Dining With Denise Neil

Many Wichita favorites earn nominations for the annual Kansas restaurant awards

An awards ceremony that’s kind of like the Oscars for Kansas restaurants happens later this month, and late last week, the nominees were announced.

The list includes many Wichita restaurants, chefs, managers and servers.

The awards are handed out by the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association, and the ceremony is set to happen from 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Kansas Star Casino. (Anyone can attend, and $40 tickets are available at https://www.krha.org/page/HNO.)

Members of the restaurant association pay dues to be a part of it, and they’re the only ones up for awards — except for the Hot New Concept of the Year award, which is open to anyone.

Here’s a list of the nominees for each category. I’ll report back to you on Oct. 23 who won.

Restauranteur of the Year

Chris Arnold, River City Brewing Co., 150 N. Mosley, Wichita

John Dwire and Dave Rowden, Whiskey Dicks, 801 S. Seneca, Wichita

Rob Little, Shindigs Bar & Grill, 500 Main St., Winfield

Katrina Marshall, Longhorn Steakhouse, 505 Tuttle Creek Blvd., Manhattan

Last year’s winner: Timirie and Patrick Shibley, Doo-Dah Diner, Wichita

Hot New Concept

Headshots Bar & Grill, 2120 N. Woodlawn, Wichita

Chick N Max, several Wichita locations, Wichita

The Sweet Spot, 8448 W. Central, Wichita

The Pennant, 915 S. Kansas, Topeka

Piatto Neapolitan Pizzeria, 1706 E. Douglas, Wichita

Dempsey’s Biscuit Company, 3425 E. Douglas, Wichita

Sierra Grill, 11099 Lackman Road, Lenexa

Last year’s winner: Oak & Pie, Wichita

Chef of the Year

Ben George, SAVOR, Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita

Kayson Chong, 6S Steakhouse, Wichita

Adam VanDonge, The White Linen, Topeka

Chris Cochran, Sysco Kansas City

Hall of Fame

Larry Conover, Town & Country, Wichita

Tom and Marilyn Dobski, McDonald’s, Lawrence

Last year’s winner: Scott Redler, Freddy’s Frozen Custard

Heart of the Industry

Jose Ramirez, Nick & Jake’s, Overland Park

Robin Monroe, Doo-Dah Diner, Wichita

Eugene Isaac IV, Longhorn Steakhouse, Manhattan

Last year’s winner: Angela Morris, Regal Cinemas

Hotelier of the Year

Michelle Stein, Marriott, Wichita

Bill Cunningham, Best Western, Dodge City

Last year’s winner: Adrian Potter, Victorian Inn Bed & Breakfast, Abilene

ProStart Teacher of the Year

Alison Draut, Wichita Northwest High School

Last year’s winner: La Dena Laha, Eisenhower High School, Goddard

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