As part of a yearlong celebration of the association’s 75th anniversary, the Texas Restaurant Association is partnering with Foodways Texas on an oral history project that will preserve the great stories of iconic Texas restaurants.
“This project presents us with a wonderful way to not only celebrate our 75th anniversary, but to help preserve and promote the stories of some of Texas’ most memorable and iconic restaurants,” says Richie Jackson, TRA CEO. “The restaurants chosen will all have had a significant impact on the industry and our state’s food culture.”
At least eight oral histories will be produced prior to the TRA’s Southwest Foodservice Expo, which is June 24-25 in Dallas. Elements of the oral histories will be featured in multi-media presentations and displays on the show floor and at events. The oral histories will also be accessible through an archive housed on the Foodways Texas website.
Students in the American Studies program at the University of Texas will produce the first four oral histories. Professional oral historians will produce the next four.
According to Elizabeth Engelhardt, associate professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, and instructor for the oral history project, “These restaurants will have great stories, represent the diversity of the Texas food and restaurant culture, and celebrate the racial and ethnic diversity of our state.”
“We view this oral history project as an opportunity to highlight the diverse food cultures of the Lone Star state by way of its thriving and storied restaurant industry,” says Marvin Bendele, Foodways Texas executive cirector. “We expect that through our partnership with the Texas Restaurant Association, we will be able to create an extensive oral history archive that will be utilized by future generations interested in our food and foodways history.”