The RAMMYs – Finalists Announced

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced its finalists for the 2020 RAMMY Awards, also known as the RAMMYs. The new online voting format creates a welcome moment of celebration and positivity for its irrepressibly community-minded and robust industry.

The finalists for the 2020 RAMMY Awards are:

Chef of the Year

Matt Baker, Gravitas | David Deshaies, Unconventional Diner | Haidar Karoum, Chloe (Navy Yard) | Ryan Ratino, Bresca | Kevin Tien, Emilie’s

Pastry Chef of the Year

Caitlin Dysart, Centrolina | Olivia Green, Rooster & Owl (Upper 14th St) | Katherine Thompson, Thompson Italian (Falls Church) | Meagan Tighe, Trummer’s | Paola Velez, Kith/Kin

Service Program

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab | Ristorante Piccolo | Rose’s Luxury | St. Anselm | The Red Hen

Favorite Gathering Place

Brookland’s Finest | Lapis (Adams Morgan) | Quarry House Tavern (Silver Spring) | Stomping Ground (Del Rey) | The Salt Line

New Restaurant

Anju | Cane (H Street) | Emilie’s | Punjab Grill | Rooster & Owl

Employee of the Year

Yesenia Neri Diaz, Espita Mezcaleria | Isael Granados, Roofers Union | Yasmin Orozco, Taco Bamba Taqueria – Springfield | Kyare Turner, Right Proper Brewing Co. (Shaw) | Jose Ventura, Rasika

Manager of the Year

Jamal Flowers, Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Co. – Alexandria | Charlie Idol, Mission Navy Yard | Rizza Leguro, Founding Farmers Tysons | Jeremy Mancuso, Old Ebbitt Grill | Bethany Wagener, Alta Strada – Mosaic

Casual Restaurant

Bantam King | CHIKO – Capitol Hill | Duke’s Counter | Little Pearl | Stable

Upscale Casual Restaurant

Centrolina | Chloe | Maydan | Poca Madre | Unconventional Diner

Rising Culinary Star

Marcelle Afram, Maydan | Faiz Ally, Poca Madre | Angel Barreto, Anju | Jocelyn Law-Yone, Thamee (H Street) | Yuan Tang, Rooster & Owl

Wine Program

Clarity (Vienna, VA) | Field & Main (Marshall, VA) | Primrose | St. Anselm | The Wine Kitchen – Frederick

Beer Program

B Side | Caboose Brewing Co. – Vienna | Franklin Hall | Roofers Union | Sweetwater Tavern – Centreville

Cocktail Program

China Chilcano | Colada Shop – DC | Officina | Royal | Service Bar

Upscale Brunch

Bindaas – Cleveland Park | Estadio | Seasons at the Four Seasons DC | St. Anselm | Trummer’s

Casual Brunch

All-Purpose Shaw | Casolare Ristorante + Bar (Kimpton Glover Park) | Liberty Barbecue (Falls Church) | Pearl Dive Oyster Palace | The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse

Favorite Fast Bites

Call Your Mother Deli – Park View | Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly (Kensington, MD) | RASA | Shouk | Sloppy Mama’s BBQ

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant

Gravitas | Pineapple and Pearls | Rasika West End | The Conservatory at Goodstone Inn | Three Blacksmiths (Sperryville, VA)

Restaurateur of the Year

Victor Albisu, Poca Madre, Taco Bamba Taqueria | Bo Blair, Georgetown Events (The Bullpen, Due South, Jetties, Millie’s, Surfside) | Mark Fedorchak, Stephen Fedorchak, and Brian Normile, The Liberty Tavern Group | Yama Jewayni, Katsuya Fukushima, and Daisuke Utagawa, Daikaya Group | Aaron Silverman, Rose’s Luxury, Pineapple and Pearls, Little Pearl

Regional Food and Beverage Producer

Arcadia Farm | Atlas Brew Works | Ayrshire Farm | Bluejacket | Logan Sausage Co.

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year

The award is presented to an associate member who best exemplifies commitment to and support of RAMW. This award recipient is determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee.

Coastal Sunbelt Produce| Congressional Seafood Co. | Ecolab | Saval Foodservice | TriMark Adams-Burch

RAMW honors additional members with awards determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee including the Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year, presented to an Allied member who best exemplifies commitment to and support of RAMW, and the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award, which this year goes to Randy Norton of Great American Restaurants, for his dedication and leadership that has helped transform the region’s restaurant scene into today’s vibrant industry.

The 2020 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Award will be given to Mrs. K’s Toll House (90 years), Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company (30 years), and Vace Italian Delicatessen (44 years), dining staples celebrating a significant number of years serving locals and visitors in Metropolitan Washington.

Any RAMW member who met all category requirements was eligible for nomination. The selection process for the finalists, and ultimately the winners, involves two esteemed groups, the voting public and an anonymous panel of volunteer judges, consisting of food and dining journalists, educators and foodservice industry professionals. The voting public will decide the winners in four categories: Favorite Gathering Place of the Year, Upscale Brunch of the Year, Casual Brunch of the Year and Favorite Fast Bites of the Year. Votes for these categories will be cast online this summer (dates to be announced).


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During these unprecedented times, RAMW commends its members for their resilience, innovation, and community support. The winners will be announced at The 38th Annual RAMMY Awards Gala, currently scheduled for Sunday, July 26, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. RAMW is considering an unspecified date later in the year with its partners at Events DC.


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