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KNOXVILLE — John Antun, assistant professor in the retail, hospitality and tourism management department and director of the Culinary Institute at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the Tennessee Hospitality Educator of the Year.

The award was presented to Antun earlier this month at the annual meeting and trade show of the Tennessee Hospitality Association. The group was created by a merger of Tennessee Restaurant Association and the Tennessee Hotel & Lodging Association.

This is the first year the group has honored a hospitality educator.

“I’m honored and humbled at the same time,” said Antun, a certified executive chef who spent more than 40 years in the hospitality industry and who opened and operated four successful restaurants in the New York metropolitan area before earning his doctorate and becoming a teacher.

“Being a teacher is a wonderful experience. It kind of closes the circle on my professional life — from being a chef to being honored as an educator of chefs.”

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,