Texas Chef Of The Year

Morris Salerno might need to invest in a bigger trophy case. The longtime Executive Chef and owner of Bistecca steakhouse and Salerno’s restaurant was named Texas Chef of the Year on August 8 by the Texas Chefs Association.

Six previous winners cooked dinner for him and his friends and family at Denton Country Club.

At the end of the night, Salerno was awarded a giant trophy to commemorate his win.

I love being a Chef,” Chef Salerno said. “It is such an honor to have been chosen Chef of the Year and to be the keeper of the trophy until the next Chef of the Year is announced next year! There are so many GREAT chefs in our state; I am humbled to be among some of the very best!”

The Texas Chefs Association (TCA) is a chapter of the American Culinary Federation and is comprised of 14 dynamic chapters operating in cities and regions throughout Texas. The organization proudly recognizes its member chefs throughout the year, including Salerno’s latest honor. A Texas Chef of the Year has been named every year since 1968.

Last year’s winner, Dean Sprague, traveled from Corpus Christi to honor Salerno.


While this is a huge honor, being recognized for his culinary skills is nothing new to Chef Salerno. He began his culinary career in the 1970s at the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas and later joined the prestigious Lowes Anatole Hotel in Dallas when he was only 27. In 1989 and 1991, Morris earned “Dallas Chef of The Year” by the Texas Chef Association. He was also selected as one of the Top 10 Young Chefs of Dallas by The Dallas Times Herald. He has also won numerous awards with the World Master Chefs Society Team USA in competitions in France, England, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Sweden, and Thailand.

And yes, his food is off the charts.

Bistecca offers fine dining in the heart of Highland Village. That includes everything from savory pastas to fresh seafood, veal, lamb, and high-quality steaks. With its inviting atmosphere, the restaurant is regarded as one of the more romantic restaurants in Denton County. Bistecca is perfect for the local couple who want to get away and celebrate a special occasion.

Salerno’s moved down the street from Bistecca in 2019 and continues to offer many of the Salerno family classics, including Carolyn’s Manicotti, Bob & Sue’s Seafood Linguine, and Chuck’s Chicken Mogia, as well as some new innovative menu items created by Chef Morris.

Clearly, this is a mecca of great food by one amazing family, and now, loyal customers won’t have to travel far to get the best of both worlds — from the Texas Chef of the Year.

“I love cooking and making people happy,” Morris said. “If I’m remembered for anything, it should be that I made people happy and that I have a big heart.”

photo courtesy of Stacey Miller