Texas Restaurant Association Announces Finalists for the 2021 Texas Restaurant Awards

Jun 21

New awards highlight the work of growing organizations and restaurants located “Deep in the Heart” of Texas 

AUSTIN, TX (June 21, 2021) – Today, the Texas Restaurant Association announced finalists for their annual Texas Restaurant Awards. The winners will be announced at the Lone Star Bash on Sunday, July 11 at the Brisco Western Art Museum in San Antonio. The Lone Star Bash is part of a weekend of events surrounding TRA Marketplace, the largest industry trade show and educational conference in the southwestern United States that regularly brings in 5,000 or more attendees.  

Three new awards have been introduced for 2021, including the Deep in the Heart Award, celebrating chefs and restaurant owners working outside of a major metropolitan city. Another new award is the Rising Star Award presented by Savory Restaurant Fund, an honor that highlights the achievements of up-and-coming brands.  

The finalists for the Deep in the Heart Award are:  

  • Harlan Scott (Industry – San Marcos) 
  • Sanif Maredia (MESS Waffles – College Station) 
  • Gina Sellers (The Knife and Cork – Gatesville) 

The finalists for the Rising Star Award, presented by Savory Restaurant Fund, are: 

  • Harlan Scott (Industry – San Marcos) 
  • Angela Mancino (Woerner Warehouse, Sunset Grill, Granite House – Fredericksburg) 
  • Creed Ford IV and Tony Ciola (The League Kitchen, Tony C’s, Mighty Fine Burgers – Austin)  

The third new award for 2021 is the Texas Restaurateur of the Year Award. The finalists for this award come from the pool of Outstanding Restaurateur Awards, chosen by their chapter. The Outstanding Restaurateur and finalists for the Texas Restaurateur of the Year Award are:  

  • Luis and Rita Barragan (Casa Chapala – Austin) 
  • May Nardone (Mikel May’s Beachside Bar and Grill – Coastal Bend) 
  • Lloyd Nichols (The Diner – East Texas) 
  • Mike Dean (Yaga’s Presents – Galveston) 
  • Jimmy Contreras (Taco y Vino – Dallas) 
  • Masroor Fatany (The Halal Guys – Houston) 
  • Bob Bratcher (Daddy Bob’s BBQ – North Texas) 
  • Jessica Delgado (Salome – Rio Grande Valley) 
  • Rosa Hogeda Torrez (Original Henry’s Diner – San Angelo) 
  • Russell Kirkpatrick (Reatta – Tarrant County) 
  • Chris Berry (River Smith’s – Lubbock) 

Other awards presented at the event include the Educator Excellence Award, presented by Texas Beef Council, the Carmelo Mauro Spirit of Generosity Award, and the Hall of Honor Awards. Award winners are chosen by a mix of staff, board, sponsors, and members. Tickets to attend can be purchased at

About the Texas Restaurant Association
The Texas Restaurant Association was formed in 1937 to serve as the advocate in Texas and the indispensable resource for the foodservice industry. Today, as a leading business association, TRA 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. Along with the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, the Association represents, educates and, promotes the growing industry. 


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