Rammy Awards: Celebrating DC’s Best

Deciding where to dine on my birthday is always difficult.  So many options, so much pressure.  This year was stress-free.  Many of my favorite DC chefs gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the annual RAMMY Awards on June 12, and I was right there with them. As someone obsessed with DC restaurants (find me on Twitter @foodobsessed6), I can’t imagine a better way  to celebrate my birthday.

Sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), the black tie event honors the area’s restaurants and food service industry.  Twenty-two awards were bestowed by local media including Leon Harris and Jummy Olabanji (WJLA-TV); Eun Yang, (News 4 Today), Tommy McFly, Kelly Collis, and Jen Richer, (94.7 Fresh FM).

rammys 2016

The Orlando shootings dominated everyone’s thoughts. Chef Scott Drewno eloquently referenced the tragedy in accepting his award for Chef of the Year. “This industry is about love and acceptance.  We have a voice to make a change.  Eliminate hate.” “It doesn’t matter your sexual orientation, your religion. If you have passion, if you have heart, if you have desire, we welcome you on our team.” Drewno’s acceptance speech was a clear favorite of the night, striking an appropriate chord in an otherwise celebratory evening. This is the second Chef of the Year win for Drewno, who is Executive Chef of The Source by Wolfgang Puck. {My recent post:  “The Source:  An Inspiring Journey“}

Alex Levin of Osteria Morini was awarded Pastry Chef of the Year.  Levin has received many well-deserved accolades for his work, and it was a thrill to see him win this honor. {My recent post: Osteria Morini:  Again (and Again)}

RAMMYS 2016 Alex Levin

me with Osteria Morini Executive Pastry Chef Alex Levin and Executive Chef Matt Adler

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year went to Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier. I had the pleasure of dining here recently when I was inducted into the Les Dames d’Escoffier DC Chapter.  I wrote about Marcel’s a little over a year ago. {From March 2015:  Marcel’s:  A Dining Experience That’s Meant to Be}

Maketto was named New Restaurant of the Year beating out other worthy competitors like Centrolina, Clarity, Convivial and Masseria. {From December 2015:  Maketto:  A Super Supper}

Jonah Kim of Yona took the award for Rising Culinary Star of the Year. {From January 2016:  Yona:  Unquestionably Delightful}

Mike Isabella accepted the Restaurateur of the Year in his first RAMMY win.


Other winners:

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Le Diplomate

Everyday Casual Restaurant of the Year: Bar Pilar

Wine Program of the Year: The Red Hen

Cocktail Program of the Year: 2 Birds 1 Stone

Beer Program of the Year: Right Proper Brewing Company

Service Program of the Year: Fiola

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: Port City Brewing Company

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Northside Social Coffee & Wine

Upscale Casual Brunch: Blue Duck Tavern

Everyday Casual Brunch: Duke’s Grocery

Favorite Fast Bites: Bub and Pop’s

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: Republic National Distributing Company

Employee of the Year: Jorge Martinez, The Source by Wolfgang Puck

Manager of the Year: Jennifer Lucy, Estadio



Presented by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), The RAMMY Awards Gala honors the exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and organizations of the region’s restaurants and foodservice community. The selection process for the winners involved the voting public and an anonymous panel of volunteer judges, consisting of food and dining journalists, educators and foodservice industry professionals. The voting public decided the winners in four categories: Favorite Gathering Place of the Year, Upscale Brunch, Everyday Casual Brunch and Favorite Fast Bites. Restaurants must be members of RAMW to even be considered for an award.

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