The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Awards Rammy 2011 nominations announced!

General Manager Ryan McArthy of DC Coast receives nomination.

In the Washington, DC Metropolitan area restaurant industry, few awards hold the same esteem as the respected RAMMY awards. Tonight ramped up the RAMMY season captivating the DC restaurant community and dining public alike. Tonight, restaurateurs, chefs and key restaurant industry players attended the highly anticipated event at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC as the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced the 2011 RAMMY Award Nominees. The gala where one finalist will ultimately win their award, will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on June 26 with awards granted to 16 categories of local culinary and beverage superstars.

The theme of this year’s gala, Carnevale da Cuisine, was announced at a Fiesta Night at the Mexican Cultural Institute on Jan. 24. Mexico showcased the cuisine of Executive Chef Pati Jinich executed by Main Event Caterers. This year’s theme ’Carnevale da Cuisine’ gives us the chance to celebrate this colorful, crazy business we call the restaurant industry, said Lynne Breaux, President of RAMW. They always say what a huge honor it is just to be nominated. Well, with The RAMMY Awards, the cliche is true.

Tiffany McIssac, who received a nomination for Pasty Chef of the year (tiffmacisaac) on Twitter said, “Thanks @RAMMYawards for the nominations! Kyle and I are so grateful to be included with such a talented group of Chefs!!!” Her husband and fellow team member Kyle Bailey was nominated for Rising Culinary Star. In addition, Birch & Barley received a nomination for ‘Best’ Upscale Casual Restaurant and Churchkey received a nomination for its beer-centric Mixology/ Beverage Program.

Will Artley, Executive Chef at Evening Star Cafe in Del Ray, Alexandria who did not attend the nomination party this evening, as he did not know he was getting a Rammy nomination for Rising Culinary Star. He told me via text, while working on the line “Omg! Thank you so much! Very excited! I wish they would have told me. I would have went. I’m very proud.” He adds while laughing, “I was cooking a kid’s grilled cheese when I found out.” What a surprise, right? Will adds, “It was awesome because I got to thank my staff!”

Selecting the RAMMY nominees, and ultimately the winners, involves two separate panels of judges, the voting public and, for just one award – the Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year – the RAMW Executive Committee. Any RAMW member is eligible for nomination as long as they qualify for the given category. The nominees are then reviewed by an anonymous panel of esteemed food/restaurant writers, educators and HR professionals who ultimately select the five finalists in each of the categories announced tonight.

The public will decide the winners in four categories: Voter’s Favorite Restaurant, Neighborhood Gathering Place, Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene and Power Spot of the Year. The winners in these categories are determined entirely by the public vote tallies. Votes can be cast through a special ballot appearing in The Washington City Paper on April 28 or online at ramw.org.

2011 RAMMY Finalists:
Fine Dining Restaurant
The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in food, service and
atmosphere and shows dedication to sophisticated culinary techniques. The nominees in this category
must have opened prior to December 1, 2009.

  • Bourbon Steak, Washington, DC;
  • Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC;
  • Rasika, Washington, DC;
  • The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Washington, DC;
  • Trummer’s on Main, Clifton, VA

Upscale Casual Restaurant
The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of dining excellence. The nominees in
this category must have opened prior to December 1, 2009.

  • Bibiana, Washington, DC;
  • Birch & Barley, Washington, DC;
  • The Liberty Tavern, Arlington, VA;
  • Proof, Washington, DC;
  • Tabard Inn, Washington, DC

Neighborhood Gathering Place
This nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of quality and congeniality rooted in
its neighborhood.

  • Bar Pilar, Washington, DC;
  • Bastille, Alexandria, VA;
  • EatBar, Arlington, VA;
  • Perry’s, Washington, DC;
  • Ted’s Bulletin, Washington, DC

New Restaurant
A restaurant that must have been opened between December 1, 2009 and November 30, 2010 and
already distinguishes itself as a pacesetter in food, beverage and service.

  • Estadio, Washington, DC;
  • Kushi, Washington, DC;
  • Michel by Michel Richard, Tysons Corner,VA;
  • Pizzeria Orso, Falls Church, VA;
  • ris, Washington, DC

Chef of the Year
The nominee is an executive chef or chef de cuisine who demonstrates consistent standards of
excellence and serves as an inspiration to other food professionals. The nominee displays a
dedication to the artistry of food, exhibits an ongoing commitment to the community and may be
from any type of establishment.

  • Bertrand Chemel – 2941, Falls Church, VA;
  • Todd Gray – Equinox, Washington, DC;
  • Haidar Karoum – Proof, Washington, DC;
  • Vikram Sunderam – Rasika, Washington, DC;
  • Bryan Voltaggio – VOLT, Frederick, MD

Rising Culinary Star
The nominee is an up and coming chef who demonstrates exemplary talent, shows leadership and
promise for the future. The nominee must have been an executive chef for no more than five years.

  • Will Artley – Evening Star Cafe, Alexandria, VA;
  • Kyle Bailey – Birch & Barley, Washington, DC;
  • Justin Bittner – Bar Pilar, Washington, DC;
  • Shannon Overmiller – The Majestic, Alexandria, VA;
  • Javier Romero – Taberna del Alabardero, Washington, DC

Pastry Chef
The nominee is a restaurant pastry chef who prepares desserts and pastries and demonstrates a high
standard of excellence and culinary artistry. The nominee serves as an inspiration to other food
professionals.

  • Rebekka Baltzell – Restaurant Eve, Alexandria, VA;
  • Fabrice Bendano – Adour, Washington, DC;
  • Chris Kujala – ris, Washington, DC;
  • Tiffany MacIsaac – Neighborhood Restaurant Group, Washington DC & VA;
  • Tom Wellings – Equinox, Washington, DC

Wine Program
The restaurant 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. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff.

  • 2941, Falls Church, VA;
  • Michel Richard Citronelle, Washington, DC;
  • Cork, Washington, DC;
  • Dino, Washington, DC;
  • Taberna del Alabardero, Washington, DC

Mixology/ Beverage Program
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. *new Rammy category* 2010 was the first award.

  • Bourbon Steak, Washington, DC;
  • ChurchKey, Washington, DC;
  • Founding Farmers, Washington, DC;
  • Proof/Estadio, Washington, DC;
  • Tabard Inn, Washington, DC

Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene
This nominee is a 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.

  • Bourbon Steak, Washington, DC;
  • Chef Geoff – Tysons Corner, VA;
  • Estadio, Washington, DC;
  • Masa 14, Washington, DC;
  • PS7s, Washington, DC

Power Spot
The nominee is a restaurant frequented by movers, shakers and decision makers. It best exemplifies
how the nation’s capital works.

  • The Bombay Club, Washington, DC;
  • Carmine’s, Washington, DC;
  • Equinox, Washington, DC;
  • The Palm, Washington, DC;
  • The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Washington, DC

Restaurant Employee of the Year

  • Julie Albert – Brasserie Beck/Marcel’s, Washington, DC;
  • Freddy Bastidas – Blue Duck Tavern, Washington, DC;
  • Estaban Gueverra- Dino, Washington, DC;
  • Ryme Lansari – Cafe Atlantico/minibar, Washington, DC;
  • Adam Sackett – PS7′s Restaurant, Washington, DC

Restaurant Manager of the Year

  • Reagan Corbett – Jackson 20, Alexandria, VA;
  • Dan Festa – Morton’s The Steakhouse, Washington, DC;
  • Ryan McCarthy – DC Coast, Washington, DC;
  • Atul Narain – Rasika, Washington, DC;
  • Hans Olson – Clyde’s of Reston, Reston, VA

Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year

  • Adams-Burch; BB&T; EagleBank; Fiji Water; The Ritz-Carlton Washington, DC;
  • SYSCO Food Services of Baltimore

Again, the gala will be held at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on June 26 with awards granted to 16 categories of local culinary and beverage superstars. See you there!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. 2011 Rammy Winners Announced! « Dining In Dc – Food and Restaurant Blog - June 27, 2011

    [...] Last night, many Washington, DC area restaurant industry professionals took off their hospitality hats (and put on a mask) for one evening, in order to celebrate and recognize the many talented individuals that continue to inspire the DC dining scene. During the vivid Carnevale themed celebration, more than 1,500 people packed the Marriott Wardman Park in Woodley Park. With masks and colorful attire, folks from the front of the house and back of the house, as well as, writers, media, and friends of the industry were able to come together to relate to others that work as hard as they do each and every day. Each year with a new and exciting theme, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) brings together esteemed hospitality leaders for a special evening devoted to honoring excellence in our restaurant and food service community. There were many talented professionals nominated! [...]

  3. Breaking News: Chef Will Artley Departs Evening Star Cafe « Dining In Dc – Food and Restaurant Blog - October 25, 2011

    [...] Most recently he was nominated by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington in 2011 for Rising Culinary Star. [...]

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