THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY'S BRIGHTEST STARS TAKE CENTER STAGE AT THE 2022 TEXAS RESTAURANT AWARDS

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Nominees Announced by the Texas Restaurant Association Represent Some of Texas' Best Restaurateurs

AUSTIN, Texas , June 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) announced the nominees for its coveted Texas Restaurant Awards today, highlighting some of the state's most exciting leaders in hospitality. Winners will be revealed during the 2022 Texas Restaurant Awards ceremony, slated for Sunday, July 10, 2022. The anticipated celebration kicks off the Texas Restaurant Foundation's annual Lone Star Bash during the Texas Restaurant Show (formerly TRA Marketplace), which takes place July 9-11, 2022, at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, in Dallas, Texas.

The Texas Restaurant Association represents the state’s $66 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 48,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. TXRestaurant.org (PRNewsfoto/Texas Restaurant Association)
The Texas Restaurant Association represents the state’s $66 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 48,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. TXRestaurant.org (PRNewsfoto/Texas Restaurant Association)

"We are thrilled to recognize the 2022 Award nominees and celebrate their outstanding achievements," said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President & CEO of the TRA and TRF. "Nominees represent restaurants from across the state of Texas, and each have demonstrated inspiring levels of dedication and excellence in their work. All of us at the Texas Restaurant Association cannot wait to recognize these industry pioneers and leaders at the Texas Restaurant Awards in Dallas."

Major award categories include:

RISING STAR AWARD

This award recognizes the hard work that goes into opening a restaurant. This person or concept is an up-and-comer with ambitious goals and the grit to achieve them.

DEEP IN THE HEART AWARD

Texas is massive and filled with amazing talent. This award is designed to highlight those successful and creative restaurant owners and chefs with concepts not located in one of the big four metro areas (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, or Austin).

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR AWARD

Every year, restaurateurs around the state are honored for work in their communities, leadership success, and entrepreneurial spirit. The finalists for this award come from the pool of winners of the Outstanding Restaurateur Awards, chosen by the individual 23 chapters that comprise the Texas Restaurant Association.

HALL OF HONOR

A long-standing Texas Restaurant Association tradition, outstanding individuals are inducted to the Hall of Honor each year to recognize their significant contribution to the Texas restaurant industry and to the association. This honor is the highest that the Association can bestow. To qualify, nominees must have a minimum of 15 years of TRA membership and exemplify superior business ethics.

CHEF TIM KELLY AWARD FOR EDUCATOR EXCELLENCE

Texas ProStart instructors who demonstrate leadership and excellence in culinary education are eligible to contend for the annual Educator Excellence Award. Teachers must be advocates of the Texas ProStart program and dedicated to helping students achieve success. Awarded to educators who have made significant contributions in the classroom and beyond.

THE CARMELO MAURO AWARD - THE SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY

The Carmelo Mauro Award is annual recognition, given by the Texas Restaurant Foundation (TRF), for outstanding achievement by an individual philanthropist who has demonstrated the highest ethical standards, commitment, dedication, and talent towards the future of the restaurant and foodservice industry.

NOMINEES IN EACH CATEGORY ARE LISTED BELOW:

RISING STAR AWARD presented by SYSCO
Christian Dortch, Georgie by Curtis Stone, Dallas
Edgar Rico, Nixta Taqueria, Austin
Tiffany Derry, Roots Southern Table, Farmers Branch
Christina Ha & Tony J. Nguyen, Xin Chao, Houston

DEEP IN THE HEART AWARD presented by BEN E. KEITH
Bernard Gautier, Bernard Mediterranean Restaurant, Tyler
Sarah Heard & Nathan Lemley, Commerce Café, Lockhart
Orlando Quintanilla, Mesquite BBQ, Corpus Christi
Norma Frances "Tootsie" Tomanetz, Snow's BBQ, Lexington

COMMUNITY IMPACT AWARD presented by JP ENTERPRISES
Alex Au-Yeung, Phat Eatery
Reggie Martin, Lemond Kitchen
Ruth Thompson, Hugs Café

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR OF THE YEAR presented by CERBONI FINANCIAL

The Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year is selected from the list of local TRA Chapter Restaurateur of the Year winners. Each winner and subsequent nominee demonstrate leadership at both the local and state level of the Texas Restaurant Association; they are involved in their local community; personify the values of fair and equal treatment of their employees and are highly regarded by their industry peers.

Congratulations to the following 2022 TRA Chapter Restaurateur of the Year recipients:

Abilene Chapter — Lindsay Flores, Lytle Land & Cattle Company
Brazos Valley Chapter — Clayton Rhoades, Chicken Express
Coastal Bend Chapter — Sam Canavati, Brewsters Street Ice House
El Paso Chapter — Jim Diaz, Pelican's Steak & Seafood
Galveston Chapter — Dennis Byrd, Island Famous
Greater Austin Chapter — Alex Eagle, Freebirds World Burrito
Greater Dallas Chapter — Christopher Aslam, Rock Strategic Restaurant Group
Greater Houston Chapter — Alli Jarrett, Harold's Restaurant
Lubbock Chapter — Jerol Fanta, Orlando's Italian Restaurant
Montgomery County Chapter — Darin McKenzie, McKenzie's Barbecue & Burgers
North Texas Chapter — Bob Bratcher, Daddy Bob's Smokewagon
Panhandle Chapter — Dallas Hager, Joe Taco
Permian Basin Chapter — Michael Ramirez, 10 Sports Bar & Grill
Rio Grande Valley Chapter — Sony Rego, Santa Fe Steakhouse
Sabine Area Chapter — Frankie Randazzo, Madison's Group
San Angelo Chapter — Ronnie Cajas, Street Eats
San Antonio Chapter — Dave Saylor, Acadiana Café
Waco Chapter — Massimo Di Campli, Di Campli's Italian Ristorante

In addition to these nominees, inductees to the TRA Hall of Honor and recipient of the Chef Tim Kelly Educator Excellence Award have already been announced. These outstanding individuals are:

HALL OF HONOR INDUCTEES

Lisa Perini – Perini Ranch Steakhouse
Sammy Citrano – George's Restaurant

CHEF TIM KELLY EDUCATOR EXCELLENCE

"Chef TKO" Tyler Kent Osburn – Waller High School

Learn more about the Texas Restaurant Awards here.

ABOUT THE TEXAS RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION

Formed in 1937, the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) serves as the advocate and indispensable resource for the foodservice industry in Texas. As a leading business association, the TRA represents the state's $70 billion restaurant industry, which comprises approximately 50,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Foundation, the workforce development arm of the TRA, the association proudly continues to protect, advance, and educate a growing industry as the TRA enters its 85th anniversary year. For more information, please visit www.txrestaurant.org.

ABOUT THE TEXAS RESTAURANT FOUNDATION

Established in 1994 by the Texas Restaurant Association, the Texas Restaurant Foundation (TRF) is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization* focused on providing the necessary resources to help restaurateurs confront educational and labor challenges with the latest innovations in education, technology, and training as the workforce development arm of the TRA. The organization's flagship program is Texas ProStart, an industry-based, two-year high school culinary arts and restaurant management curriculum. Texas ProStart is currently in more than 185 Texas high schools, reaching more than 15,000 students annually. In 2020, the TRF established the TX Restaurant Relief Fund in response to the COVID-19 crisis to provide immediate financial support to independent restaurants, raising more than $3.5 million and distributing more than 800 grants.

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SOURCE Texas Restaurant Association