Bangers & Mash

A plate of Bangers & Mash

Irish Cooking

There are many references to food and drink in early Irish literature. Honey seems to have been widely eaten and used in the making of mead. The old stories also contain many references to banquets, although these may well be greatly exaggerated and provide little insight into everyday diets.

Potatoes form the basis for many traditional Irish dishes. The potato was introduced into Ireland in the second half of the 16th century, initially as a garden crop. It eventually came to be the main food crop of the poor. As a food source, the potato is extremely valuable in terms of the amount of energy produced per unit area of crop. The potato is also a good source of many vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin C when fresh.

Fresh meat was generally considered a luxury except for the most affluent until the late 19th century and chickens were not raised on a large scale until the emergence of town grocers in the 1880s allowed people to exchange surplus goods, like eggs, and for the first time purchase a variety of food items to diversify their diet.

The last quarter of the 20th century saw the emergence of a new Irish cuisine based on traditional ingredients handled in new ways. This cuisine is based on fresh vegetables, fish (especially salmon and trout), oysters, mussels and other shellfish, traditional soda bread, the wide range of cheeses that are now being made across the country, and, of course, the potato. Traditional dishes, such as Irish stew, coddle, the Irish breakfast, and potato bread have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. Schools like the Ballymaloe Cookery School have emerged to cater for the associated increased interest in cooking.

Our Chefs

Alex Lines - Irishman Pub

Scott Jones - Food Hugs KitchenScott Jones

Executive chef, restaurant visionary and entertainment expert Scott Jones is a Texas culinary legend with a reputation for doing the best gourmet home-cookin’ outside of your mama’s and mee-maw’s houses. Drawing from his roots, Jones is known for such innovative restaurant concepts as Screen Door, Café Italia, gourmet a go-go, Cowtown Diner and Jack’s Southern Comfort Food, as well as his new catering endeavor, Jack's Catering & Concept kitchen. Made-from-scratch home cooking with an artisan approach defines Jones' culinary style, which features fresh, local products, a focus on sustainable health, and a seasonal approach to eating that keeps fresh flavor and variety as centerpieces of the menu.

Jones is proud of his red hair as a signature of his Irish roots that go back generations. He is a native of Louisiana who was raised in Fort Worth, so he defines his culinary skills as “Texas twang with a Louisiana drawl, dancing a bit of an Irish jig,” learned at his mother’s hip when he was growing up. His culinary vision has found a recipe for success in creating concepts that earn accolades from critics and real people alike. Jones has come a long way from his days as a singing waiter (where he learned the restaurant business first-hand) and from being a back-up singer to Lee Greenwood and Barbara Mandrell (where he perfected his art of showmanship). He is a regular on local TV stations and has appeared nationally on The Food Network, The Travel Channel and CNN. Combining entertaining with high-end eating, Jones is a sought-after chef, restaurant visionary and lifestyle expert whose events have the sweet taste of Southern goodness, any way you slice it.

Bob Stephenson - FnG EatsBob Stephenson

Nicknamed by longtime Dallas restaurant promoter and Savor Dallas founder Jim White as a "true Renaissance Man," Texas-born Bob Stephenson is a man of many interests and experiences. "Whoopeecat," as he is sometimes called, is an accomplished performance poet (who has entertained around the U.S. and Canada), zen motorcyclist, supporter of several local nonprofit organizations, and now the coowner/ chef of FnG Eats.

Refining his skills for more than 35 years in the restaurant business, Stephenson has worked for some of the best restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. His humble beginnings started at age 13 as a short-order cook in his parents' coffee shop-bowling alley in Irving.

He was one of the first corporate kitchen trainers for Chili's, opening restaurants all across the U.S. in the mid-1980s; worked for Houston's Restaurants in Dallas, Kansas City and Atlanta; and Patrizio Italian restaurant in Dallas' Highland Park Village (for Jack Knox in the mid-1990s), before going to Las Colinas for a 15‐year tenure at Cool River.

Stephenson developed FnG Eats in his hometown of Keller, with his wife, Julie, and Carlos Arevalo, longtime chef partner from Cool River. FnG Eats is an American grill specializing in comfort cuisine, opening in August 2012.

Rob Richards - Two SkilletsRob Richards

With more than 28 years in the culinary profession, Chef Rob Richards has cooked his way through the North East, the Carolinas, and the great state of Texas- in both restaurants and hotels.

He is A native of Jackson, Mississippi. his family moved to Texas at a very influential age. Rob started his career working as dishwasher and prep cook before moving to the front of the house. During that time, Rob longed for the back of the house. His love affair with how to cook and make food for people was his driving force behind pursuing culinary arts school. So, he packed his bags and moved to Vermont where he did his studies at New England Culinary Institute.

Traveling and working in kitchens around the North and south in his tours, Chef Rob’s creations have been served to two presidents and Government officials as well as countless number of celebrities.

Chef Rob Wanted to give back to the industry he had grown so fond of. What better way than to start teaching at the High School level! Chef Rob Richards has developed young students in the art of cooking- From teaching them how to hold a knife to making a dish without using a recipe and knowing the steps of the process. They have Learned the flavors and what happens while cooking new dishes. He has Given the students a step by step version of how to cook like a true professional.

Chef Rob is branching out to help the home cook. That’s why he has started Two Skillets. he has developed a hands on approach that will work for the home cook and save time, because now we just don’t have it. Not only will he show you how to cook, but help you during the week when time is a factor. In about 20 minutes you will have a great meal on the table. Let’s face it!

Time is always a factor! We do the cuts; you do the cooking!

Sharon VanMeter - 3015 at Trinity GroveSharon Van Meter

A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France, Chef Sharon Van Meter brings more than thirty- five years of award-winning and acclaimed culinary experience to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Chef Van Meter has served the culinary world as Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, International, Professor of American Cuisine at Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu and Executive Chef in the renowned kitchens of Neiman Marcus, Dallas, Texas. Currently, Sharon is President of SVM Production, LLC, a leader in television, radio and culinary productions world.

Chef Van Meter has been inducted in the honorable culinary societies of the American Culinary Federation, World Master Chefs Society, Les Dames d’Escoffier International, and Euro-Toques International.

She has served as President of the Dallas Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and 1st Vice President, Les Dames d’Escoffier International. In 2009, Chef Van Meter became the first female Director of the American Culinary Federation-Texas Chefs Association. Sharon is a member of the National Restaurant Association and has been on the Board of Directors of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association since 2010. Currently, Chef Van Meter serves the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association as 3rd Vice President.

Her numerous volunteer and humanitarian efforts range from the fight against hunger by involvement with Share Our Strength’s “Taste of the Nation” event to the National AIDS Foundation “Touring Chefs” program to Habitat for Humanity’s “House Party.” In 2008, she received the National Restaurant Association’s “Cornerstone Humanitarian Award.”

Joey Allette - Team Building With TasteJoey Allette

Born in New York, Chef Joey Allette is the son of an energetic Choctaw-Scottish father and a vibrant Cajun-Irish mother. While growing up he enjoyed a wide array of rich foods with bold flavors! Although Chef Allette was born on the East coast, he spent his formative years growing up in Alaska, California, Idaho, Louisiana and Texas. There is no doubt the exposure to a variety of new places, people and foods have helped Chef Allette shape his rich and robust culinary pallet.

In addition, Chef Allette is blessed with a vibrant outgoing personality, and has a keen ability to connect with people through all walks of life. Before Chef Allette was professionally trained in the culinary arts, he served in the United States Air Force. While serving, Chef Allette severely fractured his leg which required bed-rest for three solid months. During his convalescence he started endlessly watching cooking shows and felt a stirring, a calling if you will, and misfortune turned to fortune.

Chef Allette believes we all have a creative side and a calling in life, and it just so happens that sharing the love of cooking is his true talent and his life’s calling. When Chef Allette is not volunteering at fundraisers, catering events, instructing aspiring young chefs, or appearing on TV, you’ll find him around town creating culinary delights at various venues. Most recently Chef Allette joined Team Building with Taste in North Dallas, Texas. It features state-of-the-art commercial kitchens and event spaces where groups of 10 – 100 people come together for team building centered around cooking. Chef Allette also serves as a Consultant Chef to Dallas-Fort Worth area restaurants like Oil & Vinegar in Allen, Texas.

Nellda Gallagher - El Centro CollegeNellda Gallagher

Nellda is an ACF Certified Executive Chef. She is a graduate of the El Centro Food and Hospitality Institute with an A.A.S in Culinary Arts and also completed the ACF apprenticeship program. Currently she is working as a Chef Instructor for El Centro College pioneering a Culinary Arts Certificate program at FMC Carswell Women’s Prison in Fort Worth.

Nellda is a fourth generation Texan with roots in the Texas Hill Country. Born, raised, schooled and churched in Oak Cliff, she moved to Fort Worth as soon as she could.







Ernst Gruch - Texas Chef Food ServiceErnst Gruch

In the business of cooking since 1958.

Apprentice ship in Nuernberg Germany at the Hotel am Sterntor.

I worked in many places in Dallas and Irving. Sheraton Dallas Hotel, London House ommonwealth Club at North Park, Las Colinas Country Club.

Retired in 2007 after spending 29 years as Executive Chef at a leading Country Club in Dallas.

Presently teaching at the Art Institute of Dallas and Chef Owner of Texas Chef Food Service, undertaking catering and events throughout north Texas.




Steven Pilat - Arts Institute of DallasSteven Pilat

Chef Pilat was the Director of the Texas Chef's Association Dallas chapter 2004-2006. A member of the American Culinary Federation, Epicurean World Master Chef Society and the American Institute of Wine and Food. He has earned numerous gold, silver and bronze medals in several local, regional and national cooking competitions. While teaching at The Art Institute of Dallas for the past 10 years has allowed Chef Pilat to do what he loves, sharing his knowledge and passion for the culinary craft. Using his experience, and love for the art with the Junior membership of the Dallas Chapter of the TCA and coaches the Junior hot food team and knowledge bowl team in state and regional competitions. As well as coaching the regional winners of the Best Teen Chef scholarship competition sponsored by Art Institutes International.

As an instructor with the Art Institute, he involves the students in real world scenarios of catering and charity events by getting them involved in many events during the years that raise thousands of dollars for worthy causes and charitable organizations, while introducing the students to the Chef “world” and increasing networking opportunities in both on and off premise events.

Teaching the American Regional classes has opened up endless possibilities to utilize and increase awareness of local foods that are right here in our backyard as well the state. Dallas has been an up and coming food center and is slowly being recognized for its cuisine and the Chef’s who are behind the success. With Stephan Pyles, Dean Fearing as well as Paula Lambert, owner of the Mozzarella Company, located in Dallas we have resources beyond compare. Paulas cheeses are famous all over the country and never fail to impress. The increase of smaller, local farmers markets has put the emphasis for me to stress to the students of what is available while helping the local grower and the economy. Wines, cheeses, artisan breads, and the bounty of vegetables, all coming from the Dallas area has changed my cooking to incorporate more and more of these into the recipes and plates.

I have a unique style of utilizing what is available on hand and creating menus based on inventory as opposed to creating a menu and then ordering food. Market baskets, and mystery baskets are a fun and exciting challenge for me. I feel my knowledge of the cuisine and regions of the United States will greatly increase my chances for this project.

Gina Gandy - Culinary School of Fort Worth