On Monday, November 16, Eater will present the 2015 Eater Awards, our sixth annual celebration of all that's made the restaurant world run — and run wild — in the past 12 months. Winners will be selected on both the local and national levels in five major categories, and the voting begins right now. The polls are now closed for Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year. Next up? Bartender of the Year.
Here's a rundown on the nominees. With an edge of dark humor, Gigi Mall brightens the dim basement bar at Bramhall — and it doesn't hurt that she's had a chance to work closely with last year's winner of this award, Guy Streitburger. Ever-smiling, Trevin Hutchins has quickly become known for the flair with which he creates fantastical, Asian-inspired at Tempo Dulu. Extending the availability of local produce through fermentation and pickling, the engaging and knowledgeable Michael Pazdon has brought the farm-to-table ethos to the bar at The Wallingford. Before his recent departure from the organization, consummate professional Chris Gatchell developed a rock-solid bar program for Inkwell and sister restaurant Union at The Press Hotel. And with her tremendous skill behind the bar and no-nonsense (okay, a little nonsense) attitude, Crystal Pomerleau has improved the already-impressive drinks scene at Central Provisions. Check out a gallery of the nominees, then cast your vote below for the woman or man who really stepped up behind the bar in 2015.
- Gigi Mall, Bramhall, Portland. [Photo: Kyle J. Norris/Eater]
- Trevin Hutchins, Tempo Dulu, Portland. [Photo: Kyle J. Norris/Eater]
- Michael Pazdon, The Wallingford, Kittery. [Photo: Misty Kinser Photography]
- Chris Gatchell, Inkwell, Portland. [Photo: Kyle J. Norris/Eater]
- Crystal Pomerleau, Central Provisions, Portland. [Photo: Kyle J. Norris/Eater]
Here's how the voting works: Eater editors have named nominees for each of five major categories. Eater readers will vote, narrowing the nominees to three finalists. From those three finalists, the Eater editorial team will select a winner. Ready to play your part? This poll will be open for 24 hours; voting irregularities will be strictly policed.