Nebraska Restaurant Association Honors Hospitality Industry Leaders at the 27th Annual Taste of Nebraska

Venue Restaurant & Lounge ( and the Nebraska Pork Producers ( received the Nebraska Restaurant Association hospitality awards at the association’s annual banquet, Taste of Nebraska. This year’s event was held on April 18th at the Embassy Suites-LaVista.

Winners of the award are selected for the contributions they make to both the hospitality industry and the communities in which they do business. Jeff Barclay and Scott Ritter accepted the 2015 Restaurateur of the Year Award for Venue Restaurant & Lounge.  Allied Member of the Year was presented to Jane Stone of the Nebraska Pork Producers.

A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Fayrene Hamouz, an Associate Professor in the UNL Department of Nutritional Science.  Fayrene was recognized for her long term commitment to the hospitality industry.  She has devoted a great deal of personal time and resources serving as the coordinator for the Nebraska ProStart program, providing high school students an opportunity to learn about the art of cooking and managing restaurants by training with professional chefs and getting valuable classroom instruction.

Hillis & Co. added the finishing touches to the evening with a “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” theme.  Tables were adorned with all things baseball including peanuts, popcorn and crackerjacks.    Keynote speaker was Phil Kafarakis who serves as the Chief Innovation & Member Advancement Officer of the National Restaurant Association.

The Nebraska Restaurant Association would like to thank special guest, Governor Pete Ricketts, and the many sponsors and guests that made the 27th annual Taste of Nebraska another success.

For more information about the Nebraska Restaurant Association please visit