The Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) is gearing up to host the 21st Annual Restaurant Industry Cornerstone Awards on Monday, October 23 at the Lighthouse Cove Events Center in Dewey Beach. This prestigious event recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions of individuals and organizations in Delaware’s restaurant industry.
One of the highlights of the evening will be the presentation of the Cornerstone Award to Nicola Pizza and the Caggiano Family for their remarkable 52 years in the business. Known for their iconic pizza and famous Nic-o-Boli, Nicola Pizza has become a beloved establishment in the Delaware dining scene. This award is a testament to their dedication and success over the decades.
In addition to Nicola Pizza, the Restaurateurs of the Year award will be presented to Sean Corea, Tom Little, and Tim Bartley, the partners behind the popular Lewes Oyster House. This award recognizes their significant contributions to the Delaware dining scene, both in terms of culinary excellence and their commitment to creating a positive workplace culture.
The event will also honor the Food Bank of Delaware and a trio of Delaware food writers – Pam George, Patty Talorico, and Bob Yesbek – with the Industry Impact Awards. These awards are bestowed upon individuals or organizations that have made a significant impact on the restaurant industry and the lives of its workforce. The Food Bank of Delaware has played a crucial role in providing food assistance to those in need, while the food writers have contributed greatly to promoting and showcasing the vibrancy of Delaware’s culinary scene.
Interestingly, the Cornerstone Awards event has been gaining popularity year after year. Last year, over 500 people attended the celebration, and there are expectations for an even larger turnout this year. To add to the excitement, the event will be followed by an after-party at the newly opened Starboard Claw in Dewey Beach.
Delaware Restaurant Association CEO, Carrie Leishman, expressed her enthusiasm for the event, stating, “We are extremely excited and proud to celebrate these iconic restaurateurs and celebrated newcomers at this year’s Cornerstone Awards. Their stories represent the resiliency, passion, and dedication of our industry, and they contribute to making this industry a better place.”
The Cornerstone Awards are made possible by the support of various sponsors, including Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Assured Partners, Dogfish Head, Comcast Business, and many others. These sponsors play a vital role in recognizing the achievements of the award winners and supporting the growth and success of the Delaware restaurant industry.
The 21st Annual Restaurant Industry Cornerstone Awards promises to be an evening filled with celebration, recognition, and appreciation for the individuals and organizations that have made a lasting impact on the Delaware dining scene. It is an event that showcases the resilience, creativity, and dedication of those who contribute to the vibrant culinary culture of the state.