Awards

Educator Excellence Award

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 award package includes the following:

  • $1000 cash prize
  • Complimentary registration to the Culinary Educators Training Conference
  • 2 tickets to the TRA Marketplace
  • 2 tickets to Lone Star Bash
  • One-night hotel stay at TRA Marketplace

The winner will go on to represent Texas at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Educator Excellence Awards Dinner in Chicago. Students, colleagues, parents and community members are welcome to nominate deserving teachers. Nominate an educator today at the below form. Nominations are due by April 20, 2020.

Learn about the 2019 winner, Becky J. Salter, here.

Nomination Form


The Carmelo Award

The Carmelo Award is an annual recognition, given by the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF), 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.

Prior Recipients of the Carmelo Award

2019 – Roger Kaplan
2018 – Russell Woodward, Texas Beef Council
2017 – Russel Ybarra
2016 – Margaret McKoin, The Time Group
2016 – Carmelo Mauro, Carmelo’s Ristorante Italiano

Award Criteria

  • Must have a record of distinguished service to the TRAEF;
  • Must have made a lasting contribution to the restaurant and foodservice industry and the mission of the TRAEF;
  • Must have exhibited leadership and provided inspiration to others in the restaurant and foodservice industry;
  • Must have positively influenced the restaurant and foodservice industry on a state, national or international level.

Nomination Process

  • The Carmelo Award will be presented to the recipient during the TRA Marketplace Night of Excellence event. Nominees should be cleared to attend the event prior to submitting their name for the award.
  • All nominations should be submitted through the online form below and submitted no later than April 20, 2020.

For questions regarding the TRAEF Carmelo Award or the nomination process, contact Susan Petty, Chief of Staff, at spetty@tramail.org.

Nomination Form


Outstanding Restaurateur Award

Every year, restaurateurs around the state are honored for work in their communities, leadership success, and entrepreneurial spirit. Winners of the Outstanding Restaurateur Award are recognized during the Night of Excellence event. 

Anyone can nominate a restaurant operator for this award. Winners are chosen by their chapter members

Nomination Form

2019 OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR AWARD WINNERS:

Richard Dewitt Jr.
Clear Springs Restaurant
East Texas Chapter

Jerry Maddox
Fazoli's
Rio Grande Valley Chapter

Yolanda Franco
Western Sky Steakhouse
San Angelo Chapter

Chris Berry
River Smith's
Lubbock Chapter

Ed Hudson
Jason's Deli
Coastal Bend Chapter

Tilman Fertitta
Landry's
Greater Houston Restaurant Association

2018 OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR AWARD WINNERS:

Tim Condon
Lonestar Cheeseburger Company
Angry Cactus West Texas Bar & Grill
San Angelo

Larry Delgado
house. wine. & bistro.
SALT – New American Table
McAllen - Rio Grande Chapter

Andrew Gugar
Posadas Cafe
East Texas

Kendall Howard
Howard Restaurant Group
Lubbock

Doris and Paul Miller
Gr8 Plate Hospitality
Greater Houston

2017 OUTSTANDING RESTAURATEUR AWARD WINNERS:

Sharon Watkins
Chez Zee American Bistro | Austin

Damian and Trina Mandola
Mandola’s | Austin

Janice Provost
Parigi | Dallas

Aaron Lyons
Dish Society | Houston

Mike Van Syckle
Atomic Omelette and Grill | Rio Grande Valley

Phil Bradley
Copper Caboose | Lubbock

Erik Zobel and Je’na Wall (posthumous)
Zero One Ale House | San Angelo

Brian Kelleher
575 Pizzeria | Amarillo

Arthur Garcia
Nicha’s Comida Mexicana | San Antonio

Veronica Segovia Esparza
Absolutely Delicious Catering and Blanco BBQ | San Antonio


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. Criteria include significant time and energy devoted to the benefit of TRA and its members, as well as his or her local chapter. Nominees must also gain proper recognition for the restaurant industry and help to build a positive image. Nominations are due by April 20, 2020.

Nomination Form

Check out these profile videos on our most recent inductees:

2019

Estella Martinez, Dallas
Roger Lumley, Tyler
Mike Shine, Houston

Read the press release on our 2019 Hall of Honor Nominees

2018

Bob Westbrook, Tyler
Leo Duran, El Paso

2017

Scott Plowman, Wichita Falls

2016

Greg Stockton, Wichita Falls
Jeffrey Yarbrough, Dallas
Russell Ybarra, Houston                                                                                                                         

2015

David Cea, Lubbock
Mark Maguire, Dallas
Steve Richmond, San Antonio

2014

Doug Brooks, Dallas 
Bonnie Dominguez, El Paso
Skeeter Miller, Austin

2013

Jimmy Hasslocher, San Antonio
Ricardo Molina,Houston
Rosemary Kowalski, San Antonio

2011

Gerard Cace
Carmelo Mauro, Houston
Tom Kenney, Austin 

2010

Malcolm DeShields, Corpus Christi
Ed Murph, Carrollton
Ralph Sheffield, Temple

2009

Harvey Kloesel, Moulton  
Raul Molina, Jr., Houston
Betty Zentner, San Angelo

2008

Viola Barrios
Richie Jackson, Austin
Don Pittman

2007

Bruce Walcutt
Jim Baron, Dallas

2006

Richard Galvan, Frisco
Francisco "Paco" Vargas, Galveston 
Gerald Stone, Austin

2005

Anthony Duncan, El Paso
Tom Perini, Buffalo Gap
Peggy Scott, Fort Worth

2004

Earl Abel, Jr., 
Bob Barnes, Granbury

2003

Bill Daniel, Wichita Falls
Brad Lomax, Corpus Christi
Gene Street, Dallas

2002

George W. DeWinne, San Antonio 
Ernie Stith, Longview

2001

Hope Garcia Lancarte, Fort Worth
Christopher J. Pappas, Houston

2000

Bobby D. Cox, Fort Worth
Matt G. Martinez, Jr., 

1999

Larry Forehand, Bellaire
Chris Semos

1998

W. H. “Bill” Cromer
Dick Dozier

1997

A. J. Leger
Hans Nadler, San Antonio
Beatrice Trevino, Victoria

1996

David Cortez, San Antonio
W. O. “Ted” Thedford

1995

Norman Brinker, Dallas 
Larry D. Durrett, Jacksonville
Frank L. Smith

1994

Michael Colias
John K. Miller, San Antonio

1993

C. “Gus” Katsigris, Dallas
Mary Levy, Waco
Jack C. Richmond, San Antonio

1992

Sonny Bryan  
Frank Green, Stephenville
Robert Hawk, Rockwall
Gus Keriotis
Robert Levy

1991

Herb Blankinship, Midland
William Horan, Fort Worth
Earl Mayfield, San Antonio 
Milton Neitsch, Jr., Victoria

1990

Frank Cuellar, Sr. 
Dee Haven, Corpus Christi 
Bob Lee
Miguel Martinez

1989

Gertrude Applebaum, Elkins Park
Rosemary Garbett, Houston
Macky Sellers
Albert Totah, Victoria

1988

Earl Abel, Sr.
H.M. “Bill” Bennett
Louis Hochman
Guy T. Jones 
Jim L. Peterson, Mooreseville

1987

Fred W. Dollar
Carolyn Weldon Goodman 
B. J. Kirby 
Balous Miller, San Antonio 
Method Snapka

1986

Bruce Allred
Jack Bell
W. Leroy Daniel
Matt Martinez, Sr.
Jack Sosebee
Samuel Tschirhart, Sr., Castroville
C.A. Sanford, Jr., Fort Worth

1985

Harry Akin
Guillermo Avila, El Paso
Robert R. Horan
Bill McCoy
A.G. Moncla 
John E. Sohrweide
Andrew F. Stasio

1984

Roy Blankenship, DeKalb
Pete V. Cortez
Charles W. Horan, Jr.
Alfred Kahn
Lucas N. Postolos
Giles D. Spiller

1983

John S. Cace, Jr.
Mack Eplen
Leon Gillespie
Charles Goodnight
Carlo S. Messina
Lynon Owens
Victor J. Patrizi

1982

G. Jim Hasslocher, San Antonio
Charles W. Horan, Sr.
I. Tom Katz
Charles Langford
G. D. “Sonny” Look
Harry F. Porter
George W. Williams

1981

Patrick D. Moreland
W. Price, Jr.

1937 Founders

Victor Colias | Mr. and Mrs. Dave Crowder | T. C. Daniel | W. C. Dunton | V. A. Harrison | J. D. Houston | Sim T. Lake | R. C. Lawler | V. H. Osborn | Earl Smith