39th Annual RAMMY Awards winners

Fully vaccinated restaurant industry professionals and their fans gathered Sunday night at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the 39th Annual RAMMY Awards as Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) announced winners and awarded a range of special distinctions following a year unlike any other. Special for this year only, RAMW, the esteemed panel of RAMMYS judges, and the 2021 RAMMYS Chairs Committee came together to identify categories that spoke to 2020 and the myriad of challenges, unforeseen hurdles, and opportunities that let creativity and ingenuity shine.

For almost forty years, The RAMMY Awards have honored the exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and organizations of the  Metropolitan Washington region’s restaurant and foodservice community. Recognizing that it would not be fair to assess the industry on performance in 2020, RAMW and RAMMYS stakeholders created timely categories that spoke to all the ways the region’s industry uniquely met those challenges.

The winners of the 2021 RAMMY Awards are (*denotes publicly voted category*):

Managers of the Year:

Otgontuya Davaasuren, All Set Restaurant & Bar

Khawla Gasmi, Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar, & Eatery

Autumn Harriger, Destination Unknown Restaurants/Espita

Jordan Lee, Thamee Restaurant

Tylyn Mallon, Right Proper Brewing Company

Brian McGahey, Modena Restaurant

Gilbert Mejia, Nobu DC

Robert Micheli, Dirty Habit

Daurio Passaia, Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse

Karina Wilkey, Sunnyside Restaurant Group


Employees of the Year:

Gabriela Araujo, Bresca

Ruben Avila, PassionFish Reston

Freddy Bastidas, Blue Duck Tavern

Adrian Godinez, RPM Italian

Rosa Martinez, Alta Strada & Nama

Mileyda Montezuma, Immigrant Food

Fredy Nataren, Tryst Trading Co.

Celina Nava, Estadio

Alicia Ramos, Convivial

Maria Serrano, Sababa


Finer Dining in a Box: Cranes

Most Innovative To-Go Packaging Game: Oyster Oyster

Outstanding Covid-Safe Redesign (Indoors or Outdoors): Clarity

Most Impressive Pivot to Provisions or Market: Neighborhood Restaurant Group/Neighborhood Provisions


Good Neighbor Award, Individual Honors:

Erik Bruner-Yang, Power of 10

Willa Pelini, Paola Velez, and Rob Rubba, Bakers Against Racism 

Anna Valero, Hook Hall Helps

Mark Bucher and Medium Rare, Feed The Fridge

Danny Lee, Support of Immigrant and AAPI Community

Kevin Tien and Tim Ma, Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate 

Jonathan Krinn, A Taste of DC in VA and To Community and Beyond: Crossing Culinary Bridges Guest DC Chef Series

David, Guas, Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery, Chefs Feeding Families

Micheline Mendelsohn and Spike Mendelsohn, National Guard Inauguration Program, and More

Edward Lee, The LEE Initiative


Good Neighbor Award, Company/Organization Honors:

Coconut Club

Immigrant Food

Keany Produce & Gourmet

KNEAD Hospitality + Design

Little Sesame

Peruvian Brothers

Pizzeria Paradiso


Saval Foodservice

World Central Kitchen


*Outstanding Ghost Kitchen or Pop-up Concept*: DC Ghostburger


*Coolest Cocktails and Beverages To-Go*: Cactus Cantina

*Standout Family Meal Packages To-Go*: Ristorante i Ricchi

*Prime Pandemic Patio Scene*: Le Diplomate 

*Technology Trailblazers*: Silver Diner

*Splendid Holidays at Home Offerings*: 1f2

*Festive Foodie Experiences*: Eva Kronenburg, YouTube Cooking Series

*Hottest Sandwich Shop*: Roaming Rooster

*Stellar Brunches at Home*: Call Your Mother

The 2021 Honorary Milestone RAMMY Award was presented to dining staples celebrating a significant number of years serving locals and visitors in Metropolitan Washington. Glory Days Grill was recognized for 25 years, La Chaumière for 45 years, Peacock Cafe for 30 years, Pizzeria Paradiso for 30 years, and Ristorante Piccolo for 35 years of serving diners.

Additionally, The RAMMYS judges panel added two special honorable mentions this year. While these are not official categories, and RAMW did not solicit nominations for them, the judges felt these two industry groups deserved a special moment of recognition. 

Wine To Go Program – Honorable Mention

Dio Wine Bar


Flight Wine Bar

Grand Cata

La Jambe

Maxwell Park

Sonny’s Pizza

Squash Club DC

Tail Up Goat/Reveler’s Hour

The Girl and The Vine


Sweet Relief: Baking and Pastry To Go – Honorable Mention

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Baker’s Against Racism

Buttercream Bakeshop

Bread and Water Co.

Donut Run


Pluma by Bluebird Bakery

Sunday Morning Bakehouse

The Dapper Fox 


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