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Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington Announces 2019 RAMMY Awards Finalists
Winners in 20 regional award categories to be announced June 30

Washington, DC (March 11, 2019)—Top industry professionals gathered tonight at The Hamilton Live at The Hamilton as Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced finalists for the 2019 RAMMY Awards, the winners of which will be announced at a black-tie gala on Sunday, June 30.

Any RAMW member who met all category requirements was eligible for nomination. The selection process for the finalists, and ultimately the winners, involves two esteemed groups, the voting public and an anonymous panel of volunteer judges, consisting of food and dining journalists, educators and foodservice industry professionals. The voting public will decide the winners in four categories: Favorite Gathering Place of the Year, Upscale Brunch of the Year, Casual Brunch of the Year and Favorite Fast Bites of the Year. Click here to cast your votes online for these categories through Tuesday, April 30, 2019 at 5:00pm.

RAMW honors two additional members with the Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year, presented to an Allied member who best exemplifies commitment to and support of RAMW, and the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award, given for dedication and leadership that has helped transform Washington’s restaurant scene into today’s vibrant restaurant industry. These awards are determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee. The Duke Zeibert Award recipient is announced each year in April.

New in 2019, the awards program amended its awards policies and procedures which guide judging criteria in each category, kicking off programs and promotions celebrating the region’s outstanding restaurants and the people who power them. The Awards categories, eligibility, judging criteria, and Awards Governance and Procedures can be found at www.therammys.org/awards-governance-procedures/.

The finalists for the 2019 RAMMY Awards are:

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: The award is presented to an associate member who best exemplifies commitment to and support of RAMW. This award recipient is determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee.

·       Coastal Sunbelt Produce

·       Congressional Seafood Co.

·       Saval Foodservice

·       TriMark Adams-Burch

·       The Veritas Law Firm

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: This nominee is a food or beverage artisan who creates a product that is then utilized by chefs and restaurants. Nominees in this category may be cheese makers, coffee roasters, vintners, brewers, distillers, bread bakers, chocolatiers, honey producers, farmers, an ice cream/gelato company and many more. When the artisan is a restaurant or restaurant group, the products created must be utilized by chefs and/or restaurants outside of the maker’s restaurant group. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2018.

·       Arcadia Farm

·       Atlas Brew Works

·       Ayrshire Farm

·       Ivy City Smokehouse

·       Logan Sausage Co.

New Restaurant of the Year: A restaurant that must have opened between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 and already distinguishes itself as a pacesetter in food, beverage and service.

·       Chloe

·       Kaliwa

·       Poca Madre

·       Spoken English

·       St. Anselm

Cocktail Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its craft cocktail program, evaluated separately from its beer, wine or other beverages. Nominees may be bars, restaurants, or any foodservice establishment with an exemplary cocktail program. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2018.

·       barmini by José Andrés

·       Bresca

·       Daikaya

·       Petworth Citizen and Reading Room

·       Royal

Beer Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its beer program. Brewery restaurants and brew pubs are eligible for this category and will be judged based on the diversity and quality of their craft beer. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2018.

·       B Side

·       Caboose Tavern

·       Pizzeria Paradiso – Dupont

·       Republic

·       Roofers Union

Wine Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its wine program. The nominee’s wine program best suits the cuisine and style of the restaurant while enhancing the dining experience. Wine bars are eligible for this category and will be judged based on the diversity and quality of their offerings. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2018.

·       Cork Wine Bar and Market

·       Le Diplomate

·       Maxwell Park

·       minibar by José Andrés

·       Trummer’s On Main

Rising Culinary Star of the Year: The nominee is an “up and coming” chef who demonstrates exemplary talent, shows leadership and promise for the future. The nominee must have been based in the Metropolitan Washington area for a minimum of two years.

·       Javier Fernandez, Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly

·       Adam Howard, Blue Duck Tavern

·       John MacPherson, Three Blacksmiths

·       Daniela Moreira, Call Your Mother Deli, Timber Pizza Company

·       Kwame Onwuachi, Kith and Kin

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: This nominee is a restaurant rooted in its neighborhood where guests come to eat, drink, and get together with friends repeatedly. The great atmosphere and good vibes are as important as the food and drink. The nominee must have been open for at least 2 years prior to December 31, 2018.

·       Duke’s Counter

·       Open Road

·       Perry’s

·       Quarry House Tavern

·       Vinoteca

Upscale Brunch of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of dining excellence and service for its brunch in an Upscale Casual environment. Brunch may be offered as full-service, buffet, or prix fixe. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2018.

·       Estadio

·       Seasons

·       The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

·       The Source by Wolfgang Puck

·       Unconventional Diner

Casual Brunch of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a dedication to dining excellence, service and value in a casual environment for brunch. Brunch may be offered as full-service, buffet, or prix fixe. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2018.

·       Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen

·       Casolare Ristorante & Bar

·       Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen

·       Maketto

·       The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse

Favorite Fast Bites of the Year: This nominee is a delicatessen, quick-serve restaurant, mobile food vendor, or coffee shop (with food menu) that demonstrates a dedication to good food and good service in a fast-casual environment. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2018.

·       CHIKO

·       Little Red Fox

·       Rasa

·       Shouk

·       Taco Bamba Taqueria

Employee of the Year: The nominee is a non-managerial front or back of the house employee who serves as a model employee by displaying outstanding service, an excellent work ethic and a positive image.

·       Oscar Ardon, Doi Moi

·       Maria Contreras, Jaleo Crystal City

·       Valentine King, Hummingbird Bar and Kitchen

·       Eloy Juarez Alvarez, Mintwood Place

·       Fred Uku, The Red Hen

Manager of the Year: The nominee is a non-owner manager or general manager in the food service industry who displays the highest level of professionalism and leadership. This person must be an inspiration and mentor to all his/her co-workers displaying outstanding service, an excellent work ethic and a positive image.

·       Dave Delaplaine, Roofers Union

·       Sabrine Marques, PassionFish Bethesda

·       Donna Seal, Oceanaire

·       Richard Stewart, iRicchi Ristorante

·       Paris Twyman, Founding Farmers Tysons

Service Program of the Year: This nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in service across the restaurant – from the reservation process, to the host station, to every element of the dining experience. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2018.

·       Ambar – Clarendon

·       Carlyle Grand Cafe

·       Iron Gate

·       Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak, & Stone Crab

·       The Riggsby

Casual Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a dedication to dining excellence, service and value in a casual environment. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2018.

·       All Purpose – Shaw

·       Bantam King

·       Bindaas – Cleveland Park

·       Maketto

·       Royal

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of dining excellence and service in an upscale casual environment. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2018.

·       Centrolina

·       Iron Gate

·       Momofuku CCDC

·       Sally’s Middle Name

·       Sushi Taro

Pastry Chef of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant pastry chef who prepares desserts and baked goods and demonstrates a high standard of excellence and culinary artistry. The nominee serves as an inspiration to other food professionals. The nominee must have been a pastry chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area.

·       Fabrice Bendano, Le Diplomate

·       Ana Deshaies, Unconventional Diner

·       Pichet Ong, Brothers and Sisters, Spoken English

·       Paola Velez, Iron Gate

·       Meagan Tighe, Trummer’s On Main

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in food, service and atmosphere and shows dedication to sophisticated culinary techniques in a fine dining environment. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 31, 2018.

·       Blue Duck Tavern

·       BOURBON STEAK

·       Rasika

·       The Source by Wolfgang Puck

·       Trummer’s On Main

Chef of the Year: The nominee is an executive chef or chef de cuisine who demonstrates consistent standards of culinary excellence. The nominee displays a dedication to the artistry of food and may be from any type of establishment. The nominee must have been a chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area.

·       Kyle Bailey, The Salt Line

·       David Deshaies, Unconventional Diner

·       Marjorie Meek-Bradley, St. Anselm

·       Russell Smith, The Source by Wolfgang Puck

·       Nicholas Stefanelli, Masseria, Officina

Restaurateur of the Year: The nominee must be a working restaurateur or restaurant group who sets high standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for a minimum of 5 years in the Metropolitan Washington area.

·       Victor Albisu, Poca Madre, Taco Bamba Taqueria

·       Jackie Greenbaum & Gordon Banks, Bar Charley, El Chucho, Little Coco’s, & Quarry House Tavern

·       Michael Friedman, Mike O’Malley, Colin McDonough, Gareth Croke, Red Stone

·       Rose Previte, Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen, Maydan

·       Daisuke Utagawa, Katsuya Fukushima, and Yama Jewayni, Daikaya Group

The winners will be announced at the 37th Annual RAMMY Awards Gala on Sunday, June 30, 2019, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. For more information regarding the awards, to purchase tickets, and sponsorship opportunities, email therammys@ramw.org or call 202-331-5990.

 

The RAMMYS

Presented by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), The RAMMY Awards Gala honors the exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and organizations of the region’s restaurants and foodservice community. Named the #1 Food & Restaurant event by BIZBASH Magazine since 2009, The RAMMYS celebrate one of Metropolitan Washington’s greatest assets: Its restaurants.

 

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW)

The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Established in 1920, RAMW is an advocate, resource and community for its members. The Association works to promote and sustain the growth and development of the industry while providing its members legislative and regulatory representation, marketing and small business support, programming and events. RAMW strives to serve its members with professionalism and integrity, and provide them the training, education and support they need to grow a successful business.

 

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