2013 RAMMY Nominees Announced!

DC’s restaurant industry insiders descended into the Hamilton LIVE Tuesday night to taste test hors d’oeuvres served by this year’s RAMMY finalists for New Restaurant and sip cocktails by finalists for IMG_7402Beverage/Mixology program as they awaited the announcement of the full slate of nominees for the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington‘s (RAMW) annual RAMMY Awards.

“This year’s theme – ‘Restaurants in Bloom’ – acknowledges [the hospitality industry’s] creative contributions to the region’s burgeoning restaurant scene,” said Kathy Hollinger, RAMW’s new President (in yellow, above), “and credits their talent which has earned DC recognition as a dining destination.”

RAMMY nominees are selected by the voting public (except in the case of the Joan Hisaoka Associate IMG_7404Member of the Year, which is chosen by a panel from the RAMW Executive Committee).  Nominees are then reviewed by an anonymous panel of food/restaurant writers, educators and HR professionals to ultimately select the five finalists in each of the categories announced Tuesday night:

2013 RAMMY Finalists:

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 1, 2012.

The Ashby Inn & Restaurant
Blue Duck Tavern
The Bombay Club
Marcel’s
Rasika

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 1, 2012.

Birch and Barley
Cork Wine Bar
Estadio
Jaleo – Penn Quarter
KAZ Sushi Bistro

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 1, 2012.

Bar Pilar
Bayou Bakery
C. F. Folks
Nando’s Peri-Peri
Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza

Neighborhood Gathering Place of the Year
This nominee is a restaurant that has established itself as a “Great Good Place” with a congenial atmosphere rooted in its neighborhood. The nominee must have been open for at least 5 years prior to December 1, 2012.

Ardeo + Bardeo
Bastille
Evening Star Café
Nellie’s Sports Bar
Willow Restaurant

New Restaurant of the Year
A restaurant that must have been opened between December 1, 2011 and November 30, 2012 and already distinguishes itself as a pacesetter in food, beverage and service.

Boqueria
DGS Delicatessen
Fuego Cocina y Tequileria
Mintwood Place
Rasika West End

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.

Tony Conte – The Oval Room
Haidar Karoum – Estadio/Proof
Tarver King – The Ashby Inn and Restaurant
Cedric Maupillier – Mintwood Place
Fabio Trabocchi – Fiola

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.

Scot Harlan – Green Pig Bistro
Tim Ma – Maple Avenue Restaurant
Marjorie Meek-Bradley – Ripple
John Melfi – Blue Duck Tavern
Nathan Shapiro – The Ashby Inn and Restaurant

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.

Beverly Bates – Vidalia
Peter Brett – Blue Duck Tavern
Alison Reed – Ripple
Susan Wallace – BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant
Tom Wellings – Fiola

Wine Program of the Year
The member restaurant is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its wine program. The wine program best suits the cuisine and style of the restaurant while enhancing the dining experience and the nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of two years by December 1, 2012.

Adour
The Ashby Inn and Restaurant
Dino
Marcel’s
Ripple

Beverage/Mixology Program of the Year
The member restaurant is distinguished by the quality, diversity, creativity, clarity and value of its beverage program. The nominee’s beverage program best suits the cuisine and style of the restaurant while enhancing the restaurant experience. The nominated restaurant must have been in operation for a minimum of two years.

Birch & Barley/Churchkey
Bourbon Steak
EatGoodFood Group
Rasika
Room 11

Power Spot of the Year
This nominee is frequented by movers and shakers and decision makers. It best exemplifies how the region and nation’s capital works.

The Bombay Club
Johnny’s Half Shell
P. J. Clarke’s
Seasons
The Source by Wolfgang Puck

Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene of the Year
This nominee is a member restaurant or hotel bar that is innovative with an energetic scene (atmosphere, drink menu, etc.) with a hip and eclectic crowd and is a great people watching and meeting place.

Bar Pilar
Fiola
Fuego Cocina y Tequileria
Hank’s Oyster Bar – Capitol Hill
Jack Rose Dining Saloon

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.

Joseph Cerione – Blue Duck Tavern
Justin Guthrie – Estadio
Alex Muñoz – Hill Country Barbecue Market
Michael Nevarez – Vidalia/Bistro Bis/Woodward Table
Tyes Zolman – Black Restaurant Group

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.

Helene Jones – Poste Moderne Brasserie
Lauren Lowe – DC Coast
Luis Noriega – Zengo
Ali Schemeck – Chef Geoff’s, New Mexico Ave.
Elizabeth Zelaya – Fiola

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.

José Andrés & Rob Wilder – THINKFoodGROUP
Meshelle & Cathal Armstrong – EatGoodFood Group
Michael Babin – Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Ashok Bajaj – Knightsbridge Restaurant Group
Drew Kim, Mark Neal and Ty Neal – Matchbox Food Group

Associate Member of the Year
The RAMW Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year Award is given annually to an associate member who best exemplifies commitment to and support of RAMW.

Acme Paper & Supply Co.
BB&T
EagleBank
SYSCO Food Services of Baltimore
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

Winners will be announced at the 31st annual RAMMY Awards Gala on Sunday, June 23, 2012 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

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