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Todd Gray Unmasked As Chef Of The Year; Carmine’s Takes Two Awards As D.C. Goes To The RAMMYs!

By Daniel Swartz on June 27, 2011
Be sure to check out all 218 of our photographs from this event HERE!
The Guest List:
Ann McCarthy, Annie Perezchica, Anyea Lovette, Ari Wilder, Bob Madigan, Brandis Griffith Friedman, Brittany Garrison, Capital Cooking: 1 | 2, Cassady E Morris, Celia Laurent, Councilmember Jack Evans, Dusty Lockhart: 1 | 2, Eric Ziebold, Erin Hickey, Geoff Tracy, Gowri Daswami, Jeff Bank: 1 | 2, Jennifer Motruk Loy, Jennifer Resick Williams, Jennifer Wolinski, Jessica Gibson: 1 | 2, Joanie Rylander, Jon Arroyo: 1 | 2, Jose Andres: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5, Josie Taylor: 1 | 2, Katherine Kennedy, Kathryn Elizabeth Kelly: 1 | 2, Kathryn Morgan, Kelly Collis, Keri Ann Meslar, Lauren DeSantis-Then: 1 | 2, Lindley Thornburg, Lindsey Becker, Lisa Floresca Shapiro: 1 | 2, Lynne Breaux: 1 | 2 | 3, Mary Kong: 1 | 2, Maxwell Morris, Mayor William D. Euille, Mel Davis, Micah Wilder, Michael Woestehoff, Michelle Gloden Schoenfeld, Neal Corman, Nycci Safier Nellis, Peter Abrahams, Samy K, Scott Drewno: 1 | 2, Steve Cannon, Thom Flynn, Todd Gray: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4, Victoria Michael, Wendy J. Gordon, Winston Bao Lord, Zena Polin
NORTHWEST -- Close to two thousand guests, some travelling hours just for the occasion, descended upon the Marriott Wardman Park hotel on Sunday evening, for the annual awards gala honoring Washington’s food service industry, known as The RAMMYs.

The ‘Wine Program of the Year’ award went to Taberna del Alabardero.

Sponsored by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, last night’s black tie bash boasted a playful ‘Carnevale de Cuisine’ theme, with many of the chefs, mixologists, and industry representatives in attendance sporting the masks to show it.

Team Three Lockharts Public Relations.

A cocktail reception kicked the party-off at 5:30p.m., with nominees, friends, and family all cheerfully mingling about in anticipation of the fun ahead. The awards ceremony promptly followed at 7:00p.m., with introductory remarks by RAMW’s Lynne Breaux and Kris Rohr.

RAMW President Lynne Breaux and Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille

Over the next hour, awards were presented in sixteen different categories, including ‘Chef of the Year’ (Equinox’s Todd Gray), ‘Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year’ (The Source by Wolfgang Puck), and ‘Power Spot of the Year’ (Carmine’s).

2011 Chef of the Year Todd Gray hugs his predecessor, Chef Scott Drewno.

Notably, Carmine’s was the only restaurant to win more than one award last night, taking both the ‘Power Spot’ prize as well as the voter's choice award for ‘Favorite Restaurant’.

KMK PR and Consulting’s Katherine Kennedy and Carmine’s CEO Jeff Bank.

Internationally recognized Chef José Andrés (Andrés’ Think Food Group owns everything from Jaleo to Oyamel to Café Atlántico) was the first winner of the evening, using his acceptance speech for the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award to address the subjects of hunger and obesity in America.

Chef José Andrés, Heather Freeman Media & Public Relations’s Lindley Thornburg, and Think Food Group’s Ann McCarthy.

“Much of who I am, much of what I am, I have to thank Washington for it,” said Andrés. “Hunger is an issue… Obesity is an issue. We cannot be silent… We have to [look] within ourselves to see how we can be a part of the solution. This is not about the small restaurant owners versus big [business]. This is all of us working together to end hunger and to make sure obesity isn’t going to be an issue in the years to come.”

There might have been dancing after dinner...

Food for thought to be sure. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and nominees!

The 2011 RAMMY Winners

  • Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award Winner: Chef José Andrés

  • Joan Hisaoka Associate Member: The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, DC

  • Neighborhood Gathering Place Award (Publicly Voted): Ted’s Bulletin, Washington, DC

  • Power Spot of the Year Award (Publicly Voted): Carmine’s, Washington, DC

  • Hottest Bar Scene of the Year (Publicly Voted): Chef Geoff’s – Tysons Corner, McLean, VA

  • Voter’s Choice/’Your Favorite Restaurant’ (Publicly Voted): Carmine’s, Washington, DC

  • Where Magazine Visitors’ Choice Award: Old Ebbitt Grill, Washington, DC

  • Employee of the Year: Ryme Lansari – Café Atlantico/minibar, Washington, DC

  • Restaurant Manager of the Year: Hans Olson – Clyde’s of Reston, VA

  • Pastry Chef of the Year: Tiffany MacIssac – Neighborhood Restaurant Group, DC & VA

  • Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Tabard Inn, Washington, DC

  • Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Kyle Bailey – Birch & Barley, Washington, DC

  • Best New Restaurant of the Year: Estadio, Washington, DC

  • Wine Program of the Year Award: Taberna del Alabardero, Washington, DC

  • Beverage/Mixology Program of the Year: Founding Farmers, Washington, DC

  • Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: The Source by Wolfgang Puck, Washington, DC

  • ’Chef of the Year’: Todd Gray – Equinox, Washington, DC

Be sure to check out all 218 of our photographs from this event HERE!
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