The California Restaurant Association (CRA) San Diego County chapter hosted its 28th annual Gold Medallion Awards banquet, San Diego’s most prestigious restaurant honors, May 29, 2012 at the San Diego Convention Center. This industry awards gala is a highly celebrated peer-to-peer awards dinner in San Diego recognizing worthy and exceptional restaurants and industry partners in the region. It is an opportunity for members to acknowledge their fellow restaurateurs for their business practices, concepts, and achievements in more than 40 award categories.
“The Gold Medallion Awards are an opportunity for the industry to come together, share our successes, recognize excellence amongst our peers and raise funds vital to the future success of our industry,” said Mike Morton Jr., president of the CRA San Diego County chapter. “This event is a chance to recognize local restaurateurs, purveyors and vendors who have distinguished themselves through superior business practices, demonstrated leadership and dedication to the restaurant community and hospitality industry as a whole.”
Ken Irvine, owner of Bleu Boheme, was honored as Restaurateur of the Year for his skills as a restaurateur and his dedication to the chapter. Jeff Jackson, executive chef at the Lodge at Torrey Pines and Joe Magnanelli, executive chef for the Urban Kitchen Group shared the title of Chef of the Year. Also honored were San Diego Gas & Electric as the Large Service Provider of the Year and Specialty Produce as the Small Service Provider of the Year. They were honored for their excellence in their profession, contributions to the hospitality industry, the chapter and the community.
The President’s Award, presented only five times in the past 20 years, went to Robin Davis in recognition and thanks for her unending commitment to our industry, the San Diego community and the chapter.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders was honored for his continuous support of our industry while serving as an exceptional leader of the city for the past seven years.
The public also has the opportunity to vote for one award category, the Union Tribune People’s Choice Award, which went to Cucina Urbana. Votes were cast at eatoutsandiego.com, the new chapter website, for the favorite San Diego County restaurant.
Kevin Sosebee of Cucina Urbana was honored as the outstanding front of the house employee and Juan Rodriguez of the Fish Market was named the exceptional heart of the house employee.
Luis Bastidas of Garfield High School was the proud recipient of our Student of the Year award presented to a student showing leadership, exemplary citizenship, how they excel in their class and their desire to work in the hospitality industry.
More than 1,200 people attended the gala and auction, raising more than $160,000, which the chapter proudly contributes to the following causes:
- foodservice equipment, supplies and mentoring for culinary arts programs at Morse, San Diego, Mira Mesa, Scripps, Madison and Garfield high schools
- donations to the San Diego State University Hospitality and Tourism Management program
- educational seminars and classes for the local industry
- advocacy to protect and promote the restaurant industry through local legislation and cooperation with other local organizations.
Here are all of the winners from the event:
President’s Award: Robin Davis
Chef of the Year: Jeff Jackson, The Lodge at Torrey Pines; Joe Magnanelli, Urban Kitchen Group
Restaurateur of the Year: Ken Irvine, Bleu Boheme
Large Associate Member of the Year: San Diego Gas and Electric
Small Associate Member of the Year: Specialty Produce
Union Tribune People’s Choice Award: Cucina Urbana
Best American: George’s Ocean Terrace
Best Modern American Fine Dining:
Bertrand at Mr A’s
George’s California Modern
Best Asian: Del Mar Rendezvous
Best Breakfast or Brunch: Richard Walker’s Pancake House
Best Mexican Dinner House:
Best Sports Restaurant: Seau’s the Restaurant
Best New Restaurant:
Carnitas Snack Shack
Best Pacific Rim: Bali Hai
Best Pizza: Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza
Best Quickservice Chain:
Best Seafood Casual:
The Fish Market
Best Family Casual Chain:
California Pizza Kitchen
Best Brewery: Stone Brewery World Bistro & Gardens
Best Hotel Restaurant Fine Dining:
Addison at The Grand Del Mar
Nine Ten at The Grand Colonial Hotel
Best Casual Italian: The Venetian
Best Italian Fine Dining:
Best Hotel Restaurant Casual:
Sheerwater at the Hotel Del Coronado
The Grill at the Lodge at Torrey Pines
Best BBQ: Phil’s BBQ
Best Burger: Burger Lounge
Best Casino Restaurant: Barona Resort & Casino
Best Caterer: Urban Kitchen Catering
Best Continental or French: Marine Room
Best Ethnic: Indigo Grill
Best Seafood Fine Dining: The Oceanaire Seafood Room
Best Steakhouse Casual: Gaslamp, La Jolla Strip Club
Best Bakery Cafe:Bread & Cie Bakery Cafe
Best Steakhouse Fine Dining:
Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop
Donovan’s Steak & Chop House
Best Sushi: Nobu
Best Live Music Venue: Anthology
Best Pub: The Waterfront Bar & Grill
Best Night Club Restaurant & Lounge: Altitude Sky Bar at the Marriott Gaslamp
Gold Medallion Venue Partner 2012:
San Diego Convention Center
Gold Medallion Title Sponsor 2012:
Sysco | US Foods
For more information, please visit the California Restaurant Association website at http://www.calrest.org.