RAMW names Ris Lacoste 2023 Duke Zeibert Award recipient

Respected restaurateur, heavily involved in DC community, industry to receive this year’s Capital Achievement Award

Ris Lacoste has been named the 2023 Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award recipient. According to a statement from the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), she is one of the most esteemed chefs in the DMV region. Her focus on hospitality and mentoring the next generation of restaurant industry workers has elevated her status among piers.

Historically, Lacoste has used high-quality ingredients in her cooking in addition to avant-garde techniques. Diners love her and her food is both “familiar and delicious.”

This award is among many presented during the RAMMY Awards season. In traditional fashion, the RAMW Executive Committee selected Lacoste as this year’s honoree. The Duke Zeibert award is named after the legendary restaurateur. According to the selection rules, it “recognizes an individual whose hard work and outstanding initiative has increased the profile and success of the metropolitan Washington foodservice community and dining landscape.”

Lacoste has cut her teeth in the Northeast restaurant landscape and has classical culinary training. She currently runs RIS, a popular bistro in the West End of the District. Also,

  • She learned her craft from the famed Anne Willan at her Paris culinary school, Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne
  • Returning stateside, she started a lengthy and rewarding relationship with Chef Bob Kinkead.
  • Under Kinkead, Lacoste worked at The Harvest in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 21 Federal in Nantucket, Massachusetts, Twenty-One Federal in Washington DC, Kinkead’s American Brasserie, and, finally, 1789 Restaurant
  • Her experiences at the aforementioned restaurants inspired her to open her own restaurant, RIS. There, “her innovative regional American fare continues to draw national and local attention and has earned her numerous awards, including a recommendation from Michelin,” according to RAMW’s announcement.

In addition to her work as a restaurateur, Lacoste is very much involved in the community:

  • She actively participates in a range of fundraising efforts in DC: She currently sits on the Kitchen Cabinet advisory board of the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, the boards of Fresh Farm Markets and the Foggy Bottom West End Village
  • She is also a member of the Women’s Forum of Washington DC as well as Les Dames d’Escoffier.
  • Lacoste serves as a long-standing member of the RAMW Board of Directors, having previously served on the Executive Committee of the Board.
  • She is currently a Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Nightlife and Culture.
  • Previously, Lacoste was honored as one of DC’s Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian and is a member of Leadership Greater Washington’s “NON STOP” Class of 2017.
  • She even had time to serve as a past longtime board member of DC Central Kitchen as well as the Hospitality Charter High School of Washington DC.
  • Plus, Lacoste was an active member of the National Board of Directors for the American Institute of Wine and Food (AIWF) and served as chairman of its National Capital Area Chapter.
  • Moreover, she sits on the board of the DC Chapter of Re: Her, supporting young women entrepreneurs in our local food industry, and she is a mentor of the Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital CAMP CEO.
  • On top of all of this, “she is also a talented educator committed to developing the minds of young people and helping them perfect techniques in her kitchen, which is consistently filled with passionate students honing their craft,” said RAMW.

A special reception event honoring Ris Lacoste will take place on June 5; the 41st Annual RAMMY Awards Gala will take place on Sunday, July 9, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The time-honored and prestigious RAMMYS are made possible by its sponsors. These include Events DC, NBC Washington, Amazon, National Landing Business Improvement District, Club Glow, as well as several industry supporters.

For general information regarding the June reception or the July RAMMY Awards, obtaining tickets, how to support the program, or this year’s format, email therammys@ramw.org.

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