CT Restaurant Association To Host Annual Awards Gala on Dec 5 at Foxwoods Resort Casino


The Connecticut Restaurant Association (CRA) recently announced the award winners and finalists for the 2022 CRAzies Awards Gala presented by Sysco, LLC. Each year, the CRAzies recognizes the exceptional ability and talent of Connecticut’s restaurant community at this prestigious awards gala. Restaurant owners, operators, chefs, vendors and more will come together to celebrate the success of the industry at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Monday, December 5. Last year’s CRAzies Gala brought more than 1,100 guests together at Foxwoods and saw more than 20,000 online public votes made to choose winners across numerous categories.

Scott Dolch

“We are extremely excited to celebrate our industry at the 2022 CRAzies, and to highlight the many incredible Connecticut restaurants and caterers that serve as a backbone of their local and regional economies,” said Connecticut Restaurant Association Executive Director Scott Dolch. “This year’s CRAzies is positioned to be our best yet, and we can’t wait to bring everyone together on December 5. Congratulations to our 2022 award winners and nominees, plus a special thank you to the efforts of the nominating panel who provided valuable insight throughout the selection process.”

Connecticut Restaurant Association CRAzies 2022The CRAzies selection process began in August with an online public nomination process and state-wide chef panel. Subsequently, more than 35 food writers, critics, bloggers, and social media influencers sat down to finalize the list of honorees and finalists for 2022. Finally, the nominees for Restaurateur of the Year, CT Hospitality Hall of Fame, and Friend of the Industry were brought to the CRA Board of Directors, where the overall winners were selected in each of these three categories.

For the remaining categories, the public can now vote by CLICKING HERE through the end of November for each category: Chef of the Year, Baker of the Year, Bartender of the Year, Server of the Year, Caterer of the Year, People’s Choice, Restaurant Newcomer, Regional Restaurants of the Year and Overall Restaurant of the Year. Winners will be selected from not only the public vote, but also from our nominating panel members.

The full list of honorees and nominations can be found below. Log onto www.craziesawards.com today to learn more about the finalists, vote for your favorites, purchase tickets or become a sponsor. For additional information, please contact them at [email protected].

2022 CRAzies Award Honorees & Nominations

  • New for 2022, the CT Restaurant Association will honor Jacques Pépin with the CRAzies first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award. Pépin is one of the most famous and celebrated chefs around the world, as he is a French chef, cookbook author, television host (who cooked alongside Julia Child), Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and 16-time James Beard Foundation award winner. Since 1976, he has called Madison, Connecticut his home and his impact on the Connecticut culinary community has inspired so many chefs and restaurateurs for almost fifty years.
  • The 2022 Restaurateurs of the Year are Phil Barnett & Mike Hamlin of Hartford Restaurant Group, who own and operate ten Wood-N-Tap restaurants throughout Connecticut and Que Whiskey Kitchen (Southington).
  • The Connecticut Hospitality Hall of Fame inductees for 2022 will be Blackie’s Hot Dogs (Cheshire) and Sally’s Apizza (New Haven). The 2022 Friend of the Industry Award will go to Speaker of the House Matt Ritter and our Vendor of the Year finalists are Copps Island Oysters (Norwalk), Gulf Shrimp Company (Plantsville), Seacoast Mushrooms (Mystic) and VerTerra Dinnerware (Norwalk).
  • Highlighting our finalist categories, one of the most coveted awards is Chef of the Year. The five finalists for 2022 include David DiStasi from Materia Ristorante (Bantam), Jared Falco from Rosina’s (Greenwich), Jared Sippel from L’Ostal (Darien), David Standridge from Shipwright’s Daughter (Mystic) and Renee Touponce from Oyster Club (Mystic).
  • The Baker of the Year finalists are Kevin Masse from Small State Provisions (West Hartford), Pierluigi Mazzella from Fatto a Mano (Monroe), Selene Tepatzi from Atticus Bakery (New Haven), David Vacca from Nana’s Bakery & Pizza (Mystic) and Rob VanKeuren from Flour Water Salt Bread (Darien).
  • The Bartender of the Year finalists are Sebastian Guerrero from The Port of Call (Mystic), Raasikh Muhammad Joseph from Anchor Spa (New Haven), Juan Meyer from Rosina’s (Greenwich), Jamie Oakes from Millwright’s (Simsbury) and Dimitrios Zahariadis from Viron Rondo Osteria (Cheshire).
  • The Server of the Year finalists are Lamott Britto from Grano Arso (Chester), Melissa Cannon from Restaurant Bricco (West Hartford), Christopher Hodson from Materia Ristorante (Bantam), Jess Saunders from Dockside Brewery (Milford) and Stefano Middei from Winvian Farms (Morris).
  • The Caterer of the Year finalists are Delicacy Catering (West Hartford), DORO Catering & Events (West Hartford), Gourmet Galley Catering (Stonington), Knot Norms Catering (Norwalk) and Shaken & Stirred Catered Events (New Haven).
  • The 2022 People’s Choice Award, where the public selects their favorite dining establishment in Connecticut across any genre of food or style of dining. Finalists from this category are Dockside Brewery (Milford), Flanders Fish Market (East Lyme), HooDoo Brown BBQ (Ridgefield), Mecha Noodle Bar (Five CT Locations) and Sayulita (Glastonbury).
  • The Restaurant Newcomer award highlights the best new restaurants in Connecticut. The 2022 finalists are Chef Jiang (Farmington), Good Old Days Pizza (Newtown), L’Ostal (Darien), Materia Ristorante (Bantam) and Rosina’s (Greenwich).

The final category is Restaurant of the Year, where the CRA recognizes four different regional winners, as well as an overall winner from the sixteen nominees.

  • Finalists from the North Region (Hartford & Tolland Counties) are Arugula (West Hartford), Cora Cora (West Hartford), Max Downtown (Hartford) and The Charles (Wethersfield).
  • The South Region (Middlesex & New Haven Counties) finalists are The Essex (Old Saybrook), Strega (Milford), Tavern on State (New Haven) and Union League Café (New Haven).
  • The East Region (New London & Windham Counties) finalists are Oyster Club (Mystic), Shipwright’s Daughter (Mystic), Stone Row Kitchen & Bar (Willimantic) and TAO Asian Bistro & Lounge (Uncasville).
  • The West Region (Fairfield & Litchfield Counties) finalists are Elm (New Canaan), Kawa Ni (Westport), Swyft (Kent) and Tony’s at the J House (Greenwich).

The Connecticut Restaurant Association is a full service, not-for-profit trade association dedicated to supporting every type and size of restaurant. We are advocates for the Connecticut restaurant industry, a hub for information and a platform for networking. We commit ourselves to offering cost effective benefits and resources you need to run a profitable business. The industry plays an integral role in Connecticut’s economy employing more than 160,000 foodservice workers and generating nearly $9 billion in annual sales. Along with the Connecticut Hospitality Educational Foundation (CHEF), the Association protects, advances, and educates the growing industry. Learn more at www.ctrestaurant.org.

The post CT Restaurant Association To Host Annual Awards Gala on Dec 5 at Foxwoods Resort Casino appeared first on Total Food Service.

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