A select few in the Richmond restaurant industry have some new hardware to add to their kitchens.
The fourth annual Elbys were dished out on Sunday evening as part of Richmond Magazine’s annual event to honor local restaurants and their owners and chefs.
The event was held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Author Jason Tesauro and Richmond Magazine’s food editor Stephanie Breijo were the hosts.
Taking the top prize – restaurant of the year – was Heritage at 1627 W. Main St. It opened in the Fan in 2012. Heritage chef and co-owner, Joe Sparatta, won chef of the year at the event. Sparratta also owns part of the recently opened Southbound on the Southside.
The award for best new restaurant went to L’Opossum in Oregon Hill. It opened last summer at 626 China St. and is owned by David Shannon, who previously ran the former Dogwood Grille.
The Richmond stalwart award, presented to a local restaurant that’s been open for five years, went to Acacia Mid-town. Aline and Dale Reitzer’s Fan restaurant also won the award for best wine program.
Two Jackson Ward haunts were toasted with Elby’s for their beverages. The Rogue Gentleman won top honors in the cocktails category, and Saison got a nod for its beer offerings.
Travis Milton of Comfort won the innovator award.
And Brittanny Anderson of Metzger Bar and Butchery was named this year’s rising culinary star.
Two up-and-coming chefs were honored as culinary students of the year. They were Holly Mitchell of Reynolds Community College and Jeremy Evans, who trained at Culinard, The Culinary Institute of Virginia College.
Purveyor of the year went to Waynesboro-based Autumn Olive Farms, which raises pigs and goats.
Nominees were chosen by local members of the dining scene. A separate panel of judges made up of chefs and food writers from outside Richmond selected the winners for each category.