And the RAMMY goes to….
Last night, instead of crowding around TV sets to watch the Tony Awards, members of the DC food community were eating, drinking and dancing the night away at the 33rd Annual RAMMY Awards!
This was my first year attending the event, so it’s safe to say I was more than a little excited. I had my nails done, stopped at the DryBar in Georgetown and put on my game face. I was RAMMYS-ready!
The Convention Center was absolutely PACKED with chefs, servers, restaurateurs, managers and journalists. I ran into practically everyone I’d ever met working in the food scene. I was told that the event grows every year, and this year did not seem to be an exception.
The awards ceremony itself was standing room only. Mayor Bowser praised the DC restaurant industry for its middle class job creation, and for its incredible growth over the past decades. RAMW president, Kathy Hollinger, reflected on the history of the awards and the organization. Throughout the evening’s remarks, what stood out was the impressive sense of community in DC’s food industry.
When the crowd started getting antsy, it was time to reveal the winners. Esteemed DC journalists did the honors. (See the results at the end of the post.) Acceptance speech highlights included numerous kilts, jokes about leather pants, an on-stage selfie (by Agnes Chin of The Grill Room at Capella DC), and a “now hiring” plug (by Victor Albisu of Del Campo & Taco Bamba).
Once the final card had been read, we were ready to celebrate! Escalators whisked all of the well-dressed guests up to a ballroom where the food and booze were flowing and the rockin’ DJ Neekola was getting the party started.
RAMW’s partners had a diverse selection of cuisine – including beef and lamb from Australia, Chilean salmon prepared 3 ways, and all the fish and ceviche you could wish for from Peru. Two major event sponsors, Citi Open and Events DC also had an endless supply of bites. The highlight was the craft cocktails prepared by RAMMYS finalists, including Bourbon Steak, 2 Birds 1 Stone, barmini and Trummer’s on Main.
If there’s one thing I learned from attending the RAMMYS this year, it’s that DC’s food and beverage community knows how to party!
And the RAMMYS went to…
Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: EagleBank
Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award: Herbert Miller, Western Development Corporation, Chairman & CEO
Restaurant Employee of the Year: Evan Labb, Evening Star Cafe
Restaurant Manager of the Year: Joseph Cerione, Blue Duck Tavern
Rising Culinary Star of the Year: George Pagonis, Kapnos
Service Program of the Year: Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: Catoctin Creek Distilling Company
*Favorite Gathering Place: Bar Pilar
*Upscale Casual Brunch: Le Diplomate
*Everyday Casual Brunch: The Daily Dish
*Favorite Fast Bites: Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza
Upscale Casual Restaurant: Mintwood Place
Everyday Casual Restaurant: DGS Delicatessen
Beer Program of the Year: Pizzeria Paradiso, Georgetown
Cocktail Program of the Year: Bourbon Steak
Wine Program of the Year: Iron Gate
Pastry Chef of the Year: Agnes Chin, The Grill Room
Formal Fine Dining Restaurant: The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
New Restaurant of the Year: Fiola Mare
Restaurateur of the Year: José Andrés and Rob Wilder, ThinkFoodGroup
Chef of the Year: Victor Albisu, Del Campo and Taco Bamba
(Note: Only RAMW members are eligible for awards. The categories marked with an asterisk were decided by public vote.)
Congrats to all the winners!