RI Hospitality Names Award Winners

Friday, November 06, 2015


View Larger +

View Larger +

Celebrating RI's great restaurants

Winners, winners and chicken dinner - the Rhode Island Hospitality Association (RIHA) will hold their annual Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner on Wednesday, December 2, at Twin River Casino. The event will honor many of Rhode Island’s restaurants, caterers, chefs, hotel employees, bartenders and more. The association released its list of honorees and award recipients.

The big winners this year are Woman of the Year Amy Barclay of Trattoria Simpatico and Man of the Year Craig Sculos of Twin River Casino.

More than 500 are expect to attend the dinner. 

Award recipients are nominated by their bosses, co-workers and even their customers and awards are given in over 20 categories, with 2-3 nominations per category. Winners are voted by the public and elected officials of the board.

Chairman’s Award
Kristin and Matthew Gennuso, Chez Pascal

President’s Award
Rachel Naradowy, The VIllage Haven Restaurant

Hotelier of the Year
Eric Churchill, Providence Marriott Hotel

Restaurateurs of the Year
Christopher Phillips, The Capital Grille

Vendor of the Year
Perkins a Gordon Foodservice Company

Volunteer of the Year
Melanie Rich, Perkins, a Gordon Food Service Company
John Ciolfi, Dunkin Donuts Center

Vendor Representative of the Year
Carmine DeLuca, Lynch’s Cleaning & Restoration

Chef of the Year
Carlos DaMaura, Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse

Mary Brennan Tourism Award
Volvo Ocean Race Team – (Sail Newport, Discover Newport, Newport Hospitality, Department of Environmental Management

Hospitality Ambassador of the Year
Representative K. Joseph Shekarchi, Chairman of the House Labor Committee
Andy Moffit, First Gentleman, State of Rhode Island

View Larger +

Volvo Ocean Race

Lifetime Achievement Award
Alan Costantino, Venda Ravioli
Roger Payette, Kay’s Restaurant

Media Partnership Award
The Rhode Island Beverage Journal

Woman of the Year
Amy Barclay, Trattoria Simpatico

Man of the Year
Craig Sculos, Twin River Casino

Excellence in Sustainability Award
Hope & Main Kitchen Incubator

NRA Restaurant Neighbor Award
Gregg’s Restaurants & Pubs
Brick Alley Pub & Restaurant

Employees of the Year


Maurice Charlton, Hampton Inn and Suites Warwick Airport
Maragrida Sebastio, Hampton Inn and Suites Warwick Airport
Manuel Herrand, Hilton Garden Inn
Chris, O’Shea, Hilton Providence
Balmer Herrera, Hilton Providence
Evan Poitras, Hotel Viking
Jana Cochran, Hotel Viking
Fesaha Afa, Omni Providence Hotel
Mirjaam Parada, Omni Providence Hotel
Flavio Fernandes, Omni Providence Hotel
Maria Santos, Omni Providence Hotel
Pablo De Los Santos, Omni Providence Hotel
Itmar Benitez, Providence Biltmore Hotel
Debbie Lepore, Providence Biltmore Hotel
Carlos Rivera, Providence Biltmore Hotel
Josh Rivera, Providence Biltmore Hotel
Breandan Aslin, Providence Marriott Hotel
Nicole Kitts, Providence Marriott Hotel
Jeff Shabo, Providence Marriott Hotel
Steven Simas, Renaissance Providence Hotel
Christopher Sutley, Renaissance Providence Hotel
Senait Weldesemayat, Renaissance Providence Hotel
Jennifer Tavares, Renaissance Providence Hotel


Ashley Swirles, Angelo’s Palace Pizza
Carino Mauricio, Angelo’s Palace Pizza
Phil Newman, Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse
Michael Yanish, Hilton Providence/Shulas 247
Gary Hatfield, Hilton Providence/Shulas 247
Alberto Gomes, Twin River Casino
Kerry Spady, Twin River Casino (Pastry Chef Team)
Chris Tessier, Panera Bread
Chrissy Serpa, Panera Bread
Ewa Buszta, Panera Bread
Kerri Bonas, Panera Bread

Antonio Debritto, Providence Biltmore


Brett DePaola, Preservation Society Newport
Kathleen Ceseretti, Providence Warwick CVB
Bryan Abernante, Twin River Casino
Tommy Gleckman, Twin River Casino


Donald Gubitosi, ECOLAB
Luis Vasquez, ECOLAB
Peter Kennedy, LAZ/Ultimate Hospitality
Luis Sanchez, LAZ/Ultimate Hospitality
Michael Santucci, LAZ/Ultimate Hospitality
Jane VanVleck, Regency Plaza

Emerging Leaders Under 30

Emily Trodson, Avenue N American Kitchen
Chef Antonio Franco, Basta Italian Restaurant
Carly Fischer, Hilton Providence
Emily Weidner, Hilton Providence
Alicia Cote, Omni Providence Hotel
Jeremy Grossi, Providence Biltmore Hotel
Megan Herne, Panera Bread
Monika Zuluaga, RI Hospitality Association

Bartender of the Year

Amy McGovern DeThomas, 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grill
Stephanie Merola, Andinos
Karen Silva, Angelo’s Palace Pizza
Pam Howard, Fred and Steve’s Steakhouse

RI Hospitality Education Foundation Award Winners
Chairman’s Award
Bahjat Shariff, Panera Bread, Howley Bread Group

Teacher of the Year
Chef Jamie Finkelstein, Connecting with Children and Families

Education Partnership of the Year
Connecting for Children & Families

Education Ambassador of the Year
Karl Guggenmos, Culinary Solutions International


Related Slideshow: Fall’s Best Foodie Events

View Larger +
Prev Next

4th Annual Rhode Island Seafood Festival, Providence, Sept. 6-7

September signals the re-birth of Providence as its sleepy streets bustle with college students and locals back from the shore. We know...you need one more taste of summer without having to day-trip for it. In that vein, we present the 4th Annual Rhode Island Seafood Festival. On the weekend, India Point Park comes alive with scores of fresh, local seafood and hungry patrons. You can sample food and drink from the state's top chefs and food trucks and wineries and breweries. Grab some local oysters and a Narragansett and fend off the impending cold! www.riseafoodfest.com  

View Larger +
Prev Next

Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, Newport, Sept. 19-21

This is the Rhode Island festival that all others are judged against. Newport Mansions Wine and Food is in its ninth year of bringing together sublime food talent in a gorgeous Newport setting. This year is no different as the main headliners are Martha Stewart and Sara Moulton. They don't stop there though...imagine hundreds of wines to be sampled on the lawn of Marble House, tasty treats from lots of local restaurants,and appearances by local chefs like Champe Speidel preparing and serving their creations. You've got a bona fide classic! Tickets starts at $135. www.newportmansions.org/events/wine-and-food-festival

View Larger +
Prev Next

New England Whiskey Festival, Lincoln, Sept 27

this one sounds promising: Twin River Casino’s first New England Whiskey Festival. The finest companies in the hospitality industry will gather at Rhode Island’s premiere entertainment facility to show off the latest whiskey products, trends and innovations. Discover new brands and the hottest beverage trends while enjoying great food, samplings and entertainment. The festivities start at 2 p.m. in the Twin River Event Center. 21+ of course. Tickets are $30 ($5 of each ticket will benefit the RI Hospitality Association Education Foundation). 100 Twin River Rd. 1-877-82-RIVER, www.twinriver.com

View Larger +
Prev Next

Taste Trekkers Food and Travel Expo, Providence, Oct. 3-5

This is a second year for the Taste Trekkers Food and Travel Expo and we are excited to be hosting it again here in Providence. This event, started by Seth Ressler, aims to bring together like-minded food travelers for a weekend of food and fun. This year's event features a new "industry day" that brings together local food and travel professionals. On Saturday, the events unfold at the Biltmore with a series of talks and then the Hope and Main sponsored Tasting Pavillion. Tickets start at $50. www.tastetrekkers.com

View Larger +
Prev Next

Chefs Collaborative Autumn Harvest BBQ, Exeter, Oct. 19

Chefs Collaborative is one of the real unsung heroes when it comes to changing our food system. They have 11 chapters nationwide that bring together chefs and food producers in an attempt to help the chefs source better local foods. In other words...we diners win! Our local Rhode Island chapter features some of the state's best and brightest chefs. Their annual fundraiser is the Autumn Harvest BBQ. Held at Schartner's Farms, this is a must-attend party. You may never get the opportunity to enjoy all of these chefs on just one night in this great a setting. Sunday October 19th is the date and all the information is on their website. 1 Arnold Pl.  www.chefscollaborative.org  


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.


Sign Up for the Daily Eblast

I want to follow on Twitter

I want to Like on Facebook


Stay Connected — Free
Daily Email