“Each year, the RAMMYS honor the accomplishments of the restaurant and foodservice industry across the Metropolitan Washington region from the previous year, and as you know, it was quite a different year,” said Kathy Hollinger, RAMW president and CEO. “We know the road is long, the challenges are real, and there is continually more work to be done.”
There are more than 160 finalists in 16 award categories created by a judges panel and the RAMMYS Gala Committee. Individuals, restaurants and various food industry establishments comprise the group of nominees. All area restaurants were eligible to be nominated, not just RAMW-member restaurants and food service establishments.
Some of the creatively named categories are “Formal Fine Dining in a Box,” “Technology Trailblazers,’ “Splendid Holidays at Home Offerings” and “Outstanding Ghost Kitchen or Pop-up Concept.” Two District, Black-owned favorites, Ben’s Chili Bowl and The Park at 14th, were nominated in the category “Outstanding Covid-Safe Redesign (Indoors or Outdoors).” Also recognized are managers and restaurant employees.
RESTAURANT MASK MANDATES
The announcement of the RAMMYS heralding the survival of restaurants came a few days before the District of Columbia and Maryland announced reinstating the wearing of masks inside establishments. The policy states inside of restaurants masks can be removed for eating. Some food service businesses including bars, are adding their own safety measures such as showing a vaccination card.
Chef Peter Prime weighed in on the reinstatement of mask-wearing mandates. Chef Prime and his sister Jeanne Prime own Cane, a Trinidadian cuisine restaurant in the District that won the RAMMY in 2020 for “New Restaurant of the Year” covering the 2019 year.
“As restaurant owners and concerned citizens, we are supportive of the new mask mandate. It’s imperative that we take all measures to keep our staff, guests and community at-large safe,” said Chef Prime who with his sister opens a new restaurant St. James, in a few weeks. “Given everything we are learning about the Delta variant, it seems like the right thing to do. While difficult for our industry, we see this as a necessary precaution that will help avoid further restrictions, which can be more detrimental in the long run.”
A complete list of nominees and information about RAMMYS public voting can be found on the RAMMYS website www.therammys.org.