Last night Richmond Magazine and a host of other sponsors put on the inaugural Elby Awards (named for visionary French Chef Paul Elbling) at the Virginia Historical Society. It was great to see some of my favorite local restaurants, chefs and bartenders honored for their contributions to the Richmond food landscape. The winners were:
Fine Dining Restaurant: Lemaire
Neighborhood Restaurant: The Black Sheep
New Restaurant: The Roosevelt
Wine Program: Secco Wine Bar
Beverage Program: Balliceaux
Restaurant Visionaries: Ren Mefford and Christ Tsui of EAT Restaurant partners (The Blue Goat, Wild Ginger, Osaka and Sushi-O)
Pastry Chef: Josh Gaulin of Acacia Midtown
Rising Culinary Star: Caleb Shriver of Aziza's
Chef of the Year: Dale Reitzer of Acacia Midtown
The after-party featured historic favorite foods of our favorite Virginia presidents including the signature cocktail, the Tipsy Taylor, made with local Cirrus Vodka and Simple Syrup.
Highlights of the evening for me were an eloquent acceptance speech by The Black Sheep's Amy Hess, and the overall enthusiasm and respect that all of the attendees gave to all of the nominees. They have all played a roll in making Richmond a better restaurant scene.
Hanging out with Dominic Barrett from Shalom Farms and Erin Wright from the Richmond Food Collective !