2017

2017 WINNERS

Uniquely Arizona – Home to some of the oldest documented food traditions, Arizona has a rich culinary past steeped in tradition. We are searching statewide for the restaurants that embrace not only the local food but are staples of the state.

Winner: Cress on Oak Creek at L’Auberge de Sedona
Finalists: Tomaso’s on Camelback &Tonto Bar & Grill

Innovative Restaurant Concept – Recognizes a restaurateur or restaurant group who demonstrates that they don’t follow trends; they define them, setting the bar in restaurant operations and the overall customer dining experience.

Winner: Hash Kitchen
Finalists: Crujiente Tacos & El Panzon y Frida

Outstanding Multiple Location Restaurant – Honors a culinary concept with multiple locations, demonstrating exceptional achievement and commitment to excellence in marketing, menu design and customer service.

Winner: Postino Wine Café 
Finalists: Hash Kitchen & The Capital Grille

Emerging Restaurant of the Year – Honors promising up-and-comers that demonstrate exemplary talent, showcase innovation and have already distinguished themselves as pacesetters in food, beverage and service.

Winner: Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse
Finalists:  Crujiente Tacos & Fat Ox

Outstanding Food Truck – Recognizes outstanding achievement in mobile nourishment, operations and community development.

Winner: Short Leash Hot Dogs Food Truck
Finalists: Frites Street & Mustache Pretzels

Best Dish: Tacos – Honors the restaurant that quite simply does it best.

Winner: Crujiente Tacos
Finalists: Casa Añjeo & Tacos Chiwas

Restaurant Manager – Recognizes the manager that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and leadership as well as enhancing the overall dining experience.

Winner: Nicholas Campisano (The Clever Koi)
Finalists: Justin Cohen (Riot Hospitality Group) & Pauline Martinez (Char Kitchen + Bar)

Restaurant Employee – Recognizes the front or back of house employee (non-managerial) that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and enhancing the overall dining experience.

Winner: Sherry Dierauer (Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill)
Finalists: Garrit Guthrie (Market Street Kitchen) & Kevin Lewis (Kai)

Premier Cocktail Program – Recognizes an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their cocktail program.

Winner: Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
Finalists: Counter Intuitive & Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse

Best Cocktail – Raising a glass to the best cocktail made in Arizona. This beverage is an exceptional cocktail that is without a doubt delicious, garnished to perfection while pushing the limits with flavors.

Winner: The Smoking Cannon (UnderTow)
Finalists: Kombucha Cocktail (Farm & Craft) & The Drunken Gardener (Market Street Kitchen)

Premier Beer Program – Recognizes an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their beer program.

Winner: Craft 64
Finalists:  Federal Pizza & TapHouse Kitchen

Best Arizona Beer – Raising a glass to the best beer made in Arizona – from ales to malts, this beer is the best of the best from State 48.

Winner: Scottsdale Blonde (Huss Brewing Company)
Finalists:  kilt Lifter (Four Peaks Brewing Company) & Papago Orange Blossom Ale (Huss Brewing Company)

Premier Wine Program – Recognizes an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their wine program.

Winner: FnB Restaurant
Finalists: J&G Steakhouse & Postino Wine Café

Best Arizona Wine – Raising a glass to the best wine made in Arizona – from rose to chardonnay, this wine is the best of the best from State 48.

Winner: Arizona Stronghold Vineyards
Finalists: Dos Cabezas WineWorks & Flying Leap Vineyards

Top Mixologist – Honoring an individual who is behind the bar, constantly raising the bar and setting trends in the beverage scene.

Winner: Garrit Guthrie (Market Street Kitchen)
Finalists: Keifer Gilbert (Counter Intuitive) & Matt Thompson (Riot Hospitality Group)

Best Overall Beverage Program – Recognizing a bar or restaurant that keeps their beverage menu edgy yet approachable embracing all things beverage – cocktails, spirits, wine and beer.

Winner: Market Street Kitchen
Finalists: Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails & Counter Intuitive

Good Neighbor – Recognizes the outstanding community leadership and exceptional devotion to making a difference in our neighborhoods and community at large.

Winner: Chompie’s Restaurant, Deli, and Bakery
Finalists: Fox Restaurant Concepts & Raveen Arora (The Dhaba)

Food Pioneer – Honors a lifetime of outstanding culinary excellence that continues to educate, inspire, entertain and foster a deeper understanding of the culinary culture in Arizona.

Winner: Chef Tomaso Maggiore (Tomaso’s on Camelback; Tomaso’s When in Rome)
Finalists: Chef Christopher Gross (Christopher’s & Crush) & Chef Jeff Smedstad (Elote Café)

Top Chef – Pays tribute to outstanding culinary excellence, breaking new ground with an innovative menu while enhancing the dining experience.

Winner: Chef Joey Maggiore (Hash Kitchen)
Finalists: Chef Cullen Campbell (Crudo; Okra Streakhouse & Cocktails) &Chef Michael O’Dowd (Cress on Oak Creek at L’Auberge de Sedona)