RICHMOND, Va. — Over 800 people, both restaurant staff and patron, gathered Sunday night at Main Street Station for the 7th Annual Elby Awards.
The dining awards event, honoring the hard-working restaurant community, is name after Master Chef Paul Ebling, who currently oversees the French Film Festival.
The theme “Fancy Family Meal” was a play on the environment of a restaurant and how it works as a family and a shift meal: the meal before the “family’s shift” for the night.
Awards for the night:
Coffee Roastery: Blanchard’s Coffee Roasting Company
Front-of-House Personality: Patti Wright of Pop’s Market on Grace
Global-Dining Experience: Peter Chang Scott’s Addition
Grab-and-Go Food: Union Market
Pastry Chef: Sara Ayyash of Lemaire/The Jefferson Hotel
Promoter of Sustainability: Ellwood Thompson’s
Product or Producer of the Year: Village Garden
The Restaurant Regular of the Year: Greg Gilliam and Richard Stone
Culinary Students of the Year: Grace Dupont of Culinard and Denton Taylor and Caroline Horiuchi of Reynolds
Restaurateur of the Year: Jared Golden and Michelle Williams
Best New Restaurant (Opened between Nov. 1, 2016 -Oct. 31, 2017): Little Saint
Best Family-Friendly Restaurant: Laura Lee’s
Brewery of the Year: Ardent Craft Ales
Classically Richmond: Edo’s Squid
Chef of the Year: Joe Sparatta
Beverage Program of the Year: Brenner Pass
Restaurant of the Year: Dutch and Company
Both Sparatta of Heritage and Dutch and Company celebrated this award as a second win.
Hosts Susan Winiecki and Juan Conde recognized industry figures who passed away over the year; 2014 Elby Legacy Award-recipient Hollister Lindley and Michelle Turner, co-owner of Cafe Rustica.
New awards this year included Global Dining Experience and Restaurant Regular of the Year. Peter Chang on accepting his award promised more to the Richmond Dining Scene.
Restaurant Regular winners, Greg Gilliam and Richard Stone, wore shoes emblazoned with the letters of their regular ‘haunt’ L’opossum embroidered on the top.
“It’s absolutely incredible to be the first two non-industry winners. We could not have done it without the support of all the restaurant friends, and I certainly hope our speech paid them back for everything they have done for us! We heard excellent reviews on the food from everyone…the mac and cheese was the shining star,” Stone said.
Sixty-five industry professionals, food writers, and culinary instructors submitted nominations for the 2018 awards and out-of-town culinary judges visits the nominations in January and February to make the award selections.
Tickets to the event are open to the public and proceeds benefit the nonprofits Shalom Farms, Tricycle Gardens and the Virginia Oyster Shell Recycling Project.