2022 Rammy Award Finalists Announced


Gastronomic alert: This year’s Rammy finalists have been announced. On April 5, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) published their 2022 Rammy Awards Finalists, including several eating and dining establishments and chefs in or near Georgetown.

Finalists for Chefs of the Year include Madd Adler of Caruso’s Grocery, Cedric Maupillier of Convivial Shamim Popal of Lapis, Michael Rafidi of Albi and Rob Rubba of Oyster Oyster. Georgetown’s Shilling Canning Company on Water Street NW was selected as a finalist for Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year and 1789 Restaurant was chosen for finalist for Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year.

Honoring the “exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and organizations of the region’s restaurants and foodservice community,” The Rammy Awards Gala has been named the “Number One Food and Restaurant event” by Bizbash Magazine since 2009.

Established in 1920, RAMW is the “regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area,” which serves as an “advocate, resource and community for its members,” according to a RAMW press release. The group works to “promote and sustain the growth and development of the industry while providing its members legislative and regulatory representation, marketing and small business support, programming and events.”

“For 2022, the Rammys will return with a program of familiar categories honoring RAMW members, representing a year during which the industry rebuilt, recovered, and grew with new establishments,” the group said in a press release. However, this year’s awards will continue to reflect pandemic era concerns. “A selection of categories also speaks to pandemic-era aspects that both restaurants and diners have continued to enjoy and employ — all of which will be decided via public voting that will begin in late April. Another carryover from last year, publicly voted categories are open to any foodservice operation in the region.”

Rammy winners will be announced at The 40th Annual Rammy Awards Gala on Sunday, July 24, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in the District.

The 2022 RAMMY Awards Finalists are (*denotes publicly voted category*):

New Restaurant of the Year: A restaurant that must have opened between January 1, 2021, and December 31, 2021 and already distinguishes itself as a pacesetter in food, beverage and service. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW.

Cocktail Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity, and value of its craft cocktail program, evaluated separately from its beer, wine or other beverages. Nominees may be bars, restaurants, or any foodservice establishment with an exemplary cocktail program. The nominee continues to break new ground in the education of its staff. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW and must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2021.

Beer Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity, and value of its beer program. Brewery restaurants and brewpubs are eligible for this category and will be judged based on the diversity and quality of their craft beer. The nominee continues to break new ground in the education of its staff. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW and must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2021.

Wine Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity, and value of its wine program. The nominee’s wine program best suits the cuisine and style of the restaurant while enhancing the dining experience. Wine bars are eligible for this category and will be judged based on the diversity and quality of their offerings. The nominee continues to break new ground in the education of its staff. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW and must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2021.

Rising Culinary Star of the Year: The nominee is an “up and coming” chef who demonstrates exemplary talent, shows leadership and promise for the future. The nominee must have been based in the Metropolitan Washington area for a minimum of two years. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW or be employed by a member business.

*Favorite Gathering Place of the Year*: This nominee is a restaurant rooted in its neighborhood where guests come to eat, drink, and get together with friends over and over again. The great atmosphere – indoors or outdoors – and good vibes are as important as the food and drink. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2021.

*Best Brunch of the Year*: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of dining excellence and service for its brunch in a formal, upscale, or casual environment. Brunch may be offered as full-service, buffet, or prix fixe. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2021.

*Favorite Fast Bites*: This nominee is a delicatessen, quick-serve restaurant, mobile food vendor, or coffee shop (with food menu) that demonstrates a dedication to good food and good service in a fast-casual environment. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 31, 2021.

*Hottest Sandwich Spot*: Creative and delicious sandwiches continued to be a talked-about food in the DC region this year, and they remained a pivot or side project of some fine dining spots. Whether it was burgers, subs, melts, breakfast sandwiches, tortas, cheesesteaks, or something in between, this nominee had serious sandwiches to write home about. The nominee must have operated the concept between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.

*Outstanding Pop-Up Concept*: This nominee is a non-permanent pop-up foodservice concept without a physical space that is showcasing a creative idea, new potential restaurant concept, bar, food truck or delivery menu. The nominee demonstrates a high standard of excellence, creativity, and execution. The nominee must have operated the concept between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.

*Splendid Holidays at Home*: Restaurants have a way of making special occasions feel extra special, and this year they continued to meet customers at their comfort level as Covid (and other interruptions during the year) uprooted holidays for many. This nominee went all out to create celebratory menus with all the bells and whistles to help guests have memorable holidays at home. The nominee must have offered special holiday menus to go between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.

*Standout Family Meal Packages To Go*: Family meal packages – for two, four, or six – flourished when guests were deeply rooted in takeout, and in 2021 guests continued to enjoy the flexibility to dine out, while dining in. This nominee created wholesome and delicious family meal packages to keep families happy and coming back for convenience. The nominee must have offered Family Meals menus to go between January 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.

Employee of the Year: The nominee is a non-managerial front or back of the house employee who serves as a model employee by displaying outstanding service, an excellent work ethic and a positive image. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW, or be employed by a member business.

Manager of the Year: The nominee is a non-owner manager or general manager in the food service industry who displays the highest level of professionalism and leadership. This person must be an inspiration and mentor to all his/her co-workers displaying outstanding service, an excellent work ethic and a positive image. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW, or be employed by a member business.

Service Program of the Year: This nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in service across the restaurant – from the reservation process, to the host station, to every element of the dining experience. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW and must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2021.

Casual Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a dedication to dining excellence, service, and value in a casual environment. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW and must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2021.

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of dining excellence and service in an upscale casual environment. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW and must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2021.

Pastry Chef of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant pastry chef who prepares desserts and baked goods and demonstrates a high standard of excellence and culinary artistry. The nominee serves as an inspiration to other food professionals. The nominee must have been a pastry chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW, or be employed by a member business.

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in food, service and atmosphere and shows dedication to sophisticated culinary techniques in a fine dining environment. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW and must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 31, 2021.

Chef of the Year: The nominee is an executive chef or chef de cuisine who demonstrates consistent standards of culinary excellence. The nominee displays a dedication to the artistry of food and may be from any type of establishment. The nominee must have been a chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW or be employed by a member business.

Restaurateur of the Year: The nominee must be a working restaurateur or restaurant group who sets high standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for a minimum of 5 years in the Metropolitan Washington area. The nominee must be a current member of RAMW.

The 2022 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Award recipients will be announced in late Spring, honoring dining staples celebrating a significant number of years serving locals and visitors in Metropolitan Washington.

For more information on this year’s Rammy’s see here.

 

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