Crumbs: 2012 Omaha Hospitality Hall of Fame

Big Fred, Caniglia's, Harkerts Bar BQ, Petrow's and Diane Zipay


The Omaha Hospitality Hall of Fame was created to recognize those who have given significant contributions to the hospitality industry in Omaha. Past inductees have had success as restaurant owners, chefs, food educators, food writers, purveyors and many other food related careers. Nominees into the Hall of Fame are put forth before a committee mostly comprised of past inductees and board members from the Omaha Restaurant Association. Once selected, new inductees are honored at a banquet and become one of the many faces on the Hall of Fame wall of inductees, which is located at the Institute of Culinary Arts, North Omaha campus.

On Sunday October 21, the 19th annual Omaha Hospitality Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony will be held. This event is also a way to raise funds for culinary scholarships for students of the Institute of Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College.

The 2012 inductees are as follows:

Fred (deceased) and Rose Bruning of Big Fred’s Pizza

Fred Bruning began Big Fred’s Pizza in 1965, along with his wife Rose, instead of choosing a career with the Omaha Police Department. Big Fred’s strongly continues today, 47 years later. Third generation owner, Jennifer Bruning, along with her siblings, Allison and Brian, are happy that their grandparents are being inducted into the Hall of Fame. “It is so great to finally have my grandparents honored in such a way,”  says Jennifer Bruning.

Chuck, Ron, Bob, and Ross Caniglia, Restaurateurs for Caniglia’s Pizzeria

Ross is son to Giovanna and Cirino Caniglia, who started Caniglia’s Pizzeria and the Original Caniglia’s. Ross took over restaurant operations in the1970’s. Upon his retirement, Ross’s sons, Chuck, Ron and Bob ran the Original Caniglia’s until it closed in 2005. As restaurateurs, they are being honored for their contributions to the Omaha Community.

Constantine F. (Deano) Meares, Restaurateur

Deano began his work in the hospitality industry at age 10 working in his parents’ cafes. He established the first Omaha Greek restaurant; Deano’s Greek Village in 1966 and was owner and operator of Cascio’s Steakhouse until his death. In addition, Deano was the restaurateur and chef of other local food venues including Harkert’s Bar B Q on Leavenworth. 

Nicholas C. Petrow (deceased), Chris Petrow, Nick C. Petrow, Restaurateurs

Emigrating from Greece, The Petrow family started with a candy shop in Fremont Nebraska in 1903. With every generation to follow, the Petrow’s continued the family tradition of running quality food establishments. Nicholas C. Petrow opened Petrow’s in 1952. Chris Petrow, son of Nicolas, operated the restaurant for 35 years following his departure from the Korean War. His son Nick became the 3rd generation of Petrow Restaurateurs in 1992.

Diane Zipay, Food Educator, Westside High School

Diane is currently Westside School District’s Nutrition Services Director. This honor has been given to Diane for her passion in educating the youth of Omaha on healthy eating along with her advocacy on farm-to-school programs as well as her extensive service to our food community.  

The 19th Annual Hospitality Hall of Fame Banquet

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Swanson Conference Center, Institute for the Culinary Arts, Fort Omaha Campus, Metropolitan Community College

$75 per person

For ticket information, call (402) 493-4739


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