Phone: (830) 257-2212 x3611


Degrees and Certifications:

Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management Course 2006 20+ Years in the Professional Kitchen setting and family owned restaurants

Chef Mario H. Estrada Jr.

Welcome to Thunder Dome!!, I have been teaching for 2 years now, all here at Tivy. I teach Introduction to Culinary Arts and Culinary Arts.  I have over 20+ years of Professional Culinary experience, growing up in family owned restaurants as a kid and moving onto the professional scene in 2003 when I began working at The Hotel Valencia on the Riverwalk, a Conde Nast top 100 small luxury hotels of the world. Creating 5 Diamond cuisine I honed my skills and in 2 years became the Executive Sous Chef. In 2013 I left the Hotel to open my own food truck ( Tailgate Bistro USA) while also helping my mentor and local celebrity chef Jeff Balfour open Southerleigh Fine Foods and Brewery in the Historic Pearl district in San Antonio. I came to Kerrville at the end of 2017 to take my first Executive chef job in the KISD Child Nutrition Department. A year in I also opened up The Humble Fork in downtown Kerrville. I never thought in my 20 years of cooking I would have ever become a Culinary Arts teacher. But, here I am and I wouldn't change a thing, I consider it an honor to be molding the minds of the next generation of Culinarians. Teaching them the techniques and passion required to work in this industry at a higher level and with the understanding that nothing worth doing ever comes easy. 

I am an active member of the National Restaurants Association (NRA) and I am Manager/Proctor certified to teach ServSafe Food Handlers Certification. In addition I am trying to start a BBQ Team here at Tivy to enter into the Texas High School BBQ Competition, along with running the student led Tivy Takeout Program that allows 2nd year students to produce restaurant quality food to our campus staff and get first hand experience in a professional kitchen setting.

I have a beautiful wife Elena who I have been married to for 10 years and 3 gorgeous daughters. Mia Lorena who attends THS as a sophmore and loves to play softball. Mayim Eva is my 6 year old daughter, she is my rainbow baby and a miracle from God. And last but certainly not least Margaux Eloise my 3 year old pistol, she can hold her own with the best of'em.

Becoming a teacher for a professional Chef is somewhat unreal, I am used to 14-16 hour days and no opportunity to enjoy holidays. This job affords me the opportunity to teach what I am most passionate about, the Culinary Arts and all opportunities that come with it. It is my hope to inspire, encourage, motivate, and guide Tivy students into the future of the Culinary industry.  

Core Competencies

Recognized throughout my career as Leader in the professional kitchen setting, demonstrating organizational, communication, and menu development skills. Results driven with extensive experience and solid expertise in the area of catering, cooking, and kitchen management. Highly skilled in creating eye appealing food, and menus while maintaining high levels of sanitation and cleanliness; while also multi-tasking various events and any situations that commonly arise in a professional kitchen. Proven ability to effectively handle multiple food outlets and levels of responsibility with minimal direction from superiors while supervising personnel and providing team leadership. Demonstrates knowledge and experience in a diverse range of cuisines’ and plating styles.