2015 RAMMYS - The Culinary Oscars
Sunday night marked the 33rd annual RAMMY Awards Gala and it was definitely a night to remember. Presented by The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), more than 2000 individuals dressed to the nines, which included media personalities, restaurateurs, chefs, winemakers, distillers and foodies, gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to celebrate the best and the brightest of the D.C. restaurant community.
This was my first RAMMYS and I was beyond excited to experience it with my good friends, fellow RAMMY newbies Laetitia, Aparna and RAMMY pro Kyle. The night started with a reception in the grand lobby that featured hors d'oeuvres and drinks from specialty beverage companies including RAMMY nominated Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, Boxwood Estate Winery and Atlas Brew Works. After an hour of mingling and sipping on rosé, we were all ushered into the adjacent room where the anticipated presentation of awards began. Loud cheers filled the room as nominees were announced for each category.
And without further ado ... here are the 2015 RAMMY winners! Congrats to all!
Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: Eagle Bank Corporation
Employee of the Year: Evan Labb of Evening Star
Restaurant Manager of the Year: Joseph Cerione of Blue Duck Tavern
Rising Culinary Star of the Year: George Pagonis of Kapnos
Service Program of the Year: Marcel's
Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: Catoctin Creek
Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Bar Pilar
Upscale Casual Brunch: Le Diplomate
Everyday Casual Brunch: The Daily Dish
Favorite Fast Bites: Pete's New Haven Style Pizza (Friendship Heights)
Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Mintwood Place
Everyday Casual Restaurant of the Year: DGS Delicatessen
Beer Program of the Year: Pizzeria Paradiso (Georgetown)
Cocktail Program of the Year: Bourbon Steak DC
Wine Program of the Year: Iron Gate
Pastry Chef of the Year: Agnes Chin of Capella
Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: Patowmack Farm
New Restaurant of the Year: Fiola Mare
Restaurateur of the Year: José Andrés and Rob Wilder of ThinkFoodGroup
Chef of the Year: Victor Albisu of Del Campo and Taco Bamba
As soon as the last award was handed out, everyone headed upstairs to the second level with one thing on their mind - food. Fitting, non ;-) Food and beverage pavilions were interspersed though out the glitzy venue and individuals had their choice of tasty bites from Argentina, Australia, Chile and Peru and much more. Once appetites were satisfied, people flocked to the center of the room and danced the night away to a superb mix of tunes (that at times brought me back to my high school and college days) spun by the ultra-talented DJ Neekola.
Thank you RAMW for SPECTACULAR night and experience!
RAMMYS award stage.
Close up of the RAMMYS culinary stage background.
RAMMYS 2015 program booklet.
Welcome remarks from RAMW President and CEO Kathy Hollinger.
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on restaurants/hospitality industry and
its positive economic impact.
Regional Food & Beverage Producer of the Year winner, Catoctin Creek Distilling Company. You can't see it, but Scott Harris was wearing a
kilt and it was just AWESOME!
Red Carpet action.
More red carpet action with Aparna.
RAMMYS glitzy venue.
Aparna, Laetitia and me. Thanks to Daniel Swartz of Revamp for this photo! (Posted here with permission)
Mingling, eating, drinking and networking. Par of the course in DC ;-)
Sauvignon Blanc from Chile.
Duck confit empanada served with truffle oil from Argentina.
Alfajores stuffed with lemon zest and dulce de leche from Argentina.
If there is ever a photo booth, the three of us are always drawn to them
like bees to honey.
Group selfie with Alix, Scott and Troy. (photo credit: Aparna)
DJ Neekola in action.
A little GIF action which shows that trying to get a photo booth shot with 6 people (Elizabeth, Alix, Scott, Laetitia, Aparna and me) can be quite amusing! ;-)