This year’s event, however, struck a slightly sober tone. John G. Laytham, co-owner of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, died in January, and his presence loomed large as dozens of his former employees toasted him at the show. The RAMW renamed an award after Laytham, and D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) was on hand to announce the creation of John Laytham Day, which will be held on his birthday, Nov. 12.
The rest of the night saw some 2,500 foodies and industry pros noshing on bites provided by local embassies and sipping cocktails. One of the most popular options? The Instagram-friendly liquid nitrogen caipirinha from Barmini by José Andrés.