It’s been a big year for the Culinary Arts and Hospitality Academy at Byron Nelson High School as
they continue to exceed expectations.
The student-operated, full-service restaurant Byron Bistro is proudly serving culinary delights in a new space at Byron Nelson High School. Thanks to community support of the 2017 bond referendum, the student enterprise received a new location, including the school’s expansion to a 3,200-student capacity.
As part of the Culinary and Hospitality Academy offered by Northwest ISD, it is the first school in Texas to earn an American Culinary Federation accreditation. Byron Bistro provides students working experience and knowledge of the industry, and future plans for the program continue to grow. Thanks to a new partnership with Tarrant County College, future culinary students (those starting in ninth grade next year) will have the opportunity to earn their Culinary Arts I certificate at the end of their junior year, with the full program providing students 24 college credit hours towards their AAS in Culinary Arts at TCC.
Besides the accreditations and college credits, students gain so much more from enrolling in the
Culinary Arts and Hospitality Academy. They learn proper food handling and safety, as well as all aspects of running a restaurant from front of house to back of house.Additionally, students gain life skills such as:
Strong work ethic
Sense of accountability
The Culinary Arts and Hospitality is open to all students that reside within Northwest
Independent School District’s boundaries. Their beautiful facility includes state-of-the-art culinary technology so students can learn professional culinary art and other hospitality industry standards. The Byron Bistro is once again open to the public. Diners can easily access the restaurant’s separate entrance under the blue column on the east side of the building. Their ever-
changing menu allows them to keep the selection fresh and attract repeat diners.
The Bistro is open for full-service operations most Wednesdays from 11:15 a.m. - 12:45 p.m., and for curbside pickup Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. The restaurant is open to the public, and guests can access the Byron Bistro calendar and menu by visiting
You will find on the tables beautiful flower arrangements for sale created by Byron Blooms.
The culinary program offers an annual pie sale around Thanksgiving that is open to the public, selling pumpkin, pecan and pumpkin cheesecake creations. Students are taught by a team of culinary and hospitality professionals:
Chef Victoria Hooker, Mrs. Reese and Chef Maher
Chef Maher brings restaurant experience with his many years of having worked in major corporations such as The Cheesecake Factory, La Madeleine, Eatzi’s and many others. He is also the Chef/Owner of his own fine dining restaurant, Mirabelle, where he was rated a 4-star restaurant for eight years in Dallas.
Mrs. Reese brings her many years of experience in culinary and hospitality to the team. She has trained and managed several large corporations such as Eli Lilly, Lockheed Martin, as well as school administration dining.
Chef Hooker brings a wealth of knowledge from her time and experience at various operations. She attended Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, SC, where she received her AOS in Culinary Arts and her BS in Food Service Management. She completed her MBA in Hospitality Management in 2011 and received her Certified Chef de Cuisine and Certified Culinary Educator from the American Culinary Federation. Chef Hooker served as Assistant Director of Culinary Education at The Art Institute of Dallas, and also as a Chef Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Dallas, TX. Most recently, Chef Hooker was the Executive Chef for Southern Methodist University. Chef Hooker is focused on quality and execution, and is excited to bring her passion to the Byron Nelson High School community.