The Nevada Restaurant Association’s annual culinary excellence awards will take place this October. The event recognizes the best and brightest as nominated by an esteemed group of accomplished leaders in our industry.

This year’s nominating committee was selected by the Association’s Chairman of the Board Sebastien Silvestri and the Event’s Committee Chair Maggie Rubenstein and includes restaurateur Elizabeth Blau of Blau + Associates, known for local venues including Andiron Steak & Seafood, Honey Salt and MADE LV; Tom Kaplan, senior managing partner for Wolfgang Puck; Matt Erickson, senior vice president of restaurant operations for SBE; award-winning master mixologist and author Tony Abou-Ganim; and Mike Olsen, director of operations for Emeril’s Restaurants in Las Vegas. They each nominated a deserving candidate in the five award categories, including Restaurant Allied of the Year, Bartender of the Year, Pastry Chef of the Year, Culinarian of the Year and Restaurateur of the Year.

Candidates were nominated based on qualities such as reliability, teamwork, leadership, contributions of knowledge and time to the community and dedication to the restaurant industry. The winners will be selected by the Board of Directors for the Nevada Restaurant Association. The Board consists of a diverse group including restaurant operators, chefs, educators and those who contribute to the industry in areas including legal, accounting, insurance and marketing. Nominees and winners will be celebrated at a special event in their honor in October and proceeds from the event will benefit the Association’s Education Foundation, which provides scholarships for high school students interested in starting a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry.

Tickets for the event will be available for purchase at