Young and Hungry

Highlights (and Lowlights) at This Year’s RAMMY Awards

Bibiana chef Nick Stefanelli and restaurateur Ashok Bajaj do the Heisman trophy pose.

Sorry, there were no faux-controversies at the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington's RAMMY awards ceremony this year. But that's not to say there weren't some memorable moments:

Longest speech: Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award winner Linda Lee continued her speech long after the fade out music tried to drown her out. Yes, there is fade out music at the RAMMYs.

Most boos: Presenter Tom Sherwood of NBC4 poked fun at Lee's long speech, saying it was fun that he got one minute to speak, "not as much as we just heard about the history of the world." The audience jeered.

Best acceptance speech: The Bar Pilar team, which won the award for hottest bar scene, reminisced about the days of hookers on 14th Street NW. "During the build-out, we had pimps coming in and going like, 'What's goin' on over here?' Uh, we're building a restaurant. They're like, 'For who?,'" says co-owner Michael Benson. "Well, now we know."

Most emotional acceptance speech: Scot Harlan of Arlington's Green Pig Bistro seemed to be teary-eyed when he accepted the award for Rising Star of the Year. "I told myself that if I wrote anything down, I would lose, so it's off-the-cuff," he said, thanking his family, staff, and chefs and cooks who've pushed him over the years.

Worst mispronunciation: One of the big winners of the night was well-known restaurateur Ashok Bajaj, who took home the prize for Restaurateur of the Year. Too bad presenter and ABC 7 sports reporter Britt McHenry couldn't pronounce his name.

Most over-the-top interpretation of the "Restaurants in Bloom" theme: With huge leafy flowers around her neck, master of ceremonies  and FOX 5 meteorologist Sue Palka looked like she had a garden growing out of her chest.

Most prepared to party right: Neighborhood Restaurant Group wine director Brent Kroll, who brought his own cooler of fine wines.

Photos by Jessica Sidman