IMG_6255By Michele Stevens Bernard, Publisher

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy writing about all the people who make McKinney, Texas such a delicious place to live? I do! Today is no exception. Today, I get to shine a light on my all time favorite McKinney Foodie, my husband, David Bernard.

But first, may I share some super exciting news?Beginning Saturday, April 2, David and I will be found at McKinney Farmers Market between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 p.m., selling his delicious roasted salsa. We can’t wait to meet you!

Our Story

We are McKinney Natives, David and Michele Bernard. Growing up in McKinney, David was literally the Boy Next Door. But, that is another story. This is the story of David, and how he became a salsa guy, not to mention a really awesome cook.

David began his career in the power industry right out of McKinney High School. He worked full-time for Garland Power and Light. He attended college at night and on weekends. He began making salsa for himself to enjoy while watching football. He also made it at break-time to snack on at work. Before long, David’s co-workers started pitching in for ingredients. They wanted to share the bounty. Then, his supervisor began dismissing him early for break. He wanted to make sure the salsa would be ready in time for all to enjoy. So are the origins of what became known as Bernard’s Game Day Salsa.

Between work and school, David soon discovered that the art of cooking provided the perfect DatCmcreative, relaxing counterpoint to an otherwise hectic lifestyle. Over the years, through study and practice, he developed his culinary skills, adding Texas barbecue and several roasted gourmet varieties to his salsa roster.

“I would say my specialties are barbecue, fajitas and street tacos,” says David, “but, at the same time, I love to prepare gourmet fare and more refined dishes. As far as salsa goes, I love to make salsa, then use it as an ingredient to flavor and enhance my other dishes. I think that is why I developed so many different varieties.”

IMG_6491Of the many varieties of salsa David makes, a few instantly became fan favorites at home and beyond. In 2008, his Roasted Chipotle placed in the Top Ten, earning an Honorable Mention at the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival. In 2010, David’s Roasted Mango-Pineapple Habanero took 3rd place for Special Variety.

“I’ve only entered twice in Austin, and earned a mention both times,” says David, “That is humbling. I am grateful and glad people are enjoying it.”

When working on his Executive MBA at the University of Texas Dallas, David had the opportunity to showcase his salsa in his Entrepreneurial Ventures class. Here too, he experienced a positive response.

“A classmate did a blind taste test with my salsa next to two leading nationally retailed gourmet salsa brands. Mine was the unanimous winner among the 100 participants.”

Encouraged by these results, this experience lead David to seriously consider launching a line of specialty foods products. In 2012, David formed Game Day Foods, LLC, and in 2013, he retired from GP&L in order to devote more time to developing his line of products.

On April 2, 2016, at McKinney’s Farmers Market, Bernard’s Game Day Foods will officially launch.

“We’ve decided to start off with our two Fan Favorites,” says David, “Roasted Chipotle, and IMG_6506Roasted Tomatillo and Poblano. Hands down, these are requested the most.”

There is so much more to our story, McKinney Foodie Friends, and I can’t wait to share it with you. But for today, I will leave it here. There are delicious jars of salsa to adhere labels to, and a to-do list to attend. Not to mention, Saturday morning dawns early for McKinney Farmers Market Vendors.

In the meantime, thank-you for allowing me to share a bit about my favorite McKinney Foodie. If you want to follow our adventure, stay tuned here, and be sure to like David’s new Bernard’s Game Day Foods Facebook page too. And, by all means, please come say hello to us at Chestnut Square. We can’t wait to meet you!