The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Restaurant Association of Maryland Gala Awards: Your votes count

The 75 year old Restaurant Association of Maryland, the statewide trade association for the restaurant industry, has just announced the nominees for the 2015 Stars of the Industry Awards. Winners will be announced at their 61st Annual Stars of the Industry Gala – Havana Nights on April 12th.  

Earlier this year, the general public sent in their nominations in seven categories. The Restaurant Association of Maryland just announced the finalist and opened up the voting to both industry professionals and the public.   Everyone likes bragging rights and for these restaurants, the wins are important, it reflects the consumers’ appreciation of their commitment to offering only the best that they put on their plates and in their glasses.  

Voting is open now through March 11 and you, John or Jane Q. Public, can now vote for your favorites online at or on Facebook,

Chef of the Yearpresented by Oracle:
1. Michael Matassa – Alchemy, Baltimore
2. Jordan Lloyd – Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton
3. Geoff Tracy – Chef Geoff’s, Rockville
4. Fabio Mura – Grille 620, Ellicott City
5. Stephanie Wilson – Vintage, New Market
Craft Brew Program of the Yearpresented by Evolution Craft Brewing Company:
1. Burley Oak Brewing Company – Berlin
2. Max’s Taphouse – Baltimore
3. Red Brick Station – White Marsh
4. T-Bonz Grille & Taphouse - Ellicott City
5. Victoria Gastro Pub – Columbia
Favorite New Restaurant:
1. Ananda – Fulton
2. Highland Inn – Highland
3. Iron Rooster – Annapolis
4. Lib’s Grill – Perry Hall
5. Touch of Italy – Ocean City
Favorite Restaurant:
1. Houlihan’s – Columbia
2. Jules Restaurant – Ocean City
3. Laurrapin Grille – Havre de Grace
4. Madrones – Frederick
5. Miss Shirley’s CafĂ© – Baltimore
6. Pasta Plus – Laurel
Favorite Bar or Tavern:
1. Birroteca – Bel Air
2. Dogfish Head Alehouse – Gaithersburg
3. Galway Bay – Annapolis
4. Kooper’s Tavern – Baltimore
5. River Hill Sports Grille – Clarksville
Heart of the Industry, presented by CohnReznick:
1. Julio Dupuy (Sous Chef) – Iron Rooster
2. Dennis Theriault (Manager) – Laurrapin Grille
3. Danielle Bloom (GM) – Schula’s Grill & Crabhouse
Wine and Beverage Program of the Year:
1. Bistro Blanc – Glenelg
2. Cunningham’s – Towson
3. Grapeseed American Bistro & Wine Bar – Bethesda
4. Red Red Wine Bar – Annapolis
5. The Wine Kitchen – Frederick

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