Palestine, Texas- The sound of jazz and the tastes of New Orleans return to the Main Street District on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. during A Taste of New Orleans.
A Taste of New Orleans is an annual celebration of Louisiana-style cuisine, hosted by downtown businesses in their historic buildings, which showcases the talents of local chefs and offers a taste of local and regional wineries.
Local chefs will offer free food demonstrations at numerous downtown locations on a set schedule. Starting at 11 a.m. and rolling until 4 p.m., there will be a culinary demonstration approximately every hour. The culinary demonstrations can be paired with a wine tasting from the participating wineries.
“Our creative chefs and ambitious restaurateurs have upped the ante in the East Texas food scene,” stated Breezy Lake-Wolfe, Marketing Manager for the City of Palestine. “We have something very unique in Palestine and that is our local flavor. As you read the chef’s biographies for this year’s Taste of New Orleans’s event, you can definitely see why Palestine is becoming a destination for the culinary tourist.”
Schedule of Food Demonstrations:
- 11 a.m. Christian Mailloux, Executive Chef and Owner Red Fire Grille Executive Chef Christian Mailloux, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, is Chef-Owner of Red Fire Grille. Chef Christian has had the opportunity to cook regional American cuisine from as far north as New England down into the heartland of Memphis, Tennessee and as far south as St. Thomas U.S.V.I. at prestigious country clubs and boutique restaurants. With the chef’s extensive knowledge of wine and food pairing, Red Fire Grille is committed to sourcing the region’s finest ingredients, preparing an evolving menu and offering the perfect wine complement. He was recently featured in the 2013 Best Chefs America book. Chef Christian will be demonstrating Andouille Stuffed Mirliton and a Traditional Hurricane Cocktail. Demo located inside Redlands Historic Inn, 400 N. Queen, entrance on West Oak.
- 12:15 p.m. Carmen Santone, Head Chef and Co-Owner Switch Brick Oven Pizzeria and Wine Bar Carmen Santone is a self-taught chef whose Italian roots hail from the southern Italian regions of Calabria and Abruzzi. Trained as a classical pianist, he became a touring musician for pop, rock and funk bands. Chef Carmen traveled extensively as a musician and as a software/hardware marketing director, and was inspired by eclectic restaurants both in and outside the States, encouraging him to switch his focus from music into the culinary arts. Switch Brick Oven Pizzeria and Wine Bar has allowed Carmen to bring authentic Italian dishes, such as, Neapolitan-style pizza and pasta dishes to Palestine. Carmen will be demonstrating Nola Shrimp. Demo located inside Lee Loveless Photography, 101 W. Oak.
- 1:15 p.m. Chef Simon Webster, Chef and Owner Sabor a Pasión Estate and Vineyard Simon Webster is the Executive Chef & Owner of Sabor a Pasión Estate & Vineyard, a multi-faceted venue four miles outside of Palestine that offers bed & breakfast accomodations, onsite dining at Restaurant Aubergine, wedding venue, special events and cooking classes. Born in England and raised in New Zealand, Chef Webster was classically trained at the New Zealand Culinary Institute through the City & Guilds of London and apprenticed with some of the finest chefs in the area. His experience in the kitchen spans 40 years and includes chef & developer for five star restaurants in New Zealand, chef and food & beverage manager for prestigious wine bars and pubs in London & Manchester, catering consultant for Nestle corporation, first class chef for BMI Airlines and owner of his own restaurant and catering company in Derbyshire, England and now the United States. He opened Sabor a Pasión in 2004, and single-handedly transformed it into a restaurant, bed & breakfast, event center, wedding venue, catering headquarters and vineyard. Well-respected throughout the area, Chef Webster has made a name for himself through his attention to personal service and detail to food andflavor — proving dreams, passion and hard work are the foundation for visionary success. Chef Simon will be demonstrating Dirty Mudbugs. Demo located at Granny Muffin Wines & Texas Art Depot, 301 W. Oak.
- 2:15 p.m. Michele Merryman, Culinary Instructor Michele is a city-girl with a Southern heart that has a need to entertain. Michele grew up in Houston, Texas and graduated from the Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University. Upon graduation, she headed for Atlanta, GA where she spent many years in the private club industry, and worked for several Fortune 500 companies. Her desire to be around family, led her back to the Lone Star State, and Palestine, where her father is a native son. Since her arrival in Palestine, Michele has been a guest on FRESH Ideas CBS 19, hosted multiple cooking demonstrations at FRESH in Tyler, featured recipes in Tyler Morning Telegraph Food Section, is the cooking instructor for O’Sweet Pea’s Kitchen Boutique, a Hospitality instructor at Palestine High School, a private caterer and, of course, home entertainer. Michele will be demonstrating Shrimp Enchiladas. Demo located inside Lee Loveless Photography, 101 W. Oak
- 3:15 p.m. Chef Jackson York, Executive Chef at Lakeview Methodist Conference Chef Jackson’s passion for cooking started as child growing up in his traditional Italian family and it has continues to be the driving force in his life. From his start in a prestigious Atlanta, GA hotel kitchen, where he was mentored by the head chef, through his time with MAGIC PAN as a trainer, to CLUB CORP where he refined his palate with Chef Leroi Blanchard CEC, AAC, Chef Jackson has pursued his passion for fine food. He credits the American Culinary Federation (ACF) as the best place he gained knowledge on numerous topics and levels, as he was never formally trained. More recently, his culinary journey has led him to the East Texas region and The Edom Bakery & Grill, where Chef Jackson developed the concept of “Country Gourmet.” While in Edom he created an eight-week cooking course that concluded with a formal graduation and diplomas. He then began his tenure at Lakeview Methodist Conference Center just south of Palestine. Chef Jackson has held many leadership positions with the local ACF & Texas Chefs Association (TCA) and is committed to the community and giving back. He was involved in helping local region schools with the program PROSTART. The local chapters cover more than three counties and more than 12 schools in the East Texas area. The ACF & TCA allow him to network with fellow chefs and to pass along knowledge garnered over the years to young future culinarians. Chef Jackson will conclude the event by demonstrating Strawberry Romanoff. Demo located inside Lee Loveless Photography, 101 W. Oak.
Wine tastings will be provided by Granny Muffin Wines, Maydelle Country Wines, Red Road Winery and Texas Vineyard and Smokehaus.
Directly following the A Taste of New Orleans event will be the 5th Annual Palestine Mardi Gras Parade at 5 p.m.
For more information visit www.VisitPalestine.com, www.facebook.com/palestinemainstreet or call the Visitor Center at (903) 723-3014.