Every year, the Colorado Restaurant Association presents its Spotlight Awards for outstanding restaurants, restaurant owners and service-industry professionals from around the state. This year the dinner and awards ceremony takes place at the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora on Tuesday, June 27.
While Denver gets the bulk of the media attention when it comes to the Colorado food and restaurant scene, the CRA casts its net far and wide to recognize names that may not be familiar to those in the metro area. This year, winners come from Loveland, Colorado Springs, Dillon and Keystone, along with well-known Denver-Boulder eateries like the Squeaky Bean and Frasca.
The winner of the Richard P. Ayers Distinguished Service Award — which went to Derek Figueroa, chief operating officer of the Seattle Fish Co. last year — will be announced at tonight's dinner, but here's the complete list of the honorees that have already been announced:
Outstanding Media Professional Signature Dish: Teresa Farney, Colorado Springs Gazette
Philanthropist Signature Dish Award: Joshua Olsen and Johnny Ballen, the Squeaky Bean/ACRE Farm
Noel & Tammy Cunningham Humanitarian Award: Eddie and Dick Robinson, Robinson Dairy
Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Best Restaurant Design Award: Hearth & Dram
Pinnacol Assurance Safety Award: Dillon Dam Brewery
Exceptional Newcomer Signature Dish Award: Food Maven
Regional Outstanding Professional Signature Dish Award: Clay Caldwell, Mo' Betta Gumbo
Regional Outstanding Professional Signature Dish Award: Tony Leahy, Patty Jewett Bar & Grill
Outstanding Professional Signature Dish Award: Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson, Frasca Food & Wine
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Outstanding Professional Signature Dish Award: Scott Skomal, Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
Colorado Food Service Hall of Fame:
Jim Shields, Snake River Saloon & Steakhouse
Dave Query, Big Red F Restaurant Group
Gene Tang, 1515 Restaurant
The Mobell Family, Blue Bonnet Mexican Restaurant
Jim & Angelo Karagas, My Brother's Bar
The Colorado Restaurant Association represents more than 3,500 restaurant members around the state, offering advocacy and education for the service industry with programs like ProStart, ServSafe and culinary scholarships.