HOUSTON –Tony’s Restaurant, the product of Tony Vallone’s life-long devotion to fine dining, will be honored at the Galleria Chamber’s annual Texas Legends Gala at the Omni Riverway tonight, Friday, February 19, 2010, at 7:30 p.m. Energetic and entertaining radio personality Sam Malone will serve as MC for the evening, alongside New York food critic and Esquire magazine columnist John Mariani, who will offer a colorful keynote address. Mike & Betty Tapick, owners of Martin Foods, along with Ileana Trevino, CEO of Memorial Hermann Foundation, and husband Michael Trevino, of Reputation Management Associates, will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs for the event. “We are thrilled to be part of this Texas Legends Gala and to recognize the Vallones contribution to Houston’s culinary scene,” said Ileana Trevino. A “Friend of Tony’s” and local legend herself, Yvonne Washington will perform standards to contemporary fare for gala patrons.
Tony Vallone is a master of the arts. His paintbrush – some of the world’s tastiest ingredients; his canvas – cuisine. Tony is a patriarch in the restaurant business, both locally in Houston, TX and around the globe. His talents in the kitchen and creation of brilliant, exquisite meals can be expressed simply as innovative. Houston has given Tony and his family so much as a city, and he won’t stop at returning the favor. An entrepreneur at heart, Vallone built a well-established eatery empire including establishments such as the famous Tony’s (coming up on its 45th year as one of the world’s most admired fine dining locales), Anthony’s, Vallone’s, La Griglia, the Grotto restaurants, Los Tonyos, and his latest endeavor, creating an exceptional old-world Italian menu at CIAO BELLO. From the posh to the casual and fun, Tony’s kingdom of restaurants is governed by one rule: Our guests become our extended family and our new friends. Pamper those guests with exceptional, innovative food, excellent wine and impeccable service.
This restaurant mogul’s impact extends far beyond the business of food. Vallone supports many civic and national philanthropic causes. He currently sits on the board of the Texas Heart Institute, M.D. Anderson and the University of Houston Conrad Hilton School of Restaurant and Hotel Management. Feeling right at home in the spotlight of the Nation’s fourth largest city, Houston, TX, Tony was the first Texan inducted into the National Restaurant Association Hall of Fame in 1982 as well as the first American-born board member of the famed Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani of Italy. He authored the highly successful tony’s…the cookbook. Tony has been a guest speaker at numerous civic and collegiate events and has appeared on behalf of his restaurant on national and local television. Among his many recognitions and awards, Tony has been inducted into the Nation’s Restaurant News “Hall of Fame” and was elected to the Culinary “Who’s Who of Texas.”
In December of 1998, Southern Living name the Vallone family “Houston’s Dining Dynasty,” calling Tony the “Taste-master of Texas.” He has served six U.S. presidents and numerous foreign presidents and dignitaries. Tony’s heart is in his restaurant. He enjoys working with his chefs and loves a culinary challenge. “Attention to detail” is the common denominator of his restaurant, and his entire staff is privy to his favorite motto: “You’re only as good as your last meal.”