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Honors Served Up at the 2022 Texas Restaurant Awards


Winners Announced by the Texas Restaurant Association Representing Some of Texas’ Best Restaurateurs

AUSTIN, TX (July 10, 2022) – The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) announced the winners for its coveted Texas Restaurant Awards today, highlighting some of the state’s most exciting leaders in hospitality. The 2022 Texas Restaurant Awards ceremony, was held as part of the anticipated celebration that kicked off the Texas Restaurant Foundation’s annual Lone Star Bash during the Texas Restaurant Show, taking place July 9-11, 2022, at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, in Dallas, Texas. 

“We are thrilled to celebrate the 2022 Award Winners and celebrate the best of the best and their outstanding achievements,” said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President & CEO of the TRA and TRF. “Winners represent restaurants from across the entire state of Texas, and each have demonstrated inspiring levels of dedication and excellence in their work.”

Major award categories include (also see honoree bios below):



RISING STAR AWARD presented by SYSCO
CHRISTIAN DORTCH, GEORGIE’S BY CURTIS STONE (DALLAS, TX)

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 presented by BEN E. KEITH
NORMA FRANCES ‘TOOTSIE’ TOMANETZ, SNOW’S BBQ (LEXINGTON, TX)

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 - presented by CERBONI FINANCIAL
ALLI JARRETT, HAROLD’S RESTAURANT (HOUSTON, TX)

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
LISA PERINI, PERINI RANCH STEAKHOUSE (BUFFALO GAP, TX)
SAMMY CITRANO, GEORGE’S RESTAURANT (WACO, TX)

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
CHEF TYLER KENT OSBURN ‘CHEF TKO’, Waller High School (WALLER, TX)

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
PATRICK COSTELLO, St. Philip’s College (SAN ANTONIO, TX)

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.

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
 
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HONOREE BIOS

RISING STAR AWARD presented by SYSCO
CHRISTIAN DORTCH, GEORGIE’S BY CURTIS STONE (DALLAS, TX)

When Christian Dortch’s family moved from California to Hawaii in 2009, the high school transfer left him with enough credits to graduate. So Dortch decided to pack his schedule with electives: baseball and culinary arts. He didn’t care for cooking at first—he’d ditch class to go surfing and practice baseball, determined to become a college athlete. But Dortch’s culinary instructors saw his talent. One day, they surprised Dortch with a set of knives, a local chef to help train him, and a plane ticket to Southern California for the Best Teen Chef competition. With baseball playoffs the same week as the competition, Dortch was faced with a big decision. He went with his gut, cooked the best 3-course meal he could imagine, and won the first place prize of a $5,000 scholarship to The Art Institute of Orange County.

Immediately after graduating from culinary school, he became the executive chef of Hanna’s Steakhouse. Hoping to further his learning, Dortch applied to Chef Curtis Stones’ Michelin-starred new American restaurant, Maude, through Craigslist and was hired as a sous chef. When meat-centric Gwen opened in 2018, Dortch joined their kitchen before becoming the head chef of the SHARE program, implementing Curtis Stone concepts on cruise ships across the globe. When the coronavirus pandemic shut down restaurant operations overseas, Dortch was offered the head chef position at Georgie by Curtis Stone in Dallas. There, he’s inspiring the new age of steakhouses, bringing global inspiration, seasonality, and Texas’s best cuts to the white-clothed tables.

DEEP IN THE HEART AWARD presented by BEN E. KEITH
NORMA FRANCES ‘TOOTSIE’ TOMANETZ, SNOW’S BBQ (LEXINGTON, TX)

Norma Frances "Tootsie" Tomanetz (born April 21, 1935) is an American barbecue cook who is the pitmaster at Snow's BBQ (Lexington Texas). In 2008, she rose to fame when Texas Monthly named Snow's as the best barbecue place in Texas [1] and she is often referred to as the "Queen of Texas BBQ."[2] She is featured in the first episode of the seventh season of Chef's Table, titled Chef's Table: BBQ, which aired on September 2, 2020.[3] Tomanetz lives in Giddings, Texas, and works during the week at Giddings High School as a janitor as Snow's BBQ is open only on Saturday.

OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR AWARD - presented by CERBONI FINANCIAL
ALLI JARRETT, HAROLD’S RESTAURANT (HOUSTON, TX)

Alli Jarrett is a 22-year resident of Houston and a native South Carolinian. She graduated from the University of South Carolina where she attended on a golf scholarship.  Alli grew up in a family wholesale business, in Kingstree, SC, that her grandparents owned and operated for more than 50 years.   

Prior to starting her first restaurant in Houston Heights, Alli worked for the United States Golf Association for 15 years, where she directed national championships and led the South Regional Affairs office, which included 7 states and Mexico. 

Alli renovated the former clothing store, “Harold’s in the Heights”, which now serves the community southern cuisine and is known as Harold’s Restaurant & Tap Room.  Harold’s specializes in fresh and local ingredients and has a rooftop terrace overlooking 19th Street. The restaurant has been named on Alison Cook’s Houston Chronicle Top 100 Restaurant list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.  Harold’s is philanthropic with its support of Women of Wine Charities, Houston Food Bank, Rebuilding Together Houston, March of Dimes and The Beacon along with numerous other charities and local schools.  

HALL OF HONOR
LISA PERINI, PERINI RANCH STEAKHOUSE (BUFFALO GAP, TX)

Lisa and her husband Tom are the owners and operators of Perini Ranch Steakhouse. Together they have created one of the most beautiful dining destinations on their working ranch in West Texas. When they got married, they made a pledge that there would be one Perini Ranch Steakhouse, but they would work every day to make it better, and that’s held true.   They’ve grown by opening other businesses that are all about their brand and hospitality  - lodging, a retail store, a coffee shop, an event business, and more!  So, it’s never dull for Lisa at Perini Ranch Steakhouse.  Lisa served as chairwomen of the Texas Restaurant Foundation and as president of the Texas Restaurant Association.

HALL OF HONOR
SAMMY CITRANO, GEORGE’S RESTAURANT (WACO, TX)

In 1992, Sammy A. Citrano III was the managing partner at the Elite Cafe and Health Camp on the circle. As friendly competitors, Sammy became familiar with the “George’s” name and the economics of running local restaurants. In November 1993, Sammy was handed the George’s torch. He and his family, with the help of the George’s staff, have taken that little bar that started out in 1930 and expanded its history and notoriety.
  
Sammy was honored in 1998 as a recipient of the Greater Waco Chamber Outstanding Business Award. After Baylor became a contender in the Big XII, George’s pushed forward even more by creating “The Party Zone!” for game fans. George’s Big”O” tent continues is the hottest gathering outside of McLane Stadium for the coldest beverages around, during all Baylor home games.

CHEF TIM KELLY AWARD FOR EDUCATOR EXCELLENCE
CHEF TYLER KENT OSBURN ‘CHEF TKO’, Waller High School (WALLER, TX)

Chef Tyler Kent Osburn is a “rookie” educator at Waller High School and teaches Advanced Culinary Arts and Practicum. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu with an Associate of Applied Science in Culinary Arts. He also studied food science at Texas Woman’s University and Southwest Minnesota State University before completing his Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University.


THE CARMELO MAURO AWARD - THE SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY
PATRICK COSTELLO, St. Philip’s College (SAN ANTONIO, TX)

Certified Executive Chef and Pastry Chef with ACF, Chef Patrick Costello is instructor and advisor for the Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Department at St. Philip’s College. After several years of working as a chef, Chef Patrick became a consultant and traveled the country helping with restaurant
openings. His love for culinary arts began while living and traveling through Europe.

BEN BARBER INNOVATION ACADEMY, MANSFIELD TX

Instructors Chef Roberson & Chef Baker-Roberson share that the Culinary Competition Club exists to educate students on the intricacies of competing in various competitions that utilize their culinary and hospitality skills learned in class. We also introduce culinary students that are interested in this field to colleges and industry professionals that can help jumpstart their career in the foodservice industry. Our Club is an extension or beginning to any culinary arts class.

Culinary Team
INSTRUCTOR   David Roberson – Chef Roberson

TEAM:  
Travis Hill                          
Garrett Carter                 
Giovanni Vance                              
Travis Holley                    
Jalessa Gillett     
 
Management Team
INSTRUCTOR Jocqui Baker-Roberson - Chef Baker-Roberson

TEAM:
Logan Ceraul                                  
Bella Penns                                     
Griffin Biddle                                 
Alexa Davis  

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.