Special Events

It's not all work and no play at TRA Marketplace!

Our events give you the opportunity to make
new connections, visit with old friends, and of course, have a great time!





Night of Excellence | Saturday, July 8, 2017


Omni Dallas, Trinity Ballroom
555 South Lamar Street


Cocktail Reception - 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Dinner and Program - 7:00 - 10:00 p.m.

Ticket Information: 

Individual Ticket - $300
Table for 8 Guests - $3,000


This is our industry's night to shine! Texas Restaurant Association leaders and other industry luminaries honor outstanding individuals who have contributed so much to our industry. We will present the Educator Excellence Award and Outstanding Restaurateur Awards; induct industry icons into the Hall of Honor; and thank our outgoing association leaders as we welcome in new leaders for 2017-2018. And of course, there's great food, cocktails and conversation aplenty!

Award Winners


scott plowman

Help us welcome the latest inductee into the TRA Hall of Honor, Scott Plowman of Wichita Falls, owner of Pelican's and Parkway Grill. Scott began his restaurant career at 16 years old in 1979 at Pelican’s Restaurant in El Paso as a dishwasher, eventually working his way up to manager. He was the transferred to the Lubbock Pelican’s in 1984 and a sales acquisition of that store led to his transfer to The Parkway Grill, a diner in Wichita Falls. 

Learn more about Scott here


kathleen roussel

We will also honor Kathleen Roussel, our 2017 winner of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation Excellence in Education Award. Kathleen is a culinary arts instructor and program coordinator for Clear Springs High School in League City, Texas. Since her arrival at Clear Springs High School, she has implemented the Texas ProStart curriculum, trained students in culinary arts, pastry arts and restaurant operations, and converted her traditional classroom into a fully functioning restaurant where students can gain valuable real-world experience. Last year, Clear Springs High School participated for the first time in the Texas ProStart competition, and placed 2nd in the state. She considers that accomplishment one of her proudest moments.  

Read more about Kathleen here. 



russell ybarra
Russell Ybarra, President and CEO of Gringo's Tex Mex, will be honored as this year's recipient of the Carmelo Mauro Award. This award is given to individuals who go above and beyond in their support of the TRAEF.



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






Lone Star Bash  |  Sunday, July 9, 2017


3015 at Trinity Groves
3015 Gulden Lane


6 - 9:00 p.m.

Ticket Info:

Early Bird - $50
Note: The cut off date for Early Bird pricing is June 25.

General Admission - $75

VIP - $100
The VIP experience at the Lone Star Bash gets you priority entry ahead of everyone else, a swag bag, special wristband, and priority access to the bar. Get treated like a star!





Chef prepared bites
Craft beers and cocktails
Live music from Jay-B and the Zydeco Posse 
Networking with industry suppliers and restaurateurs
Party with a purpose*


Join Wild Turkey Texas & Russell's Reserve Brand Ambassador Bruce Russell as he hosts a special Whiskey Tasting!


We will be raffling off a $1000 gift certificate from Diamonds Direct. Tickets can be purchased as a single ticket goes for $25 or you can purchase a combo ticket for $100 which includes a single general admission and a raffle ticket. Raffle ends at 8:00 pm, so get your tickets!


Silent Auction:

Choose from an abundance of auction items such as a 2-night stay at the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne, Florida courtesy of TDn2K or limited edition bottles of wine from Fetzer Vineyards! Auction closes at 8:30 so don't miss out on these prizes.

Featured Chefs & Restaurants:

*All proceeds benefit the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation and the educational and workforce development programming it produces, including the country’s largest culinary arts and restaurant management accredited program – Texas ProStart.

Get Involved

If you would like to sponsor this event, contact Steph Smith, Director of Development, or 800.395.2872.
If you'd like to be part of our amazing restaurant line-up and share your delicious cuisine with attendees, please contact Haley Griffin, Manager of Foundation Events, or 800.395.2872.