SPC's Chef Patrick Costello on TRAEF Board of Trustees

June 19, 2018

Public Information Officer


The corporate board leadership of the non-profit trade association which serves as the advocate and resource for the future of education in Texas' foodservice industry includes a St. Philip's College faculty member. 

The faculty member is Chef Patrick Costello. The association is the Austin-headquartered Texas Restaurant Association. Costello will serve as the vice chair of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation Board of Trustees and advance to chairman-elect status with the foundation on July 1, 2019.

Costello was notified in a June 4 letter from 2018-19 foundation board chair Jessica Delgado and foundation chief operating officer Debbi Toh that he begins his board service journey with the foundation effective July 1. Following service as foundation chairman-elect in 2019, Costello will continue to serve as chair of the foundation's board of trustees for a one-year term effective July 1, 2020.

"You will automatically be a member of the Executive Committee throughout your years of TRAEF leadership (July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2021). We are quite certain that you will be instrumental in serving TRAEF and helping work toward achieving its mission. TRAEF provides educational opportunities to build and maintain a strong professional food service workforce in Texas... You have served this board with your time, your talent, your treasure, and your expertise. It is an honor to be able to name you the incoming TRAEF Vice Chairman. I look forward to serving with you in the coming year," Delgado and Toh wrote to Costello June 4. 

Prior to assuming the association foundation position, Costello had successfully given back through several years of service with previous foundation board members, association leadership, general membership and prospective future members. He led the successful provision of neutral support for competing high school chef teams in the North American hospitality industry's version of college basketball's March Madness---the 2017 and 2018 season Texas ProStart Invitational rounds. The 2018 competition was only the second and one of the last to be presented from the labs in the college's venerable-but-aging Campus Center building, as a change of venue is expected later this decade when the college opens its $30 million Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center of Excellence building. Educational experiences he brings to the foundation range from working with advisory boards to leading college-level international hospitality exchange programs featuring Texas cuisine, business practices and culture in both Brazil and France.

Texas ProStart www.texasprostart.com is the flagship program of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation. Described by organizers as  Shark Tank  meets  Chopped , the invitational is a competitive element of a larger industry-based high school culinary arts and restaurant management program that prepares high school students for college and industry careers. In 2018, the program was active in more than 240 Texas high schools, reaching more than 25,000 students annually.

With St. Philip's College serving as a neutral competitive site, faculty and students at the college were committed to assist as both facilitators and college recruiters for this event of separate competitions in both management and culinary arts. Culinary teams arrived early in the day to compete in a timed event demonstrating both their knife skills and their pricing structures for a multiple-course menu. Management teams developed and presented business proposals for new restaurant concepts that included a defined concept, a supporting menu and a marketing plan. Each of the competing management teams prepared a comprehensive written proposal along with a verbal presentation. They were tested on their critical thinking skills by reacting to potential management challenges.

Texas ProStart program alumni are considered restaurant ready https://texasprostart.com/hireprostart/ and are often eager to launch their career in the hospitality industry following high school, according to organizers.

Chef William D. Thornton is chair and professor of the college Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts department that includes Costello as a faculty member and the foundation as a partner that also educates both the educators and the practitioners who are association members.

"His hard work for this group has been exemplary at every stage," said Thornton. "This is a real point of pride for Patrick, THCA and the college," Thornton said. 

Now that ProStart operations are in preparation status for the 2019 season, the education element of the Southwest's largest foodservice trade show, the Texas Restaurant Association's TRA Marketplace, will once again build the knowledge and revenues of over 500 exhibitors and 8,000 attendees July 15-16 in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, and Costello is likely to meet many of the association's members and corporate leaders in his new capacity at that event.

For foundation information, contact their staff at (800) 395-2872, foundation@tramail.org, or visit their web page at  https://www.txrestaurant.org/education-foundation/about.

Captions: Images of high school chefs from Texas in competition at the 2018 Texas ProStart Invitational State Final at St. Philip's College March 23-24 are a reminder that the incoming vice chair of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation Board of Trustees that operates the competition as its flagship program is St. Philip's College faculty member Chef Patrick Costello. Additional images of Costello include…

01 With SPC at Doseum Culinary Competition (2018)

02 With SPC at Lycee Guillaume Tirel culinary school in Paris (2017) 

03 At SPC CultureFest (2018)

04 At SPC CultureFest (2018)

(ProStart Image courtesy Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation on Facebook, Paris image courtesy Lycee Guillaume TirelImages 01, 03-04 are SPC images by Julysa Sosa)