AUSTIN, TX (June 15, 2021) – Today, the Texas Restaurant Foundation (TRF) announced Natasha Bruton has won the Educator Excellence Award, presented by Texas Beef Council. Bruton has been a culinary teacher in the Fort Worth Independent School District for 14 years and a ProStart educator for more than ten years.
The Educator Excellence Award is presented by TRF to an educator who has made significant contributions to culinary education through both an unwavering dedication to their students and a strong presence in their community.
“Educators like Natasha can make a huge impact on students' lives and their future careers,” said Chef Patrick Costello, Chef Instructor for the Department of Tourism, Hospitality, and Culinary Arts at St. Philips College and Chairman of the Texas Restaurant Foundation. “We are grateful for her compassion and dedication to her students and proud to present her with this award.”
Her students have consistently advanced to state and national competitions as well as continued their education at prestigious hospitality schools. In 2015, Bruton adopted one of her students who found himself homeless during his senior year. He went on to finish high school, earn a diploma, gain certifications, and attend culinary school.
"Some of the best moments of my life have happened in this kitchen, practicing ProStart menus with these students, and traveling all over Texas just to show them that the world needs them in our industry," said Bruton. "The memories I have made with these kids are what makes my life complete."
The award will be presented at the Lone Star Bash featuring the Texas Restaurant Awards event at the Briscoe Western Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas on Sunday, July 11. This event is in conjunction with the TRA Marketplace, July 10-12 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.
The award package includes complimentary registration to the annual Culinary Educators Training Conference, $1,000 to use toward her Texas ProStart program, travel and registration to TRA Marketplace as well as a crystal trophy.
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.