Award Winners

Each year the Iowa Restaurant Association honors its top hospitality professionals at the annual Celebrating Excellence Awards Ceremony.
Do you know a top operator? Nominate them for the 2017 Awards. Deadline is 5:00 PM Tuesday, June 13. Click Here to Nominate.

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Lifetime Achievement Award*
2014 Robert Anderson

Establishment
Iowa Culinary Institute, DMACC

City
Ankeny

Restaurateur/Tavern Operator of the Year Winners

Restaurateur/Tavern Operator of the Year
2016 Chef Rene Orduna & Rob Gilmer
2015 Lynn & Sarah Pritchard
2014 George Migliero
2013 Jeff Duncan
2012 Bruce Gerleman
2011 Michael LaValle
2010 Mike Rastrelli
2009 Mike Whalen
2008 Darin Beck
2007 Scott Carlson
2006 Garry and Jeannie Heiar
2005 Paul Trostel
2004 Jeff Vaassen
2003 Bobby Tursi
2002 Cy Gushiken
2001 Windy and Helen Kalmes
2000 Cindy Bramblett
1999 Tom King and Jeff Schall
1998 Mike Whalen
1997 Devin Rowling
1996 Patricia and Leon Schade
1995 Bill Leichsenring

Restaurant
Dixie Quicks
Table 128 Bistro + Bar
B-Mig’s 5th Street Pub
Two Rivers Hospitality Group
Splash and Jethro’s
Embassy Club West
Rastrelli’s Restaurant
Heart of America Restaurants & Inns
Barmuda MMC
Court Ave. Restaurant & Brewing Co.
Morocco Supper Club
Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant
Culver’s
Latin King
Ohana Steakhouse
Kalmes Enterprises
Nickers Grille
Country Junction Restaurant
Heart of America Restaurants & Inns
Cosi Cucina
Best Western Regency Inn
Ox Yoke Inn

City
Council Bluffs
Clive
West Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
West Des Moines
Clinton
Quad Cities
Cedar Falls
Des Moines
Dubuque
Johnston
Ankeny/Des Moines
Des Moines
West Des Moines
St. Donatus
Cedar Falls
Dyersville
Quad Cities
Clive
Marshalltown
Amana

Chef of the Year Winners

Chef of the Year
2016 Courtney Oberender
2015 Mike Holman
2014 Dominic Iannarelli
2013 Johan Larsson
2012 John Andres
2011 George Formaro
2010 Patricia Weidner
2009 Ephraim Malag
2008 Mark Black
2007 Christopher Graham
2006 Clint Goodman
2005 Brice Dix
2004 Bryan Tyler
2003 Kevin Rinehart
2002 Kevin Rinehart
2001 David Meyer
2000 Troy Trostel
1999 Eran Salzman
1998 David Dettman
1997 Tony Pelican
1996 Doug Smith
1995 Ron Hall

Restaurant
Gateway Market & Cafe
Two Rivers Hospitality Group
Splash Seafood Bar & Grill/Jethro’s
Django
BOS – Savery Hotel
Orchestrate Hospitality
Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino
Tournament Club of Iowa
Ameristar Casino
Ferrari’s Ristorante
Daniel Arthur’s Restaurant
Bourbon Street and Voodoo Lounge
The Machine Shed
Iowa Machine Shed
Iowa Machine Shed Restaurant
Vino’s Italian Ristorante
Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant
Fresh Food Concepts
Kirkwood Community College
Historic Strawtown Inn
Cosi Cucina
Mercy Hospital

City
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Altoona
Polk City
Council Bluffs
Cedar Falls
Cedar Rapids
Cedar Falls
Davenport
Urbandale
Urbandale
Cedar Rapids
Johnston
Iowa City
Cedar Rapids
Pella
Clive
Iowa City

Emerging Hospitality Industry Leader Award Winners

Emerging Hospitality Industry Leader
2016 Carl Wertzberger

Restaurant
Gilroy’s Kitchen + Pub + Patio

City
West Des Moines

Purveyor Partner of the Year Award Winners

Purveyor Partner of the Year*
2016 Suzanne Spack
2015 Charlie Campbell
2014 Mark Doll
2013 Jeremy Thompson
2012 Mike Volrath
2011 Randy Brass
2006 Paul Willcockson
2005 Stan Dickman & Vern Hathaway
2004 Doug Coen
2003 Brian Grant
2002 Jeff Braverman
2001 Chester Gatliff
2000 Mark Dreckman
1999 Linda Hefel
1998 John Lappe
1997
1996 Michael Leaders

Company
Sysco Iowa, Inc.
Performance Foodservice TPC
Doll Distributing LLC
Luxco Spirited Brands
Heartland Payment Systems
Martin Brothers Distributing Co., Inc.
Loffredo’s Fresh Produce
Harker’s Distribution, Inc.
Martin Brothers Distributing Co., Inc.
Johnson Brothers
Hawkeye Food Systems, Inc.
Martin Brothers Distributing Co., Inc.
Food Marketing, Inc.
Sysco Food Service of Iowa
Martin Brothers Distributing Co., Inc.
Sysco Food Service of Iowa
Hawkeye Food Service

City
Ankeny
Rock Island, IL
Des Moines
Des Moines
Pleasant Hill
Cedar Falls
Des Moines
LeMars
Cedar Falls
Des Moines
Iowa City
Cedar Falls
Des Moines
Des Moines
Cedar Falls
Des Moines
Coralville

Employee of the Year Award Winners

Employee of the Year
2016 Bobby Edminster
2015 Chance Hulten
2014 Maria Muhs
2012 Kyle Foote
2011 Michael Beecher
2010 Deanne Plew
2009 Imre Torok
2008 Linda McCallum
2007 Joan Johnson
2006 Kelly Morris
2005 Mary Kay Lueck
2004 Sheree May
2003 Vicki Irwin
2002 Joan Knowlton
2001 Gertie Boddicker
2000 Sue Krapfl
1999 Chrissy Peters
1998 Reeda Buresh
1997 Becky Bell
1996 Mary Christensen

Restaurant
Hotel Julien
Court Ave. Restaurant & Brewing Co.
Rastrelli’s Restaurant
The IowaStater
My Verona
Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant
Des Moines Embassy Club
Huntington’s Restaurant
Terrible’s Casino
Culver’s of Ankeny
Country Junction Restaurant
Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant
Pete’s Steakhouse & Lounge
Renaissance Savery Hotel
Ox Yoke Inn Restaurant
Country Junction Restaurant
Nickers Grille
Thunder Bay Grille
Thunder Bay Grille
Kentucky Fried Chicken

City
Dubuque
Des Moines
Clinton
Ames
Cedar Falls
Johnston
Des Moines
Marion
Osceola
Ankeny
Dyersville
Johnston
Hartley
Des Moines
Amana
Dyersville
Cedar Falls
Davenport
Davenport
Mason City

Stars of Hospitality

Stars of Hospitality
Virginia Hayes
Marianne Holland
Ned Johnson
Michael R. LaValle
Kristy Maras
Teresa Vroman-Munoz
Joseph Trieu Nguyen
Siphay Sithiphong
Darrel Stanley
Imre Torok
Steve Bartelt
Angie Brown
Vasili Fountas
Sheree May
Deanne Plew
Pam Bartholomew
Donna Meacham
Cindy Papouchis
Matthew Rumeliote
Tim Peiffer
Mike Leitz
Shelbe Krogman

Restaurant
Des Moines Embassy Club
Des Moines Embassy Club
Des Moines Embassy Club
Des Moines Embassy Club
Des Moines Embassy Club
Des Moines Embassy Club
Des Moines Embassy Club
Des Moines Embassy Club
Des Moines Embassy Club
Des Moines Embassy Club
Pizza King
Pizza King
Pizza King
Trostel’s Greenbriar
Trostel’s Greenbriar
Northwestern Steakhouse
Northwestern Steakhouse
Northwestern Steakhouse
Northwestern Steakhouse
Flapjacks Restaurant
Flapjacks Restaurant
Flapjacks Restaurant

City
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Des Moines
Council Bluffs
Council Bluffs
Council Bluffs
Johnston
Johnston
Mason City
Mason City
Mason City
Mason City
Maquoketa
Maquoketa
Maquoketa

Legislative Leadership of the Year Award Winners

Legislative Leadership Award*
2016 Iowa House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow
2015 Representative Peter Cownie
2014 House Speaker Kraig Paulsen
2013 Senator Matt McCoy
2012 Senator Rick Bertrand
2009 SenatorSteve Warnstadt
2001 Representative James Van Fossen

Area
Clive
West Des Moines
Hiawatha
Des Moines
Sioux City
Sioux City
Quad Cities

Restaurant Neighbor/Philanthropy Award Winners

Restaurant Neighbor
Philanthropy Award
2016 Matt & Jill Johnson
2015 Amy & Andy Walsh
2015 Jeff Bruning
2014 Ron Hall
2013 Jeff Duncan
2013
2012 Jim McGraw
2012 Kurt Friese
2012 Gary Palmer
2010 Darin Beck
1999 Devin Rowling

Restaurant/Company
Restaurant/Company
Barley’s Bar
Mickey’s Irish Pub
Full Court Press, Inc.
Mercy Hospital
Dos Rios/Big City Burger
ISU Dining
Happy Joe’s Pizza
Devotay
Prairie Meadows Racetrack
Barmuda Companies
Cosi Cucina

City
City
Council Bluffs
Waukee
Des Moines
Iowa City
Des Moines
Ames
Clinton
Iowa City
Altoona
Cedar Falls
Clive

ProStart Educator of Excellence

ProStart Educator of Excellence
2016 Lisa Breyfogle
2015 Mary Smith
2014 Elaine Wolf
2013 Laura Calvert
2012 Jenee Cross
2011 Lisa Stange

School
Cherokee Washington High School
Burlington High School
Des Moines Central Campus
Waukee High School
Davenport Schools
Waukee Schools

City
Cherokee
Burlington
Des Moines
Waukee
Davenport
Waukee

ProStart Mentor of the Year Award Winners

ProStart Mentor of the Year
2016 Valeria Gonzalez
2015 Brice Dix

Restaurant
North Iowa Area Community College
Hy-Vee

City
Mason City
Waterloo

IRA Culinary Competition Gold Medalists

Culinary Competition
2015 Andrew Havlovic
2014 Troy Trostel
2013 Dominic Iannarelli
2012 Andrew Weis
2011
2010 David Garcia
2009 Brian Sonksen
2008
2007 Chris Meyers
2006 Andrew Ungs
2005 Alex Martinov
2004 Robert Beasley

Restaurant
Sidebar
Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant
Splash Seafood Bar & Grill
Hotel Julien
None
Dubuque Golf & Country Club
SOHO Sushi Bar & Deli
None
Ferrari’s Ristorante
Park Place Event Centre
The Olde Broom Factory
None

City
Des Moines
Johnston
Des Moines
Dubuque
None
Dubuque
Cedar Falls
None
Cedar Falls
Cedar Falls
Cedar Falls
None

Iowa's Top Mixologists

Iowa’s Top Mixologist
2016 Josh O’Connell
2015 Chris Martin
2014 Rex Schulze
2013 Carl Busch
2012 Ashley Billiet
2011 Eric Sergesketter
2010 Nate Novotny

Bar/Restaurant
Black Sheep Social Club
Pullman Bar & Diner
Splash Seafood Bar & Grill
Winifred’s
Pints
Van’s Pub & Pizza
Dos Rios Cantina & Tequila Lounge

City
Cedar Rapids
Iowa City
Des Moines
Cedar Rapids
Davenport
Davenport
Des Moines

National Restaurant Association's Faces of Diversity Award Winners

NRA Diversity Award*
2014 Pamela Patton

Restaurant
Patton’s Restaurant & Catering

City
Des Moines

Iowa Restaurant Association Champion Award Winners

Champion Award*
2013 Mary Ann Adams
2012 Windy Kalmes
2009 Mike Whalen
2008 Scott Carlson
2007 Suzanne Summy
2005 Alex Banasik
2004 Doug Coen
2002 Steve Jackson
2001 Kelly Biensen
2000 Darin Beck
1999 Paul Trostel

Restaurant/Company
Iowa Department of Education
Kalmes Enterprises
Heart of America Restaurants & Inns
Court Ave. Restaurant & Brewing Co.
Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant
Down Under Bar & Grill
Martin Brothers Distributing Co., Inc.
Outback Steakhouse
Eden Farms
Barmuda Corporation
Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant

City
Des Moines
St Donatus
Quad Cities
Des Moines
Johnston
Des Moines
Cedar Falls
West Des Moines
State Center
Waterloo
Johnston

Cornerstone Humanitarian Award Winners

Cornerstone Humanitarian Award*
2012 Clay Willey
2010 Mike Whalen

Restaurant/Company
Prairie Meadows Racetrack
Heart of America Restaurants & Inns

City
Altoona
Quad Cities

Bartender of the Year Award Winners

Bartender of the Year*
2002 Curtis Patterson
2001 Denna Dipple
1998 Joe Fleming
1997 Cat Woods

Restaurant
Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse
Gramma’s Kitchen
Iowa Machine Shed
Iowa Machine Shed

City
Des Moines
Walcott
Urbandale
Urbandale

Taste of Iowa Promotion Award Winners

A Taste of Iowa Promotion
2002 The Iowa Room
2001 Troy Trostel
2000 Chris Klocke
1999 Don Johnson

Restaurant
Renaissance Savery Hotel
Trostel’s Greenbriar Restaurant
Court Avenue Brewing Company
Best Inns & Suites

City
Des Moines
Johnston
Des Moines
West Des Moines

* This award is not awarded every year.