The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) Awards Gala, “The RAMMYS” honored its most favored sons and daughters of the kitchen at a glamorous Carnival-themed event. Guests adorned their gowns, tuxedos, and occasional Scottish kilts, with feather-adorned masks.
According to Lynne Breaux, president of RAMW, “These awards celebrate not only the best dining experiences in Washington, but the deepest sense of place and connection to this city by these restaurant professionals.”
Freshly shucked oysters glistening on beds of ice were continuously refreshed by dedicated shuckers as guests entered the cocktail hour. Signature drinks offered included Pisco Sours, a nod to South American cuisine, and P.S. 7′s cucumber/basil-infused gin-based concoction called “UR Choice.”
Chef-advocate José Andrés, received the top honor of the evening, the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award. In a heart-felt tribute to the city that has rewarded his efforts, he accepted saying, “In this city, the role of man is to take care of others. We need to be part of the solution and make our mission a successful end to both hunger and obesity. I will continue working towards this end and hope to continue to make Washington, DC proud of me.”
Other award winners included Equinox’s Todd Gray as Chef of the Year in recognition of his dedication to locally sourced ingredients and his commitment to sustainability. His work is illustrated by his involvement in the First Lady’s “Chef’s Move to Schools” program. Affable, kilt-wearing Hans Olson from Clyde’s of Reston,Virginia received Restaurant Manager of the Year.
Following the award ceremony, a festive reception celebrated the culinary traditions of the Australia, Chile, Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), Mexico and the U.S. Southern states. Lamb, beef and cold-water fish including salmon and halibut were featured entrées on the buffets, each receiving its own innovative, international treatment as guests ate and danced to celebrate the winners and the vibrant culinary scene that has elevated Washington to international status.
Other winners included:
Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award – Chef José Andrés (creator of Jaleo, Zaytinya, Café Atlántico and Oyamel).
Joan Hisaoka Associate Member of the Year – Ritz-Carlton Washington, D.C.
Neighborhood Gathering Place – Ted’s Bulletin
Power Spot – Carmine’s Penn Quarter
Hottest Bar Scene – Chef Geoff’s Tysons Corner
Voter’s Choice Favorite Restaurant – Carmine’s Penn Quarter
Where Magazine Visitor’s Choice Award – Old Ebbitt Grill
Restaurant Employee of the Year – Ryme Lansari, server Café Atlántico/Minibar
Restaurant Manager of the Year – Hans Olson, manager Clyde’s Reston, VA
Pastry Chef of the Year – Chef Tiffany MacIsaac, Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Upscale Casual Restaurant – Tabard Inn
Rising Culinary Star of the Year – Chef Kyle Bailey, Birch and Barley
New Restaurant – Estadio
Wine Program – Taberna Del Alabardero
Beverage/Mixology Program – Founding Farmers
Fine Dining Restaurant - The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Chef of the Year – Chef Todd Gray, Equinox