11th Annual GRACE Awards Gala Finalists Announced

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The Georgia Restaurant Association is proud to announce the finalists for the 2017 Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence Awards. All finalists are peer nominated, which ensures that we honor the most deserving in our industry. The winners are then decided by the GRACE Academy, consisting of all former GRACE nominees and current GRA Board Members.
On Sunday, October 29, 2017, the GRACE Awards Gala, an exclusive event honoring leaders who have made outstanding contributions to Georgia's restaurant industry, will take place at the Stave Room at American Spirit Works in Atlanta, GA. At the event, winners for Restaurateur of the Year (Small/Independent, Franchisee, Large/Corporate), Industry Partner of the Year and the Distinguished Service Award will be announced. The GRA will also honor the Restaurant Employee of the Year, Manager of the Year, Culinary/Hospitality Student of the Year and this year's Lifetime Achievement Award winner, John Ferrell of Mary Mac's Tea Room.
In addition, Jim Stacy, television host, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies. Live entertainment will be provided by the folk Americana group Little Country Giants.
"The GRACE Awards Gala is a time to recognize hospitality and foodservice professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields, emphasizing the GRA's mission to celebrate and honor Georgia's exemplary culinary scene," said Karen Bremer, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association.
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.


Restaurateur of the Year: Small/Independent

Robert Owens and Gregory Vivier, Grand Champion BBQ
Steven Satterfield and Neal McCarthy, Miller Union
Melissa Clegg and Jaamy Zarnegar, The Last Resort Grill
Restaurateur of the Year: Franchisee

Allen Peake and Mike Chumbley, Fazoli's
Jonathan Ewing and Jonathan Joiner, Amici
Dan Jenkins, Subway
Restaurateur of the Year: Large/Corporate

Longhorn Steakhouse
Ted's Montana Grill
The Krystal Company
Industry Partner of the Year

PSG Construction
Distinguished Service Award

KBP Foods
Taco's and Tequila
Culinary/Hospitality Student of the Year

To be determined by the Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia
Manager of the Year

Andy Palermo, El Felix and Superica
Restaurant Employee of the Year

Ronald Foster, Fresh To Order
Lifetime Achievement Award

John Ferrell, Mary Mac's Tea Room