Fabio Trabocchi, chef at Maestro, the four-star restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner, was named chef of the year Sunday by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington.
Trabocchi, known for his creative presentations and Italian menu -- part classical, part contemporary -- was honored at a banquet at the Washington Convention Center.
The Rammy awards are presented annually by the area's restaurant industry. Maestro also was named as having the best wine and beverage program of the year.
The new restaurant of the year award went to CityZen, in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Southwest Washington.
Other winners were:
* Ristorante Tosca downtown, fine dining restaurant.
* Johnny's Half Shell at Dupont Circle, informal dining restaurant.
* Efrain Velasco, restaurant employee. Velasco, head server at Andale in Penn Quarter, started as a food runner and through his stories about his native Mexico, inspired chef-owner Alison Swope to transform her restaurant into Andale.
* Chris Kujala, of Kinkead's, in Foggy Bottom, pastry chef.
* Tricia Cominsky, of Poste Moderne Brasserie, on Eighth Street NW near MCI Center, restaurant manager.
* Cathal Armstrong, of Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria, rising culinary star.
A panel of food writers and hospitality industry leaders selected this year's winners. The identities of the judges were kept secret.
Winners of the year in four additional categories were selected by the public:
Cafe Saint-Ex, at 14th and T streets NW, was named neighborhood gathering place; IndeBleu, in Penn Quarter, was named the hottest bar scene; Cafe Milano in Georgetown, power spot; and Mie N Yu in Georgetown, favorite restaurant.
A special award was given to Clyde's Restaurant Group co-owner and President John G. Laytham for community leadership, management training and his early role in hiring women.