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Texas Restaurant Awards 2023 Celebrate Culinary Excellence, Mental Wellness Center Opens

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Texas Restaurant Association Honors Culinary Leaders

The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) held its prestigious 2023 Texas Restaurant Awards on Sunday, July 9, in Austin. This annual event celebrates the dedication and commitment of hospitality professionals from all corners of Texas. The awards ceremony recognized industry leaders, with a special focus on rising talents and creative concepts beyond the major metropolitan areas. Among the winners was Rory Schepisi of The Drunken Oyster & Savor, who received the Rising Star Award, and Bobby and Danny Lee of The Big Texan Steak Ranch, who were honored with the Deep in the Heart Award.

Rising Star Award Winner – The Drunken Oyster & Savor

Rory Schepisi, owner of The Drunken Oyster & Savor in Amarillo, Panhandle Chapter, took home the coveted Rising Star Award. The accolade celebrates Schepisi’s hard work in opening the restaurant and acknowledges their ambitious goals and determination to achieve them. This up-and-coming establishment holds great promise, making it a deserving recipient of this recognition.

Deep in the Heart Award – The Big Texan Steak Ranch

Bobby and Danny Lee, the visionary owners of The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, were bestowed with the Deep in the Heart Award. This accolade celebrates their creative prowess and success, highlighting establishments located outside the major metro areas of Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, or Austin. The Big Texan’s unique concept has garnered attention and acclaim, making it a standout among Texas’ diverse culinary scene.

Texas Restaurant Show – A Grand Celebration

The awards ceremony took place during the Texas Restaurant Show, a much-awaited event held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston from July 7 to 10. Apart from the awards presentation, the evening featured a “party with a purpose” known as the Lone Star Bash. Attendees enjoyed delectable bites from 26 Texas restaurants, witnessed a thrilling mixologist competition, and were treated to a live performance by renowned BMI recording artist, Jack Ingram.

Northwest Texas Healthcare System Introduces Center for Mental Wellness

Addressing the growing mental health needs of the community, Northwest Texas Healthcare System Behavioral Health unveiled its Center for Mental Wellness at 121 Westgate Parkway. The specialized clinic offers group therapies tailored to individuals dealing with anxiety, depression, grief/loss, and trauma. The center’s opening, marked by a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on July 11, is a significant step towards providing much-needed support and strategies for those facing mental health challenges.

A Vision for a Better Future

With mental health concerns on the rise, the Center for Mental Wellness aims to offer a safe space for individuals to share their journeys and seek professional guidance. In the United States, mental health statistics underscore the need for such initiatives, with one in five adults experiencing mental illness and a substantial number of youth facing mental health disorders. By providing accessible mental health services, the center aims to make a positive impact on the community’s well-being, fostering a better and healthier future for all.


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