The 28th annual RAMMY awards, The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington's own 'Oscars of restaurants,' took place Sunday evening at the Marriott Wardman Park.
Over 1500 industry guests, sprinkled with D.C. Councilmembers and Mayoral hopefuls like David Catania and Vincent Gray, donned their most glam 40’s era attire to celebrate this year’s Casablanca-esque awards theme, “We’ll Always Have Restaurants.” Award nominees and recipients are selected by a panel of food writers, educators and industry professionals, with several categories presented to the public for popular vote.
Among the evening’s more engaging moments were the presentation of the Duke Ziebert Award to WTOPs Bob Madigan (shown right) and comments by Chef of the Year Award winner Scott Drewno of The Source, who gleefully exceeded the 30 second comment constraints with a sometimes amusing, sometimes touching speech thanking family, colleagues, mentors and throwing a nod of respect to his fellow category nominees.
The ceremony and celebration was formatted differently this year from those gone by, after various challenges from heat to, surprisingly, cuisine, came to a head at last year’s event when complaints about excessive heat and sound quality, among other issues, caused not so quiet discomfort among the community. The new structure featured the awards ceremony in a ballroom format where winners’ speeches could be heard in a comfortably temperature controlled room, followed by a buffet dinner with food that was fresher, livelier and more in tune with the palate of the attendees. Perhaps the ceremony's MC, Sue Palka, (left) summed it up best in her concluding remarks of the evening stating “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
The 2010 RAMMY AWARD WINNERS
Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award
Bob Madigan of WTOP
WHERE MAGAZINE Visitors' Choice Award
2009 RAMMY Honorary Award
The Monocle on Capitol Hill
Joan Hisaoka Associate Member
ProChile/Wines of Chile
Adolfo Cajchon - Seasons, Washington, D.C.
Mark Politzer - Bourbon Steak, Washington, D.C.
Fine Dining Restaurant
2941, Falls Church, VA
Rising Culinary Star
Nicolas Stefanelli - Bibiana, Washington, D.C.
Best New Restaurant
Birch & Barley, Washington, D.C.
Power Spot (public vote)
BLT Steak, Washington, D.C.
Neighborhood Gathering Place (public vote)
Cork Wine Bar, Washington, D.C.
Vermilion, Alexandria, VA
Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene (public vote)
Birch & Barley/Churchkey, Washington, D.C.
Anthony Chavez - 2941, Falls Church, VA
PS7, Washington, D.C.
Proof, Washington, D.C.
Favorite Restaurant (public vote)
CoCo. Sala, Washington, D.C.
Mark Politzer, Bourbon Steak, Restaurant Manager of the year (by Neshan H. Naltchayan)
The Newseum's Pam Galloway-Tabb with Chef of the Year winner, Scott Drewno of the Source by Wolfgang Puck (Neshan H. Naltchayan)
Darlene and Allan S. Horlick, President & GM of WUSA9
Chef Geoff Tracy with David Moran, Managing Director, Clyde's & Old Ebbitt Grill
PR star Jill Collins with her date, honoree Bob Madigan
Rising Culinary Star Award recipient, Nicolas Stefinelli of Bibiana, Rommanett Stefinelli and Francesco Amodeo, also of Bibiana (Neshan H. Naltchayan)
Former Washington Post legend Phyllis Richman offers advice to popular Mayoral candidate Vincent Gray (Neshan H. Naltchayan)
Barbara Martin and Jayne Sandman of Fingerprint DC