Restaurant Association, Beard Foundation Name Finalists

Two culinary organizations — Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and the Greenwich Village-based James Beard Foundation — announced the finalists for their 2020 awards on May 4.

While most of the restaurant association’s RAMMY awardees will be chosen by an anonymous panel of food and dining journalists, educators and food-service professionals, the public votes for 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.

RAMW’s executive committee chooses the Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year (to be named) and the winner of the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award, which this year goes to Randy Norton of Great American Restaurants. 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).

The remaining winners will be announced at the 38th annual RAMMY Awards Gala, currently scheduled for Sunday, July 26, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

Among the finalists for the 2020 James Beard Foundation Awards, to be announced later this year in Chicago, are: Paola Velez, pastry chef at Kith/Kin, in the Rising Culinary Star category; Amy Brandwein of Centrolina and Piccolina and Jon Sybert of Tail Up Goat in the Best Chef Mid-Atlantic category; José Andrés’s Jaleo in the Outstanding Restaurant category; and Kwame Onwuachi, executive chef at Kith/Kin, for his book “Notes from a Young Black Chef.” Click here for the complete list.

The list of RAMMY finalists follows.

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year

Coastal Sunbelt Produce

Congressional Seafood Co.


Saval Foodservice

TriMark Adams-Burch

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year

Arcadia Farm

Atlas Brew Works

Ayrshire Farm


Logan Sausage Co.

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.

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

Service Program of the Year

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab

Ristorante Piccolo

Rose’s Luxury

St. Anselm

The Red Hen

Casual Restaurant of the Year

Bantam King

CHIKO – Capitol Hill

Duke’s Counter

Little Pearl


Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year




Poca Madre

Unconventional Diner

Rising Culinary Star of the Year

Marcelle Afram, Maydan

Faiz Ally, Poca Madre

Angel Barreto, Anju

Jocelyn Law-Yone, Thamee

Yuan Tang, Rooster & Owl

Pastry Chef of the Year

Caitlin Dysart, Centrolina

Olivia Green, Rooster & Owl

Katherine Thompson, Thompson Italian

Meagan Tighe, Trummer’s

Paola Velez, Kith/Kin

Wine Program of the Year


Field & Main


St. Anselm

The Wine Kitchen – Frederick

Beer Program of the Year

B Side

Caboose Brewing Co. – Vienna

Franklin Hall

Roofers Union

Sweetwater Tavern – Centreville

Cocktail Program of the Year

China Chilcano

Colada Shop – DC



Service Bar

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year

Brookland’s Finest


Quarry House Tavern

Stomping Ground

The Salt Line

Upscale Brunch of the Year

Bindaas – Cleveland Park


Seasons at the Four Seasons DC

St. Anselm


Casual Brunch of the Year

All-Purpose Shaw

Casolare Ristorante + Bar

Liberty Barbecue

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

The Tavern at Ivy City Smokehouse

Favorite Fast Bites of the Year

Call Your Mother Deli – Park View

Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly



Sloppy Mama’s BBQ

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year


Pineapple and Pearls

Rasika West End

The Conservatory at Goodstone Inn

Three Blacksmiths

New Restaurant of the Year




Punjab Grill

Rooster & Owl

Chef of the Year

Matt Baker, Gravitas

David Deshaies, Unconventional Diner

Haidar Karoum, Chloe

Ryan Ratino, Bresca

Kevin Tien, Emilie’s

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


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