Delaware Restaurant Industry to present Cornerstone Awards Oct. 23

by Danica Brendon

The Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) will be hosting its 21st Annual Restaurant Industry Cornerstone Awards on October 23rd. This prestigious event recognizes the contributions of Delaware’s restaurant industry and the ways in which restaurants enrich and serve communities, as well as providing unlimited career opportunities for all.

Among the recipients of this year’s awards is Nicola Pizza and the Caggiano Family, who will be honored with the Cornerstone Award. This accolade acknowledges their remarkable contributions to the industry over their 52 years in business.

Another highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Restaurateurs of the Year award to Sean Corea, Tom Little, and Tim Bartley, partners of the newly-established Lewes Oyster House. Despite being newcomers to the Delaware dining scene, they have already made a significant impact.

The Industry Impact Awards will go to the Food Bank of Delaware and three prominent food writers: Pam George, Patty Talorico, and Bob Yesbek. These recipients have had a lasting influence on Delaware’s restaurant industry and are deserving of this recognition.

The Cornerstone Awards ceremony will bring together restaurant owners, operators, vendors, elected officials, and industry supporters to celebrate the resiliency, spirit, and camaraderie of Delaware’s restaurant industry. Attendees will enjoy delicious food, cocktails, beer, and wine from 25 stations, as well as live music from the Hot Sauce band. This much-anticipated event has grown in popularity, with over 500 people attending last year.

Following the awards ceremony, an after-party will be held at the recently opened Starboard Claw in Dewey Beach. This will provide an opportunity for attendees to continue to network and celebrate the success of the restaurant industry.

One of the highlights of the event will be the recognition of the 2023 Cornerstone Award winners through video tributes in each category. The honorees will also have the opportunity to share their remarks.

Carrie Leishman, President and CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association, expressed her excitement and pride in celebrating these celebrated restaurateurs and newcomers. She emphasized their resilience, passion, and dedication to making the industry a better place. The awardees leave a lasting legacy in the lives and communities they serve.

The success of the Cornerstone Awards is greatly supported by the local community and businesses, including Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Assured Partners, Dogfish Head, Comcast Business, iHeart Media, DBS, US Foods, Ecolab, Sysco, Diamond State Meats, Payroll Management Assistance, Toast, Grotto Pizza, The Starboard, and Orkin.

The Delaware Restaurant Association’s 21st Annual Restaurant Industry Cornerstone Awards promises to be a night filled with recognition, celebration, and appreciation for the outstanding contributions of the restaurant industry in Delaware. It is an event that showcases the resilience, passion, and dedication of individuals and businesses that make the industry thrive.

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