There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.

The who’s who of D.C.’s food and drink scene descended on the Walter E. Washington Convention Center last night for the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s annual RAMMY Awards Gala. Del Campo chef Victor Albisu was one of the big winners of the evening as Chef of the Year.

“I really can’t believe this. This is really an honor,” Albisu said. “I’ve burned so many bridges on my way here. This is very strange.”

Albisu also took his time on the podium—ignoring the “wrap it up” signal (“I’m the last guy, relax!”)—to let the crowd know that Del Campo and his Falls Church taqueria Taco Bamba are hiring. “This doesn’t just happen by somebody cooking anymore,” he said. “This is a team.”

Others kept their speeches succinct: “Thank you very much, everybody” was the entirety of Mintwood Place owner Saied Azali‘s remarks upon winning Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year.

One winner who was notably missing from the crowd: chef José Andrés, who, along with ThinkFoodGroup CEO Rob Wilder, was named Restaurateur of the Year. Instead, Andrés tweeted photos of himself alongside fellow chef and restaurateur Michael Mina at the NBA finals. Mina’s D.C. restaurant, Bourbon Steak, won Cocktail Program of the Year last night.

Meanwhile, a Maryland restaurant actually won a RAMMY award: The Daily Dish was recognized in the publicly voted category for best “everyday casual” brunch. Only three Maryland restaurants were nominated for awards. (Republic and the Bethesda location for Cava Grill were the others.) Another on-stage highlight was the Grill Room‘s Agnes Chin‘s win for Pastry Chef of the Year. Her first order of business upon taking the podium: a selfie with the crowd behind her for her mom.

The most memorable part of the night, however, was a tribute to restaurateur Mark Kuller, the owner of Proof, Estadio, and Doi Moi who died of pancreatic cancer last year. “He was always just big,” said Jason Kuller, Mark Kuller’s younger brother. “Aside from his gargantuan size, he had a big appetite, a big personality, a big laugh, a big head, and an even bigger heart—all of which earned him the enduring nickname Grande.”

Below is the full list of winners and category descriptions provided by the RAMW:

Favorite Gathering Place of the Year: This nominee is a restaurant rooted in its neighborhood where guests come to eat, drink, and get together with friends over and over again. The great atmosphere and good vibes are as important as the food and drink. The nominee must have been open for at least 5 years prior to December 1, 2014.

WINNER: Bar Pilar
Cashion’s Eat Place
ChurchKey
Et Voila!
Evening Star Café

Upscale Casual Brunch: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of dining excellence and service for its brunch in an Upscale Casual environment. Brunch may be offered as full-service, buffet, or prix fixe. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 1, 2014.

WINNER: Le Diplomate
Birch & Barley
Kapnos – DC
The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Seasons at The Four Seasons

Everyday Casual Brunch: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a dedication to dining excellence, service and value in a Casual environment for brunch. Brunch may be offered as full-service, buffet, or prix fixe. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 1, 2014.

WINNER: The Daily Dish
Beuchert’s Saloon
DGS Delicatessen
Duke’s Grocery
The Liberty Tavern

Favorite Fast Bites: This nominee is a delicatessen, quick-serve restaurant, mobile food vendor, or coffee shop (with food menu) that demonstrates a dedication to good food and good service in a fast-casual environment. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 1, 2014.

WINNER: Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza – Friendship Heights
Cava Grill – Bethesda Row
DCity Smokehouse
G by Mike Isabella
Red Apron Butcher – Union Market

Cocktail Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its craft cocktail program, evaluated separately from its beer, wine or other beverages. Nominees may be bars, restaurants, or any foodservice establishment with an exemplary cocktail program. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 1, 2014.

WINNER: Bourbon Steak
2 Birds, 1 Stone
Barmini by José Andrés
Iron Gate
Trummer’s on Main

Beer Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its beer program. Brewery restaurants and brew pubs are eligible for this category and will be judged based on the diversity and quality of their craft beer. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 1, 2014.

WINNER: Pizzeria Paradiso – Georgetown
The Arsenal at Bluejacket
Brasserie Beck
Granville Moore’s
Mad Fox Brewing Company

Wine Program of the Year: The establishment is distinguished by the quality, diversity, clarity and value of its wine program. The nominee’s wine program best suits the cuisine and style of the restaurant while enhancing the dining experience. Wine bars are eligible for this category and will be judged based on the diversity and quality of their offerings. The nominee continues to break new ground in education of its staff. The nominee must have been in operation for a minimum of one year as of December 1, 2014.

WINNER: Iron Gate
Charlie Palmer Steak
Fiola
Proof
The Red Hen

Employee of the Year: The nominee is a non-managerial front or back of the house employee who serves as a model employee by displaying outstanding service, an excellent work ethic and a positive image.

WINNER:Evan Labb – Evening Star Cafe
Aurelio Diaz – RIS
Adnane Kebaier – Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
LaGina Lewis – Farmers Fishers Bakers
David Sabbadino – Zaytinya

Manager of the Year: The nominee is a non-owner manager or general manager in the food service industry who displays the highest level of professionalism and leadership. This person must be an inspiration and mentor to all his/her co-workers displaying outstanding service, an excellent work ethic and a positive image.

WINNER: Joseph Cerione – Blue Duck Tavern
Neill Blackwood – Mintwood Place
Rachel Bronson – Red Apron Butcher
Ryan McCarthy – PassionFish Reston
Atul Narain – Rasika

Service Program of the Year: This nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in service across the restaurant – from the reservation process, to the host station, to every element of the dining experience. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 1, 2014.

WINNER: Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
Bourbon Steak
Fiola
Rasika
The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm

Pastry Chef of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant pastry chef who prepares desserts and baked goods and demonstrates a high standard of excellence and culinary artistry. The nominee serves as an inspiration to other food professionals. The nominee must have been a pastry chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area.

WINNER: Agnes Chin – The Grill Room, Capella Hotel
Naomi Gallego – Blue Duck Tavern
Kendra Grieco – Fiola
Michelle Poteaux – Bastille
Susan Wallace – BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant

Rising Culinary Star of the Year: The nominee is an “up and coming” chef who demonstrates exemplary talent, shows leadership and promise for the future. The nominee must have been based in the Metropolitan Washington area for a minimum of two years.

WINNER: George Pagonis – Kapnos DC
Austin Fausett – Trummer’s on Main
Tim Ma – Maple Ave Restaurant, Water & Wall
Harper McClure – BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier
Danny Wells – Republic

Everyday Casual Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a dedication to dining excellence, service and value in a casual environment. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 1, 2014.

WINNER: DGS Delicatessen
Granville Moore’s
Hank’s Oyster Bar – Capitol Hill
Hill Country Barbecue Market
Ted’s Bulletin – Capitol Hill

Upscale Casual Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of dining excellence and service in an upscale casual environment. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 1, 2014.

WINNER: Mintwood Place
Birch & Barley
Maple Ave Restaurant
Proof
Vermilion

New Restaurant of the Year: A restaurant that must have opened between December 1, 2013 and November 30, 2014 and already distinguishes itself as a pacesetter in food, beverage and service.

WINNER: Fiola Mare
Crane & Turtle
The Partisan
Republic
Tico

Formal Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year: The nominee is a restaurant that demonstrates a high standard of excellence in food, service and atmosphere and shows dedication to sophisticated culinary techniques in a fine dining environment. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of two years by December 1, 2014.

WINNER: The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm
Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier
Minibar by José Andrés
Rasika
Trummer’s on Main

Chef of the Year: The nominee is an executive chef or chef de cuisine who demonstrates consistent standards of culinary excellence. The nominee displays a dedication to the artistry of food and may be from any type of establishment. The nominee must have been a chef for the past five years with a minimum of two years based in the Metropolitan Washington area.

WINNER: Victor Albisu – Del Campo
Nathan Anda and Ed Witt – The Partisan
Cedric Maupillier – Mintwood Place
Marjorie Meek-Bradley – Ripple, Roofers Union
Johnny Spero – minibar by José Andrés

Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year: This nominee is a food or beverage artisan who creates a product that is then utilized by chefs and restaurants. Nominees in this category may be cheese makers, coffee roasters, vintners, brewers, distillers, bread bakers, chocolatiers, honey producers, farmers, an ice cream/gelato company and many more. The nominee must have been in business a minimum of one year by December 1, 2014.

WINNER: Catoctin Creek Distilling Company
DC Brau Brewing Company
Dolci Gelati
Early Mountain Vineyards
New Columbia Distillers

Restaurateur of the Year: The nominee must be a working restaurateur or restaurant group who sets high standards in restaurant operations and entrepreneurship. Candidates must have been in the restaurant business for a minimum of 5 years in the Metropolitan Washington area.

WINNER: José Andrés and Rob Wilder – ThinkFoodGroup
Mike Isabella – Mike Isabella Concepts
Fabio and Maria Trabocchi – Fiola, Casa Luca, Fiola Mare
Jeff Tunks, David Wizenberg, Gus DiMillo – Passion Food Hospitality
Robert Wiedmaier, Brian McBride, Frank Shull, and Joe Lively – RW Restaurant Group

Joan Hisaoka Allied Member of the Year: Chosen by the RAMW Board and presented to an Allied member who best exemplifies commitment to and support of RAMW.

WINNER: EagleBank
ACME Paper & Supply Co.
Boxwood Estate Winery
Republic National Distributing Company
USI Insurance Services​

Photo of Victor Albisu by Jessica Sidman