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Atlanta, GA (May 15, 2018) – The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) is delighted to announce the finalists for the 2018 Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Awards. All finalists are peer nominated, which ensures that the most deserving in the industry are honored. The winners are then chosen by the GRACE Academy, which includes former GRACE nominees and current GRA Board Members.
The GRACE Awards Gala, an exclusive event honoring leaders who have made outstanding contributions to Georgia’s restaurant industry, will take place at The Fairmont in Atlanta, GA on Sunday, August 12, 2018. At the event, winners for Restaurateur of the Year (Small/Independent and Large/Corporate), Industry Partner of the Year, Diversity Leadership Award and the Distinguished Service Award will be announced. The GRA will also honor the Restaurant Employee of the Year, Manager of the Year, ProStart Student of the Year, Chairman’s Award winners and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Gerry Klaskala of Canoe and Aria. A complete list of finalists can be found at the end of this release.
“The GRACE Awards Gala really showcases the exemplary culinary scene we have here in Georgia,” said Karen Bremer, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association. “Ninety percent of restaurants are actively involved in community activities. Our local restaurateurs are not only feeding our stomachs, but they’re feeding our souls by making a positive contribution to their communities.”
A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to benefit the Atlanta Community Food Bank, whose mission is to fight hunger by engaging, educating and empowering the community.
To learn more about the GRACE Awards or to purchase tickets visit http://www.garestaurants.org/grace-awards-gala.html.
2018 GRACE AWARDS FINALISTS
Restaurateur of the Year: Small/Independent
Brian So, Spring
Federico Castellucci, Castellucci Hospitality Group
Tal Postelnik Baum, Bellina Alimentari
Restaurateur of the Year: Large/Corporate
Industry Partner of the Year
TFH Beverage Law
Diversity Leadership Award
Giulio Adriani, The Local Pizzaiolo
Eddie Hernandez, Taqueria del Sol
Todd Richards, Richards’ Southern Fried
Distinguished Service Award
Porch Light Latin Kitchen
ProStart Student of the Year
To be determined by the Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia (HEFG)
Manager of the Year
Sammy Jimenez, Hal’s on Old Ivey
Restaurant Employee of the Year
Richard Davis, Goldberg’s Fine Foods
Representative Meagan Hanson
Senator Renee Unterman
Lifetime Achievement Award
Gerry Klaskala, Canoe and Aria
About the Georgia Restaurant Association
The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s Restaurants in Advocacy, Education and Awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia.
About the GRACE Awards
The GRACE Awards is the Georgia Restaurant Association’s annual black-tie gala event honoring Georgia’s Restaurant Industry. The GRACE awards are peer-nominated and honor the top finalists in the following categories: Restaurateur of the Year (Small/Independent, Large/Corporate), Industry Partner of the Year, Diversity Leadership Award and the Distinguished Service Award. The winners are announced at the event and are presented with crystal works of art created by renowned local artist Hans-Godo Frabel.
For more information, ticket reservations, and/or sponsorship opportunities, visit the website at http://www.garestaurants.org/grace-awards-gala.html.