Restaurant industry prepares for 35th anniversary 2017 RAMMY Awards, Gala

Finalists were announced at celebration event April 3

The 2017 RAMMY Awards Gala, held by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, is fast-approaching. The “Who’s Who” of the local restaurant industry in Washington, D.C. will be in attendance July 30, 2017 at the 35th Anniversary Event .

As a runner-up to this big celebration at Washington, D.C.’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the finalists were announced at The Hamilton Live April 3. Open to members of the association, the nominations were subject to category requirements and a rigorous selection process that varied by category. Typically, many of the program category food & beverage award winners are evaluated based on the attributes of quality, diversity, clarity and value in their respective category.

The faces of the restaurant industry are some of the most endearing as local diners can relate back to those individuals as they experience the service in our top restaurants, and as they become more familiar with the personnel who make culinary innovation happen in D.C. We’ve listed those categories first.


2017 RAMMY Award: Employee of the Year (non-managerial).

  • Noe Alfaro, Republic
  • Heather Berry, Bar Pilar
  • Joseph Cassis, PassionFish Bethesda
  • David Perry, RIS
  • David Trezevant, Carmine’s Family Style Italian Restaurant

2017 RAMMY Manager of the Year. The nominees were selected on key personnel attributes and have displayed outstanding service, leadership and are mentors to others.

  • Julio Amador, Cork Wine Bar
  • Christine Gibson, Iron Gate
  • John Grace, The Hamilton
  • Matthew McQuilkin, Pizzeria Paradiso
  • Margaret Perry, Kyirisan

2017 RAMMY Chef of the Year (executive chef or chef de cuisine).

  • Amy Brandwein, Centrolina
  • Erik Bruner-Yang, Maketto, Paper Horse
  • Austin Fausett, Proof
  • Katsuya Fukushima, Bantam King, Daikaya and Haikan
  • Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

2017 RAMMY Pastry Chef of the Year

  • Mollie Bird, Kyirisan
  • Jemil Gadea, Masseria
  • Tiffany MacIsaac, Buttercream Bakeshop
  • Brandon Malzahn, Fabio Trabocchi Restaurants
  • Erin Reed, Blue Duck Tavern

2017 Restaurateur of the Year. (Must have been in business for 5 years.)

  • Ari Gejdenson, Mindful Restaurants
  • Ike Grigoropoulos, Dimitri Moshovitis, Ted Xenochristos and Brett Schulman, Cava Group, Inc.
  • The Kuller Family, Fat Baby Inc.
  • Jamie Leeds, JL Restaurant Group
  • Daisuke Utagawa, Katsuya Fukushima and Yama Jewayni, Daikaya Group

2017 RAMMY Award (Exemplary) Cocktail Program of the Year.

  • barmini by José Andrés
  • Indique
  • Iron Gate
  • Kapnos by Mike Isabella
  • Royal

2017 RAMMY Beer Program of the Year. (Brewery restaurants and brew pubs are included in the selection process.)

  • B Side
  • District Commons
  • Jack Rose Dining Saloon
  • Republic
  • Roofers Union

2017 RAMMY Wine Program of the Year. (The wine program selection qualifications include that the offering being complementary to the culinary program cuisine style of the restaurant, providing an enhanced dining experience to the customer.)

  • Charlie Palmer Steak
  • Doi Moi
  • Fiola
  • minibar by José Andrés

2017 RAMMY (High Standard-of-Excellence) Service Program of the Year.

  • The Bombay Club
  • minibar by José Andrés
  • Ripple
  • RIS
  • The Source by Wolfgang Puck

2017 RAMMY Rising Culinary Star of the Year (Selections were based on a two-year minimum.)

  • Sasha Felikson, Doi Moi
  • Ryan Ratino, Ripple
  • Miranda Rosenfelt, Sally’s Middle Name
  • Rob Rubba, Hazel
  • Piter & Handry Tjan, Kōbō and Sushiko

2017 RAMMY Casual Restaurant of the Year. (Two-year-in-business minimum requirement.)

  • Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen
  • Daikaya
  • The Daily Dish
  • Duke’s Grocery
  • Mandu, 18th Street

2017 RAMMY Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year. (Two-year-in-business minimum requirement.)

  • Central Michel Richard
  • Indique
  • Iron Gate
  • The Red Hen
  • Proof

2017 RAMMY New Restaurant of the Year. (Must have opened between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2016.)

  • All Purpose
  • Hazel
  • Kōbō
  • Requin
  • Whaley’s

2017 RAMMY Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year. (Two-year-in-business minimum requirement.)

  • Fiola Mare
  • minibar by José Andrés
  • The Source by Wolfgang Puck
  • Sushi Taro
  • Trummer’s On Main

2017 RAMMY Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year.

  • Atlas Brew Works
  • DC Brau Brewing Company
  • Logan Sausage
  • New Columbia Distillers/Green Hat
  • Right Proper Brewing Company

2017 RAMMY Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year. (Purveyor to the industry selected by RAMW’s Executive Committee.)·

  • Acme Paper & Supply Co.
  • Coastal Sunbelt Produce
  • DC Brau Brewing Company
  • USI Insurance Services
  • The Veritas Law Firm

Through the partnership with NBC Washington, the voting public can cast their vote in four categories. The following categories are eligible for these votes via The voting ends at 5 p.m. May 31, 2017.

2017 RAMMY Favorite Gathering Place of the Year.

  • Brookland’s Finest Bar & Kitchen
  • The Front Porch at Evening Star Cafe
  • Lauriol Plaza
  • Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
  • Petworth Citizen & Reading Room

2017 RAMMY Upscale Brunch of the Year.

  • Convivial
  • Del Campo
  • Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
  • The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
  • The Source by Wolfgang Puck

2017 RAMMY Casual Brunch of the Year.

  • Cava Mezze – Capitol Hill
  • DGS Delicatessen
  • Maketto
  • Republic
  • Sixth Engine

2017 RAMMY Favorite Fast Bites of the Year. (Limited to quick-service, coffee shop, mobile food vendor or deli.)

  • Beefsteak
  • Cava Grill
  • Chase the Submarine
  • G by Mike Isabella
  • Taco Bamba Taqueria

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