Sunday night I attended the 2011 RAMMY awards over at the Marriott in Woodley Park, a wonderful night honoring some of the best in the restaurant business in the city. Below you'll find the list of 2011 winners, and you can read my post about it over at We Love DC.
The 2011 RAMMY award winners:
Duke Zeibart Capital Achievement Award - Chef José Andrés
Chef of the Year - Todd Gray of Equinox
Rising Culinary Star - Kyle Bailey of Birch and Barley
Pastry Chef - Tiffany MacIsaac of Neighborhood Restaurant Group
New Restaurant - Estadio DC
Fine Dining Restaurant - The Source by Wolfgang Puck
Upscale Casual Restaurant - Tabard Inn
Neighborhood Gathering Place - Ted's Bulletin
Restaurant Employee - Ryme Lansari of Cafe Atlantico/Minibar
Restaurant Manager - Hans Olson of Clyde's of Reston
Power Spot - Carmine's
Hottest Bar Scene - Chef Geoff's, Tyson Corner
Wine Program - Taberna Del Alabardero
Beverage/Mixology Program - Founding Farmers
Your Favorite Restaurant - Carmine's
Where Magazine Visitors' Choice Award - Old Ebbitt Grill
As I said in my WLDC post, I (and like many other people in the audience) was surprised by some of the winners in the publicly voted categories. I would argue that the publicly voted categories weren't indicative of the culinary talent that lies in this city. There are plenty of good restaurants that didn't even make the nominees in these categories, and I wish the public votes would have reflected the food this city has to offer.
Aside from that, there were some very deserving winners of the night. Obviously, I'm incredibly proud of my friends Kyle Bailey and Tiffany MacIsaac of Neighborhood Restaurant Group who took home the Rising Culinary Star and Pastry Chef of the Year awards, respectively. I also thought the winners for Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year (The Source by Wolfgang Puck) and New Restaurant of the Year (Estadio) were spot on. I would have liked to have seen Masa 14 or Bourbon Steak win for Hottest Bar Scene (um, hello? Leonardo DiCaprio along with a slew of other famous names have been spotted at Bourbon Steak).
Some of the funny/personable moments of the night included WaPo's Bonnie Benwick's comment about the audience owing much to the creators of Spanx, WaPo's Joe Yonan's live tweeting from the stage as he presented awards, Todd Gray's stylish Nantucket red pants in a sea of black tuxedos and the owner of Estadio's demand to stop playing the "get off the stage music" because he was going to finish his speech no matter what. It should go without saying that the food and cocktails served were delicious, especially Patricia Jinich's cheesecake.
Thanks to Alejandra Owens of Borderstan and Russell Warnick of Endless Simmer for providing me with entertaining company for the night. With one RAMMY awards ceremony, two after parties and a night of live tweeting under my belt, I'm already looking forward to next year's.
Take a bite: www.bonappetitfoodie.com.