“I’m so glad I got a babysitter tonight!” said 2014 Rising Culinary Star Michael Friedman of Bloomingdale’s The Red Hen. Industry night for the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) goes like this: Toast, Applaud, Eat, Repeat.
Top foodservice industry professionals and their foodie fans got all gussied up to gather Sunday night at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. There was much reminiscing, even more looking toward the future, and some well deserved commendations on the current state of the DC plate as accolades were given at the 32nd Annual RAMMY Awards.
“When I started working as a waiter in the United States, I never realized that there is an award for this type of job,” admitted Restaurant Employee of the Year winner Stelios Alexandris of 1789 Restaurant, queuing laughter from the audience.
“We’re not saving lives, but sometimes it feels like it,” joked District Commons GM Boo Young Kim, Restaurant Manager of the Year honoree.
To keep up with metropolitan Washington’s quickly evolving dining scene, seven new award categories were included this year — featuring brunches, service programs, mixology and other definitive aspects of the greater Washington’s restaurant and foodservice industry.
But here’s what you really want to know. The winners of the 32nd Annual RAMMY Awards are:
- Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: Fiola
- Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Ripple
- Everyday Casual Restaurant of the Year: Toki Underground
- New Restaurant of the Year: The Red Hen
- Chef of the Year: Haidar Karoum, Doi Moi, Estadio, Proof
- Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Michael Friedman, The Red Hen
- Pastry Chef of the Year: Caitlin Dysart, 2941 Restaurant
- Wine Program of the Year: Ripple
- Cocktail Program of the Year***: Jack Rose Dining Saloon
- Beer Program of the Year***: Birch and Barley / ChurchKey
- Service Program of the Year***: Blue Duck Tavern
- Restaurateur of the Year: Michael Babin, Neighborhood Restaurant Group
- Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year***: Red Apron Butcher
- Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Hank’s Oyster Bar – Dupont Circle
- Upscale Casual Brunch***: Mintwood Place
- Everyday Casual Brunch***: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
- Favorite Fast Bites***: Amsterdam Falafelshop
- Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: ProFish, Ltd.
- Employee of the Year: Stelios Alexandris, 1789 Restaurant
- Manager of the Year: Boo Young Kim, District Commons
***Denotes a new award in 2014