Congratulations to our very own Nick Williams who has been named a finalist for the distinction of Top Mixologist where he shares the spotlight with Jason Asher from Barter & Shake and Josh James from Clever Koi. Each year the Arizona Restaurant Association gives out awards for the shining stars in the culinary world. Finalists were narrowed down from a publicly-submitted applications by a panel of food and beverage industry experts, and winners will be announced at the awards presentation. Congratulations to the finalists:
Innovative Restaurant Concept – Recognizes a restaurateur or restaurant group who demonstrates that they don’t follow trends; they define them, setting the bar in restaurant operations and the overall customer dining experience.
The Larder + the Delta
Outstanding Food Truck – Recognizes outstanding achievement in mobile nourishment, operations and community development.
Aioli Gourmet Burgers
Drive Wood Fired Grill
Emerging Restaurant of the Year – Honors promising up-and-comers that demonstrate exemplary talent, showcase innovation and have already distinguished themselves as pacesetters in food, beverage and service.
Mowry & Cotton
Roland’s Café Market Bar
The Larder + the Delta
Best Arizona Caterer – An Arizona grown catering team that provides quality dining experience at any location and exemplary service.
Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering
Outstanding Multiple Location Restaurant – Honors a culinary concept with more than 3 locations, demonstrating exceptional achievement and commitment to excellence in marketing, menu design and customer service.
Cornish Pasty Co.
Matt’s Big Breakfast
Uniquely Arizona – Home to some of the oldest documented food traditions, Arizona has a rich culinary past steeped in tradition. We are searching statewide for the restaurants that embrace not only the local food but are staples of the state.
Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine
Innovative Fast-Casual Dish – Honoring our fast-casual segment, and the most unique dish on the menu.
Crepe Bar – Crepe Chips
Coconuts Fish Café – Fish Tacos
Gadzooks – Short Rib Enchiladas
Best Arizona made restaurant retail food product – Hats off to the tried and true recipes that we want to have available at home.
Matt’s Big Breakfast – Hot Sauce
Noble Bread – Bread
Perk Eatery – Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce
Best Signature Dish: – Honors the restaurant that quite simply does it best.
Farmboy Market, Meats, Sandwiches – The Ocotillo Pulled Pork
LON’s at the Hermosa Inn – Himalayan Salt-Seared Ahi
Virtu Honest Craft – Grilled Octopus
Best Arizona Wine – Raising a glass to the best wine made in Arizona – from rose to chardonnay, this wine is the best of the best from State 48.
Dos Cabezas Wine Works
Pillsbury Wine Company
Best Arizona Beer – Raising a glass to the best beer made in Arizona – from ales to malts, this beer is the best of the best from State 48.
Mother Road Brewery
Best Cocktail– Raising a glass to the best cocktail made in Arizona. This beverage is an exceptional cocktail that is without a doubt delicious, garnished to perfection while pushing the limits with flavors.
Artizen at the Camby – Kingston Fog
Bourbon & Bones – Manhattan
Bitter & Twisted – Ship Load of Rum
Best Beverage Program – Recognizing a bar or restaurant that keeps their beverage menu edgy yet approachable embracing all things beverage – cocktails, spirits, wine and beer.
Bitter & Twisted
Restaurant Employee – Recognizes the front or back of house employee (non-managerial) that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and enhancing the overall dining experience.
Christian Giles, Binkley’s
Fran D’Amato, Prado
Gabby Golf, Isabella’s Kitchen
Restaurant Manager – Recognizes the manager that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and leadership as well as enhancing the overall dining experience.
Bill Parker, Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn
Cody Heller, Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine
Jason Morris, Crujiente Tacos
Top Chef – Pays tribute to outstanding culinary excellence, breaking new ground with an innovative menu while enhancing the dining experience.
Lisa Dahl, Dahl Restaurant Group
Stephen Jones, The Larder + the Delta
Michael Rusconi – Rusconi’s American Kitchen
Top Mixologist – Honoring an individual who is behind the bar, constantly raising the bar and setting trends in the beverage scene.
Jason Asher, Barter & Shake
Josh James, Clever Koi
Nick Williams, Annex in Flagstaff
Best of the Best Food Writer – This award recognizes a writer, blogger, food critic who dedicates time, passion and energy to capturing the beauty of our industry with the written word in any form.
Chris Malloy, Phoenix New Times
Christina Barrueta, Write on Rubee
Dominic Armato, the Arizona Republic
Good Neighbor – Recognizes the outstanding community leadership and exceptional devotion to making a difference in our neighborhoods and community at large.
David Duarte, Finestre Modern Gastronomy
Raveen Aurora, The Dhaba
The Joy Bus Diner
Food Pioneer – Honors a lifetime of outstanding culinary excellence that continues to educate, inspire, entertain and foster a deeper understanding of the culinary culture in Arizona.
Christopher Gross, Historic Wrigley Mansion
Gio Osso, Virtu Honest Craft
Mark Tarbell, Tarbell’s