Simcoe ORHMA’s first hospitality awards

RAMA, ON—Municipal Leaders, hospitality professionals, educators and students gathered on April 25 to celebrate the stars of Simcoe County hospitality and to raise scholarship funds for hospitality and tourism students at Georgian College.

RAMA, ON—Municipal Leaders, hospitality professionals, educators and students gathered on April 25 to celebrate the stars of Simcoe County hospitality and to raise scholarship funds for hospitality and tourism students at Georgian College.

Simcoe County includes the towns of Collingwood, Midland-Penetang, Orillia, Barrie, Borden, Alliston and Bradford. 

“Creating the Simcoe Hospitality Awards spoke to a need to bring us together as an industry, and raise scholarships, and recognize people in the industry,” ORHMA Simcoe Branch chair, John Cunningham of Georgian College, told CLN. The celebration attracted 160 people, cost $150 a plate, and raised $15,000 in scholarships.

Co-chairs Sylvia Biffis,  Nottawasaga Inn and  Daniel Clements,  Georgian College.

Co-chairs Sylvia Biffis, Nottawasaga Inn and Daniel Clements, Georgian College.

The Silver Nightingale Ballroom at Casino Rama was the setting for the inaugural awards presentation, with Shawn Turner from Barrie radio station CHAY Today 93.1 FM as the master of ceremonies.  “Rama really rolled out the red carpet for us,” Cunningham said.

The celebration started with a cocktail reception, and the meal featured seven serving stations with seven top local chefs. Guests voted on their favourite station for the Silver Plate Award, which was won by Marco Ormonde of The North Restaurant in Barrie.

The award candidates were nominated and voted on by both the public and industry peers through a web and social media campaign. Over 3,000 ballots were cast this year.

“The ultimate goal is for the region to have a voice and identity for hospitality and tourism,” said organizer Daniel Clements of Georgian College. Plans are already afoot for future Hospitality Awards dinners, moving the venue around the region to keep it inclusive, Clements added.

People’s Choice Awards

The candidates for these awards are selected and voted on by the public.

  • Favourite Server: Melanie Barrett, Groovy Tuesday’s , Barrie
  • Favourite Bartender: Brandon Clark, Kenzington Burger Bar, Barrie
  • Favourite Restaurant: Painters Hall Bistro, Barrie

Industry Awards

These awards are nominated and voted on by those in the hospitality and tourism Industry.

  • Manager of the Year: Frankie Emerson, F&B – Nottawasaga Inn Resort, Alliston
  • Chef of the Year: Dylan Tulloch – Horseshoe Resort, Craighurst 
  • Industry Recognition: Patrick Cappa – Casino Rama, Rama 
  • Food Supplier: Jim Richards – Gordon Food Service 
  • Simcoe ORHMA Legacy Award: Judy Benzies for 37 years of excellent service at the Nottawasaga Inn Resort
  • 2013 Silver Plate Award: Chef Marco Ormonde, The North Restaurant.