Top foodservice industry professionals and their fans gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the 37th Annual RAMMY Awards as Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington(RAMW) announced winners in 20 award categories and many special honors.
The selection process for the winners involved two esteemed groups, the voting public and an anonymous panel of volunteer judges, consisting of food and dining journalists, educators and foodservice industry professionals. The voting public decided the winners in four categories: Favorite Gathering Place, Upscale Brunch, Casual Brunch and Favorite Fast Bites.
RAMW honored additional members with the Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Yearaward, given to The Veritas Law Firm for exemplifying commitment to and support of RAMW, and the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award, presented to restaurateur Virginia Aliof Ben’s Chili Bowl/Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundationfor her hard work and outstanding initiative that has increased the profile and success of the metropolitan Washington foodservice community. These awards were determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee. The 2019 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Awardwas given to The Bombay Club (30 years),Ristorante i Ricchi (30 years), Moby Dick House of Kabob (30 years), Silver Diner (30 years), Taberna del Alabardero (30 years), and Lebanese Taverna (40 years), dining staples celebrating 30 and 40 years serving locals and visitors in Metropolitan Washington.
Mayor Muriel Bowser of the District of Columbia joined the presentation to remember and honor John G. Laytham, Co-Owner of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, who passed away earlier this year. Mayor Bowser announced that November 12th will be named John Laytham Day in the District. The first John Laytahm Day will be held on what would have been the industry leader’s 75th Birthday. In addition, RAMW honored Laytham’s legacy by renaming a RAMMY Award in his name – the John G. Laytham Exceptional Leadership and Impact Award. This award was first given to José Andrés in 2018 for his humanitarian leadership efforts on a global scale. It was awarded at The RAMMYS last night to Claude Andersenof the Clyde’s Restaurant Groupfor his incredible dedication carrying out John Laytham’s vision for more than 45 years, and as a leader in areas of culinary and hospitality education and workforce development over many decades.
The winners of the 37th Annual RAMMY Awards are:
- Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: The Veritas Law Firm
- Upscale Brunch of the Year: Unconventional Diner
- Casual Brunch of the Year: Compass Rose Bar & Kitchen
- Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Open Road
- Favorite Fast Bites of the Year: Taco Bamba Taqueria
- Service Program of the Year: Ambar – Clarendon
- Beer Program of the Year: Republic
- Cocktail Program of the Year: barmini by José Andrés
- Wine Program of the Year: Maxwell Park
- Casual Restaurant of the Year: Royal
- Employee of the Year: Valentine King, Hummingbird Bar and Kitchen
- Manager of the Year: Donna Seal, Oceanaire
- Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: Ivy City Smokehouse
- Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: The Source by Wolfgang Puck
- New Restaurant of the Year: Spoken English
- Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Iron Gate
- Pastry Chef of the Year: Ana Deshaies, Unconventional Diner
- Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Kwame Onwuachi, Kith/Kin
- Restaurateur of the Year: Michael Friedman, Mike O’Malley, Colin McDonough & Gareth Croke, Redstone Restaurant Group (All Purpose, Boundary Stone, The Red Hen)
- Chef of the Year: Kyle Bailey, The Salt Line