The Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) announced the final four nominees for 16 open award categories to be honored in its first awards gala, The Saucy Awards, taking place on November 14 at the Herbst Theater. The GGRA, celebrating its 80th Anniversary this year, announced the awards and gala in August. The awards will recognize the San Francisco Bay Area restaurant and bar community for its excellence.

During an open nomination period from August 1—September 22, hospitality industry professionals and concepts, not exclusive to GGRA members, within seven Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma) were nominated by their peers or self-nomination for 16 open awards. The Saucy Awards steering committee, consisting of six industry veterans & luminaries, have since narrowed down the field to four nominees for each award.

In addition to the 16 industry-driven award categories, there are two additional awards. The GGRA has partnered with San Francisco magazine to present a People’s Choice Award for Restaurant of the Year at the gala, honoring the public’s favorite restaurant of 2016. Nominations are now open to the general public through San Francisco magazine’s website until October 23. People’s Choice nominations will then be narrowed down to the final four nominees, which will also be voted on by the general public from October 26—November 9. Finally, for the 18th award category, the Golden Gate Restaurant Association will present its own GGRA Lifetime Achievement Award at the gala on November 14.

“We have such an incredible pool of passionate and talented industry professionals in the Bay Area and felt that an awards gala that recognizes that talent was missing from the landscape” says Executive Director of the GGRA Gwyneth Borden.

Priced at $150 per person, tickets include The Saucy Awards gala at Herbst Theater, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Following the awards ceremony, guests will enjoy a reception catered by Estate Events by Meadowood in the Green Room. The reception will include cocktails by Campari, wine by Robert Mondavi Winery and heavy hors d’oeuvres. Guests will also be invited to continue the celebration at a private after-party at Mr. Tipple’s Recording Studio.

Complete List of Nominees

Category: Chefs

Chef of the Year presented by OpenTable

David Barzelay—Lazy Bear

Brandon Jew—Mister Jiu’s

Ravi Kapur—Liholiho Yacht Club

Aaron London—Al’s Place

Pastry Chef of the Year

Melissa Chou—Mister Jiu’s

Belinda Leong—b.patisserie

Michelle Polzine—Twentieth Century Café

Sarah Rich—Rich Table

Rising Star Chef of the Year presented by Estate Events by Meadowood

John Griffiths—Bluestem Brasserie

Laura Meyer—Tony’s Pizza Napoletana

Melissa Reitz—Bar Agricole

Jose Miguel Smith—La Urbana

Category: Service

Restaurateur of the Year presented by OpenTable

Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza—State Bird & The Progress

Umberto Gibin—Perbacco & Barbacco

Craig and Annie Stoll—Delfina Restaurant Group

Michael and Lindsay Tusk—Quince & Cotogna

Beverage Professional of the Year

Ian Adams—15 Romolo

Kevin Diedrich—Pacific Cocktail Haven

Shelley Lindgren—A16 & SPQR

Lulu McAllister—NOPA & Liholiho Yacht Club

Employee of the Year

Victor Herrera Chavez—American Grilled Cheese Kitchen

Kory Cogdill—Tacolicious

Fausto Galicia—Michael Mina

Danny Ulloa—Souvla

Manager of the Year

Max Coane—Saison

Justine Flynn—Souvla

Jacopo Rosito—54 Mint SF

Daniel Zomerfeld—Campton Place at Taj

Outstanding Industry Service

Georgopoulos and Economidis, LLP

Liz Subauste at Sobremesa SF

Greenleaf Produce

Monterey Fish Market

Category: Restaurants

Exceptional Full Service Restaurant of the Year presented by BiRite Foodservice Distributors

Lazy Bear

Mister Jiu’s



Exceptional Fast Casual Restaurant of the Year presented by Georgopoulos & Economidis, LLP



Super Duper Burgers

Uno Dos Tacos

Exceptional Non Brick & Mortar Restaurant of the Year

Curry Up Now


Señor Sisig

The Lunchpad SF

Category: Programs

Wine Program of the Year presented by Robert Mondavi Winery

1760—Gianpaolo Paterlini

A16 & SPQR—Shelley Lindgren

NOPA & Liholiho Yacht Club—LuLu McAllister

One Market—Tonya Pitts

Cocktail Program of the Year presented by Campari America

Bar Agricole

Roka Bar (Roka Akor)

The Treasury


Beer Program of the Year

21st Amendment Brewery and Restaurant

Monk’s Kettle

Smokestack at Magnolia Brewing

Trappist Lounge

Sustainable Restaurant or Bar of the Year presented by Recology

Healdsburg SHED—Cindy Daniel and Doug Lipton

Ichi Sushi—Erin and Tim Archuleta

The Perennial—Anthony Myint & Karen Leibowitz

Twenty Five Lusk—Matthew Dolan

Community Spirit of the Year presented by Comcast

1300 on Fillmore—David Lawrence

Jardiniere—Traci Des Jardins

Tacolicious—Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave

The Bon Vivants—Josh Harris and Scott Baird

Now that nominees have been selected, restaurant members of the GGRA and all nominees will be provided a single ballot to vote for the final winners. Voters will rank their top four choices. To ensure unbiased and fair results, OUM & Co. LLP, an independent accounting firm will tally and process the votes to determine the winners.

The Saucy Awards, will benefit the GGRA’s Scholarship & Education Foundation (GGRASF), as a part of its initiative to advance and support the hospitality industry in the Bay Area. The GGRA serves to celebrate and empower the restaurant community through advocacy, education, marketing, events, and training. 

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