Platinum Plates Award Winners 2012

Our tenth annual list serves up the best restaurants in Hampton Roads



(page 4 of 7)

Evaluation process:

So how do we pick the Hampton Roads Magazine Platinum Plate Awards winners?

A group of skilled, culinary professionals, currently not working in a restaurant, were selected—for their talents and knowledge of food—to evaluate restaurants that applied for the award based on their dining experiences.

This was no small task, as there are many wonderful restaurants within Hampton Roads. Indeed, we encourage you to explore all of the offerings of our region and not just the ones we list here. Each panelist took his or her job seriously and gave evaluations careful thought. From their application list, a tally was taken, and those with the highest number of marks comprise the restaurants awarded a Platinum Plate.

No special consideration was given to advertisers of Hampton Roads Magazine, and none of the critics received any compensation from the restaurants other than the application fee paid with a gift certificate.

Evaluation of restaurants was based on several categories, including: food quality, value (ratio of cost to food quality), service quality, overall appearance (including cleanliness and atmosphere), the likelihood of returning and/or recommending to others and contribution to the uniqueness of the region’s restaurant scene.

Categories were given scores that were tallied and averaged for an overall rating and then converted to a numerical value with the highest possible rating of 100 points.

The breakdown on awards is:

Top 10 highest point valued restaurants – Platinum Top 10 level
96 and higher points – Platinum level
93–95 points – 24K Gold level
90–92 points – Gold level
80 – 89 points – Silver level
70 – 79 points – Bronze level
69 and lower points – Pewter level

We feel the quality of our panel is top-notch, their reputation remarkable and the selection process fair and balanced. We salute all the wonderful restaurants in our region, Platinum Plate winners or not, and what they continually do to raise Hampton Roads to new culinary heights.

The Critics

Dedra Blount is a classically-trained chef and chef/instructor at Culinary Institute of Virginia and current proprietor of Now You’re Cooking, a Chesapeake company providing cooking classes, demonstrations and boutique catering.

Marcel Desaulniers is a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef with more than 40 years in the industry, including 30 years as a former owner and executive chef of The Trellis in Williamsburg. The creator of the world-famous Death by Chocolate dessert, Desaulniers has been host to a number of televised cooking showed and penned 10 cookbooks, including his latest, I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas. He is owner of MAD About Chocolate, a chocolate café, in Williamsburg.

Steve Gellas is a classically-trained chef with many years experience in a number of dining concepts across the region, including as chef/owner of the award-winning Primo 116, formerly in Suffolk. Gellas is involved in restaurant development.

Tammy Jaxtheimer has a culinary arts degree from Johnson & Wales University, is a restaurant critic for The Virginian-Pilot newspaper and director of the local Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) chapter.

Marisa Marsey, recruiter for Johnson & Wales University nationwide and freelance food writer, frequently contributes to Veer magazine.

David Nicholson writes about restaurants and food for The Daily Press newspaper.

Stella Pomianek is an owner and baker at Café Stella in Norfolk’s Ghent, a coffeehouse and café with sweet and savory items.

Patrick Reed is a former Johnson & Wales University culinary instructor and currently teaches culinary arts at Virginia Beach Technical and Career Education Center.

Ross Riddle is a classically trained chef with many years of experience in fine dining across the region. Riddle is involved in restaurant development.

Melissa Stewart is an accomplished home gourmet and editor-in-chief of Hampton Roads Magazine and Virginia Wine Lover magazine.

Patrick Evans-Hylton, a Johnson & Wales-trained chef, has a degree in culinary arts from Culinary Institute of Virginia and is senior editor for food and wine for Hampton Roads Magazine and executive editor for Virginia Wine Lover magazine.

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