Atlanta, GA (June 17, 2019) – The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) is thrilled to announce the finalists and honorees for the 2019 Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Awards. All finalists are peer-nominated, ensuring the most deserving in the industry are recognized. Winners are chosen by the GRACE Academy, comprised of former GRACE finalists and honorees, as well as current GRA board members.
The GRACE Awards Gala, an exclusive event honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to Georgia’s restaurant industry, will take place at the Delta Flight Museum in Atlanta, GA on Sunday, August 11, 2019. At the event, winners for Restaurateur of the Year (Small/Independent and Large/Corporate), Industry Partner of the Year, Diversity Leadership Award and Distinguished Service Award will be announced. The GRA will also honor the Restaurant Employee of the Year, Restaurant Manager of the Year, ProStart Student of the Year, Chairman’s Award recipient and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Regynald Washington. Washington, who serves as President of the Dining Division at Paradies Lagardère, was recently named the 2019 Gold Plate Award recipient by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA). A complete list of GRACE finalists can be found at the end of this release.
“Georgia’s restaurant industry is truly unique, as are the people who work within it. The GRACE Awards gala is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the incredible individuals and companies that devote themselves to creating a more hospitable world,” said Karen Bremer, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association. “Each day, restaurants bring people together. I am honored to put on this amazing event every year that brings our industry together.”
A portion of the proceeds will go to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank, whose mission is to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering the community.
To learn more about the GRACE Awards or to purchase tickets visit http://www.garestaurants.org/grace-awards-gala.html.
2019 GRACE AWARDS FINALISTS
Restaurateur of the Year: Small/Independent
Delia Champion + John Amend, Delia’s Chicken Sausage Stand
Jamie Keating, EPIC Restaurant, Inc. | Jamie Keating Culinary, Inc.
Doug Turbush, Seed Kitchen & Bar | Stem Wine Bar | Drift Fish House & Oyster Bar
Restaurateur of the Year: Large/Corporate
Industry Partner of the Year
Boelter Foodservice Design, Equipment and Supply
Retail Data Systems
Diversity Leadership Award
Tracy Gates, Busy Bee Cafe
Meherwan Irani, Chai Pani Restaurant Group
Maggie Antione + Reiko Clark, Ponko Chicken
Distinguished Service Award
Georgia Mountain Food Bank
Helms College | Edgar’s Hospitality Group
Tropical Smoothie Café
ProStart Student of the Year
To be determined by the Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia (HEFG)
Manager of the Year
Andres Loaiza, Aria
Restaurant Employee of the Year
Donte Jenkins, Dantanna’s
Carl Muth, FoodService Resource Associates
Lifetime Achievement Award
Regynald Washington, Paradies Lagardère
About the Georgia Restaurant Association
The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s Restaurants in Advocacy, Education and Awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia.
About the GRACE Awards
The GRACE Awards is the Georgia Restaurant Association’s annual black-tie gala event recognizing excellence in Georgia’s Restaurant Industry. The GRACE awards are peer-nominated and honor the top finalists in the following categories: Restaurateur of the Year (Small/Independent, Large/Corporate), Industry Partner of the Year, Diversity Leadership Award and the Distinguished Service Award. The winners are announced at the event and are presented with crystal works of art created by renowned local artist Hans-Godo Frabel.
For more information, tickets, and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.garestaurants.org/grace-awards-gala. For media inquiries, please contact Melissa Lembo, manager of marketing and communications, at (404) 467-9000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.