On November 26,the New Jersey Restaurant Association (NJRA) will host its Annual Gold Plate & Restaurateur of the Year Gala at the Madison Hotel in Morristown, NJ. In celebration of the state’s $14 billion restaurant and hospitality industry, the gala recognizes the Restaurateur of the Year and Gold Plate winners. A new feature for the evening is the first annual lifetime achievement award which was created to honor the recently deceased NJRA president, Deborah Roy Dowdell.
Considered the industry’s premier event, the NJRA will broadcast the highest award bestowed by the organization: Restaurateur of the Year. This year’s recipient is Chef David Burke of David Burke Fromagerie in Rumson, NJ. In addition, the NJRA will grant the 2012 Gold Plate Award to Ashley Lauren Fisher of Pazzo Pazzo in Morristown, NJ. The Gold Plate award recognizes current outstanding service and achievement in the food service industry.
The first annual Deborah Roy Dowdell Lifetime Achievement Award will be given to Betsy Alger, formerly of Frog and the Peach in New Brunswick, NJ. The new award is meant to recognize an individual who most emulates the former NJRA president through their passion and dedication to the industry. Ms. Dowdell led the association for over 20 years and passed away last March after a long battle with cancer.
Established in 1942, the New Jersey Restaurant Association (NJRA) represents the Garden State’s 25,000 eating and drinking establishments – the State’s largest private sector employer, generating $14 billion in annual sales and employing over 311,000 people. Through member education, advocacy, networking, and support, the NJRA has become an essential ingredient for successful and professional eating and drinking establishments, vendors, non-profits, schools and students in the Garden State.
The gala is black tie attire, costs $225 per person and is open to the public. Sponsorships and commemorative journal ads are also available for purchase. For more information or to purchase tickets or journal ads for the November 26th gala go to NJRA Gala or contact Stacey Barone (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 609-599-3316.
In addition to being bestowed the honor of NJRA Restaurateur of the Year, Chef Burke has been honored with the prestigious Hotel Concierge Choice Award for Best Chef in New York. The Concierge Choice Awards that honors the best in New York City hospitality credited Chef David Burke as one of New York City’s most elite Chefs for his outstanding achievement and service at David Burke Townhouse located on East 61st Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. In its fifth annual year, The Concierge Choice Awards board of directors selected Chef David Burke among four finalists including Chef David Bouley, Chef Lidia Bastianich and Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten. Chef Burke was presented with the award of Best Chef on October 1st at The Loeb Boathouse Central Park.
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