. His first job as Executive Chef was at The Seebach Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in 1989. Bill moved back to Texas as Executive Chef for The Doubletree Park West in 1990 and stayed there for eight years. He became a Certified Executive Chef in 1995, and joined the EWMCS in 1997. He participated in two banqueting competitions in 1997 and 1998. In 1998 Bill was a member of the Epicurean World Master Chef Society Team USA, Gold Medal award winning team in the Golden Platter Competition held in  Dallas. Bill worked as Executive Chef at the Doubletree Lincoln Centre from 1998 until 2003. He was Chef of the Year in 2006 for the TCA Fort Worth Chapter. He is currently Executive Chef at Ashton Gardens.

Morris Salerno

Morris began his culinary career in the 1970s at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, Texas. At the age of 27, he joined the prestigious Loews Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Probably best known for his local restaurants, Morris has operated three fine dining establishments in Texas – Salerno Restaurant in Flower Mound (1985 – present), Gibbs Station in Coppell (1989 – 1999) and the Grotto in Highland Village (1994 – present). Morris has been a competing member of The World Master Chef Society Team USA since 1992. His achievements include being named Dallas Chef of the Year by the Texas Chefs Association in 1989 and 1991, winning a gold medal with Team Grotto at the 2005 Iron Chef of the Southwest competition sponsored by the Texas Restaurant Association, and winning numerous awards with the World Master Chefs Society Team USA in competitions in France, England, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Thailand, Hungary and Argentina.

Michael Scott

Michael was raised in the Sausalito, California area. After working in local Asian restaurants, he trained under Master Chef Shoji Yano in Shinjiku, Tokyo. He returned to the U.S. to work as Sous Chef at the Casa Modrona Hotel in northern California, then as a Executive Chef at Fountain Grove Country Club, and Food and Beverage Manager at Marin Country Club. In 1997, Michael moved to Texas as Executive Chef at Lakewood Country Club in Dallas. In 2004, he joined Yama Beef Company as Corporate Chef. While there, he assisted in the opening of Beverly’s, an Athens, Texas, restaurant operated by Yama’s owner. In 2005, Michael was named Executive Chef at Northwood Country Club in Dallas.  He is a past Dallas Sub-Chapter Director for the Texas Chefs Association. As a member of the World Master Chef Society Team USA, Michael has competed in Canada, England, Sweden, Ireland, Thailand, Hungary and Argentina.

Learn about the tamale-eating world championships happening at Western Days here.

For the latest information on Western Days 2011, visit lewisvillewesterndays.com or call 972-219-3401.

Submitted by James Kunke, City of Lewisville.

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