Nebraska Restaurant Association Presents Taste of Nebraska “Diamonds on Ice”


The Nebraska Restaurant Association held the 24th annual Taste of Nebraska dinner and awards presentation on Monday, April 24th at The Strategic Air & Space Museum in Ashland.  More than 525 guests dined beneath the wings of some of the most striking aircrafts in Hangar B of the Museum, while enjoying an extensive buffet catered by Premier Catering.

Hillis and Company, Lincoln, portrayed the “Diamonds on Ice” theme with shades of blue and white, beautiful glittery tree centerpieces with crystals hanging from their branches and mounds of ice crystals at the bottom.

Mike Alesio and Tony Messineo of Valentino’s were presented the Eastern Nebraska Hospitality Award for 2011 by Governor Dave Heineman.  The Greater Nebraska Hospitality Award was awarded to Judy Daniell of Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant in Norfolk.  Allied Member of the Year was presented to John Sivilla of ConAgra Foods.

The 2011 Nebraska Restaurant Neighbor Awards were also presented to Dean Rasmussen of Grandmother’s, John Gabel of Concord Hospitality, Inc., and Greg Lindberg of Shuck’s Fish House.  The National Restaurant Association and founding partner American Express developed the Restaurant Neighbor Award to raise awareness about the restaurant industry’s contributions in local communities across the country and to inspire other restaurant operators and owners to make even greater contributions in their communities.

The Nebraska Restaurant Association would like to thank Governor Dave Heinemann and special guest, Tom Osborne, for their attendance at this year’s awards dinner and for their continued support of the hospitality industry in Nebraska.  The association would also like to thank the many sponsors that made the 24th annual Taste of Nebraska another success.

The Nebraska Restaurant Association acts as the principal advocate for Nebraska’s hospitality industry and promotes the qualities of strength, unity, and excellence in and of its membership.  The association lobbies for restaurateurs on state and federal issues. The association is dedicated to serving Nebraska’s restaurant and retail beverage industries by providing the finest industry education, proactive representation, aggressive industry promotion and the highest quality member benefits.

For more information on the Nebraska Restaurant Association please contact Brandy Nielson at (402) 488-3999 or You can also visit their website at