2018 FOODIST AWARD WINNERS
Congratulations to our 2018
Foodist Awards Winners & Finalists!
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: Binkley’s & The Larder + the Delta
Finalists: Crujiente Tacos
Outstanding Food Truck – Recognizes outstanding achievement in mobile nourishment, operations and community development.
Winner: Aioli Gourmet Burgers
Finalists: Drive Wood Fired Grill & Superfarm SuperTruck5
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: Roland’s Café Market Bar
Finalists: Mowry & Cotton & The Larder + the Delta
Best Arizona Caterer – An Arizona grown catering team that provides quality dining experience at any location and exemplary service.
Winner: Jennifer’s Catering
Finalists: Artisan by Santa Barbara Catering & Nibblers
Outstanding Multiple Location Restaurant – Honors a culinary concept with more than 3 locations, demonstrating exceptional achievement and commitment to excellence in marketing, menu design and customer service.
Winner: Flower Child
Finalists: Cornish Pasty Co. & Matt’s Big Breakfast
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: Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine
Finalists: Kai & FnB
Innovative Fast-Casual Dish – Honoring our fast-casual segment, and the most unique dish on the menu.
Winner: Crepe Bar – Crepe Chips
Finalists: Coconuts Fish Café – Fish Tacos & Gadzooks – Short rib enchiladas
Best Arizona made restaurant retail food product. Hats off to the tried and true recipes that we want to have available at home.
Winner: Noble Bread – Bread
Finalists: Matt’s Big Breakfast – Hot Sauce & Perk Eatery – Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce
Best Signature Dish: – Honors the restaurant that quite simply does it best.
Winner: LON’s at the Hermosa Inn, Himalayan Salt Seared Ahi
Finalists: Farmboy Market, Meats, Sandwiches – The Ocotillo Pulled Pork & Virtu Honest Craft – Grilled Octopus
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: Dos Cabezas, Wine Works
Finalists: Pillsbury Wine Company & Sand-Reckoner Vineyards
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: AZ Wilderness
Finalists: Four Peaks & Mother Road Brewery
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: Bitter & Twisted – Ship Load of Rum
Finalists: Artizen at the Camby – Kingston Fog & Bourbon & Bones – Manhattan
Best Beverage Program – Recognizing a bar or restaurant that keeps their beverage menu edgy yet approachable embracing all things beverage – cocktails, spirits, wine and beer.
Finalists: Bitter & Twisted & Clever Koi
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: Frank D’Amato, Prado
Finalists: Christian Giles, Binkley’s & Gabby Golf, Isabella’s Kitchen
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: Bill Parker, Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn
Finalists: Cody Heller, Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine & Jason Morris, Crujiente Tacos
Top Chef – Pays tribute to outstanding culinary excellence, breaking new ground with an innovative menu while enhancing the dining experience.
Winner: Lisa Dahl, Dahl Restaurant Group
Finalists: Stephen Jones, The Larder + the Delta & Michael Rusconi – Rusconi’s American Kitchen
Top Mixologist – Honoring an individual who is behind the bar, constantly raising the bar and setting trends in the beverage scene.
Winner: Jason Asher, Counter Intuitive
Finalists: Josh James, Clever Koi & Nick Williams, Annex in Flagstaff
Best of the Best Food Writer – This award recognizes a writer, blogger, food critic who dedicates time, passion and energy to capturing the beauty of our industry with the written word in any form.
Winner: Christina Barrueta, Write on Rubee
Finalists: Chris Malloy, Phoenix New Times & Dominic Armato, the Arizona Republic
Good Neighbor – Recognizes the outstanding community leadership and exceptional devotion to making a difference in our neighborhoods and community at large.
Winner: The Joy Bus Diner
Finalists: David Duarte, Finestre Modern Gastronomy & Raveen Aurora, 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: Christopher Gross, Geordie’s at the Historic Wrigley Mansion
Finalists: Gio Osso, Virtu Honest Craft & Mark Tarbell, Tarbell’s