Restaurant Association of Maryland celebrated restaurant and foodservice professionals at their annual Awards Gala on March 26
The Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM), the only trade association that represents every segment of the foodservice industry in Maryland, held their 2023 Awards Gala at Maryland Live Casino in Hanover, Md. on Sunday to celebrate the work and accomplishments of local restaurant and foodservice professionals. Nine individuals from across the state of Maryland were recognized at the event.
“It was an absolute honor to be joined by so many hard-working and inspirational individuals at our Awards Gala on Sunday evening, said Marshall Weston Jr., RAM President & CEO. “These talented foodservice professionals are the heart of Maryland restaurants and we’re grateful for the opportunity to celebrate the work and passion that they pour into this industry each and every day,” he added.
Over 600 guests, including chefs, owners, employees, and industry supporters, came together to enjoy delicious food from a variety of stations, an open bar, live music, industry awards and more. A portion of the evening was dedicated to honoring the winners of RAM’s three prestigious awards: RAM Restaurateur of the Year, the Phillips Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Heart of the Industry Award.
- 2023 RAM Restaurateur of the Year: Brenda McDonnell, Brenda’s Pizzeria, Trader’s Coffee House, Ace’s Run, Firewater (Garrett County)
- 2023 Phillips Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve F. de Castro, Big Steaks Management (Multiple Locations)
- 2023 Heart of the Industry Award: Juan Lowman, The White Oak Tavern (Ellicott City)
Representatives from the Restaurant Association also announced the highly anticipated results of the public vote for industry favorites from across the state. The winners included:
- Bartender of the Year: Tiffany “TJ” Huryk, Steelefish Grille (Bel Air)
- Chef of the Year: Zack Trabbold, The Local (Fallston)
- Restaurant Manager of the Year: Elle Grose, Fallston Barrel House (Fallston)
- Server of the Year: Christy Wilson, Red Lobster (Bel Air)
In addition to the industry awards, RAM recognized the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation’s (RAMEF) 2022/2023 ProStart Teacher and Student of the Year. The Teacher of the Year award was presented to Dr. Lorna Browne from Howard High School and the Student of the Year award was presented to Shreja Patel from La Plata High School. These individuals were honored for their outstanding achievement in high school culinary arts and restaurant management education in the state of Maryland.
“Our Maryland ProStart Program plays a critical role in our mission to provide opportunities and exposure to invaluable industry experience to young aspiring foodservice professionals in our state,” said Olivia Aberdeen, RAMEF Director of Programs & Education. “We’re proud to offer pathways into the restaurant industry in the form of training, guidance, and encouragement to help students achieve their goals and thrive in this space,” she added.
About Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM)
The Restaurant Association of Maryland (RAM) exists to promote, protect and improve Maryland’s foodservice and hospitality industry. RAM leads by showcasing restaurants, offering programs that reduce operating costs and advocating for the interests of foodservice businesses. RAM represents all foodservice and hospitality businesses including restaurants, caterers, bars & taverns, private clubs, food trucks, grocery stores, hotels and other businesses that serve food. https://www.marylandrestaurants.com/
About Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation (RAMEF)
The Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation’s mission is to enhance the food service and hospitality industry’s training and education, career development and community engagement. Maryland ProStart® provides high school students with the knowledge, skills, and opportunity to begin their journey towards becoming tomorrow’s restaurant and foodservice leaders. Learn more about RAMEF and its programs at www.marylandrestaurants.com/foundation.