Other big winners included chef Rob Rubba of Hazel, which won for best new restaurant. Ryan Ratino, formerly of Ripple, won rising culinary star of the year. Jack Rose Dining Saloon -- a bar known for its extensive whiskey collection -- was crowned the beer program of the year. Cocktail program of the year went to Kapnos by Mike Isabella, while wine program of the year was awarded to Charlie Palmer Steak.
Minibar from Jose Andrews won formal dining restaurant of the year, beating out Fiola Mare, The Source, Sushi Taro and Trummer’s on Main. Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj of the Knightsbridge Restaurant Group was presented the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award for his work elevating the D.C. dining scene.
Considered the Oscars of the Washington area food community, the raucous event was presented by RAMW at the Washington Convention Center. In order to be nominated, restaurants must be a member of the organization, which explains why you won't see a few critically acclaimed names -- including Pineapple and Pearls and Bad Saint -- in the mix.
Winners are chosen by an anonymous group of judges made up of food journalists and educators, with select categories voted on by the public. The full list of winners is as follows:
Employee of the Year: Joseph Cassis, PassionFish Bethesda
Manager of the Year: John Grace, The Hamilton
Rising Culinary Star of the Year: Ryan Ratino, Ripple
Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: DC Brau Brewing Company
Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: Pearl Dive Oyster Palace
Upscale Brunch of the Year: Convivial
Casual Brunch of the Year: Republic
Favorite Fast Bites of the Year: Cava Grill
Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: Proof
Casual Restaurant of the Year: Compass Rose Bar + Kitchen
Beer Program of the Year: Jack Rose Dining Saloon
Cocktail Program of the Year: Kapnos by Mike Isabella
Wine Program of the Year: Charlie Palmer Steak
Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: Acme Paper & Supply Co., Inc.
Pastry Chef of the Year: Jemil Gadea, Masseria
Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: minibar by José Andrés
Service Program of the Year: The Source by Wolfgang Puck
New Restaurant of the Year: Hazel
Restaurateur of the Year: Ike Grigoropoulos, Dimitri Moshovitis, Ted Xenohristos, Brett Schulman, Cava Group, Inc
Chef of the Year: Tarver King, the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm