SF: Announcing the Winners of the 1st Annual Saucy Awards

The stage at Herbst Theater on Monday night
The stage at Herbst Theater on Monday night

Photo Credit: Gamma Nine

From the Academy to the Council of Fashion Designers to the James Beard Foundation, there is no shortage of organizations that host glitzy awards ceremonies. The latest to take center stage in San Francisco? The Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA). In honor of its 80th anniversary, the GGRA hosted its first ever awards gala, The Saucy Awards last night at Herbst Theater. The association announced the awards on August 1 by inviting all professional hospitality establishments within Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Sonoma counties to nominate themselves and each other for a total of 18 awards that included chef of the year, exceptional non brick-and-mortar restaurant of the year, and wine program of the year.

The team behind Soulva
The team behind Soulva

Photo Credit: Gamma Nine

A specially appointed committee dubbed the Saucy Sterling Committee narrowed the field down to four nominees for each category. The six luminaries in the committee were former mayor Willie Brown Jr., executive director of CUESA Marcy Coburn, chef Joyce Goldstein, Check Please host Leslie Sbrocco, and food writers Patricia Unterman and Virginia Miller. Once the four nominees were selected, members of the GGRA and all nominees were provided a ballet to vote for the final winners. Voters were instructed to rank their choices 1, 2, 3, and 4, with 1 being their fist choice. The independent accounting firm, OU & Co. LLP tallied and processed the final votes.

The post-awards ceremony reception in the Green Room
The post-awards ceremony reception in the Green Room

Photo Credit: Gamma Nine

Liam Mayclem announced the winners in a ceremony that was well-attended by the who’s who of the SF food scene. The GGRA’s executive director Gwyneth Borden said, “we are thrilled to bring recognition to the wealth of talent and passion in our Bay Area industry community.” The top awards were presented to Ravi Kapur of Liholiho Yacht Club (chef of the year), Nicole Krasinski and Stuart Brioza of State Bird Provisions and The Progress (restauranteur of the year), and Shelley Lindgren of SPQR and A16 (wine program of the year). The energy in the theater was incredibly positive and vibrant. The winners were thrilled when they won and the audience clapped approvingly. RoliRoti‘s Thomas Odermatt nearly danced his way to the stage to accept his award for non brick-and-mortar of the year. When Pete Sittnick took the stage to receive the final award of the evening the lifetime achievement award, all winners of the gathered on stage for a final round of cheers and a historic photo opp. Then Mayclem cheered “let’s get sauced!” and the hungry crowd headed upstairs to the Green Room for a reception catered by Meadowood Estate Events. Jamaican sorrel punch and negronis with orange peels that had ‘saucy’ branded on the zest were greatly enjoyed by the guests. The menu was iconic San Francisco dishes—think Charles Phan’s shaking beef and crab louie inspired by Swan’s Oyster Depot.

A cocktail garnished with an orange zest branded with the word saucy
A cocktail garnished with an orange zest branded with the word saucy

Photo Credit: Gamma Nine

Check out a complete list of winners below.

Category: Chefs

Chef of the Year: Ravi Kapur (Liholiho Yacht Club)

Pastry Chef of the Year: Belinda Leong (b.patisserie)

Rising Star Chef of the Year: Melissa Reitz (Bar Agricole)

Category: Service

Restaurateur of the Year: Nicole Krasinski & Stuart Brioza (State Bird & The Progress)

Beverage Professional of the Year: Lulu McAllister Churchill (NOPA & Liholiho Yacht Club)

Employee of the Year: Kory Cogdill (Tacolicious)

Manager of the Year: Justine Flynn (Souvla)

Outstanding Industry Service: Monterey Fish Market

Category: Restaurants

Exceptional Full Service Restaurant of the Year: NOPA

Exceptional Fast Casual Restaurant of the Year: Souvla

Exceptional Non Brick & Mortar Restaurant of the Year: RoliRoti

Category: Programs

Wine Program of the Year: A16 & SPQR (Shelley Lindgren)

Cocktail Program of the Year: Bar Agricole

Beer Program of the Year: Monk’s Kettle

Sustainable Restaurant or Bar of the Year: The Perennial (Anthony Myint & Karen Leibowitz)

Community Spirit of the Year: Tacolicious (Sara Deseran & Joe Hargrave)

GGRA’s Lifetime Achievement Award: Pete Sittnick

People’s Choice Award for Restaurant of the Year: Copita Tequileria y Comida