The James Beard Award nominations earlier this week brought lots of attention to an elite handful of area chefs. But a wider swath of talent will be honored with our local foodie awards, the Rammys.
Last night at the Ritz-Carlton, nominees for each of the award’s 16 categories were announced by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). The boisterous crowd was filled with PR reps and their wards—chefs, bartenders, and restaurateurs—plus some media types. Many were sipping drinks from nominated cocktail destinations such as ChurchKey, which offered the Alewife, a potent mix of herbal bitters from the Czech Republic and sparkling wine. Nibbles came from best new restaurant nominees—Ris served its much-loved scallop margarita, and Michel put out salmon tartare—though as usual, they didn't silence the party-goers as the emcees pleaded for a quieter audience.
The winners will be announced at a bash called "Carnevale de Cuisine,” held June 26 at the Marriott Wardman Park. RAMW president Lynne Breaux said the festival theme is representative of the "wonderful, colorful, crazy business we call the restaurant industry."
Most of the award categories are decided by judges, but the public has power in four areas: Neighborhood Gathering Place, Hottest Bar Scene, Power Spot of the Year, and the Voter's Favorite Restaurant. Scroll through the nominees below, and cast your vote starting on April 28 through a a ballot appearing in the the Washington City Paper or at ramw.org.
And the nominees are…
Chef of the Year
Rising Culinary Star
Mixology/ Beverage Program
Hottest Restaurant Bar Scene
Upscale Casual Restaurant
Neighborhood Gathering Place
Restaurant Employee of the Year
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