Irving restauranteur David Cole, co-owner of i Fratelli Pizza, has been named to the Texas Restaurant Association’s (TRA) Hall of Honor along with Tracy Vaught, owner of H-Town Restaurant Group in Houston, the association said in a news release.
They will be inducted Sunday, Aug. 16 at 5 p.m. during a virtual Texas Restaurant Awards presentation.
The Hall of Honor is the highest award the association can bestow.
Qualifications for the honor are rigorous – nominees must have been a TRA member for a minimum of 15 years and exemplify superior business ethics. Criteria include significant time and energy devoted to the TRA and its members, as well as to his or her local chapter. Nominees must also help build the image of the food service industry overall, the association said.
The virtual ceremony kicks off six days of education, demos, and networking sessions as part of the virtual TRA Marketplace event.
“Tracy and David are beyond deserving of this recognition,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, president and CEO of TRA. “Both are exceptional leaders, successful entrepreneurs, and outstanding representatives of the hospitality industry across Texas.”
Cole founded i Fratelli Pizza with his brothers in July 1987. Since then, they’ve opened 20 more stores primarily in the Dallas/Fort Worth region, with outposts in Austin and Houston.
He began his career in the restaurant industry by working at a donut shop in high school. He learned more about the business by working with family at Campisi’s Restaurant, another DFW staple. Following education at El Centro College where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Food Service Operations, David and his brothers George, Mike, and Darrell opened i Fratelli, which means “the brothers” in Italian, the news release said.
– FWBP Staff