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RAMW Announces 2017 Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award Recipient

May 2, 2017

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is thrilled to announce restaurateur Ashok Bajaj will be honored with the 2017 Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award at a reception at 6:00pm on Wednesday, May 17. This is one of the twenty-one awards presented during the RAMMY Awards season and is named in honor of legendary Washington restaurateur Duke Zeibert. The honor is determined by RAMW’s Executive Committee and recognizes an individual whose hard work and outstanding initiative has increased the profile and success of the metropolitan Washington foodservice community and dining landscape.

A past RAMW board member, Bajaj has owned and operated award-winning restaurants for over 25 years. Born in New Delhi, India, Bajaj earned his degree in Commerce from University of Delhi, continuing to complete his postgraduate studies in Hotel Management and Tourism while working for one of India’s leading hotel chains, the Ashok Group. After a six-year tenure with Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces in London, Bajaj took some time to travel to Sydney, Australia, before establishing Knightsbridge Restaurant Group in the nation’s capital in 1988. He has opened numerous successful DC landmark restaurants, including the polished power dining oasis The Oval Room and leading four-star Rasika. Most recently, in August 2016, Bajaj merged Ardeo and Bardeo into one restaurant and bar, giving him the space to open his casual Indian street food and craft cocktails oasis – Bindaas.

Bajaj’s collection of power, neighborhood and fine dining establishments captured 10 RAMMY Award Nominations in 2012, resulting in Rasika’s executive chef winning Chef of the Year. The following year, Bajaj won Restaurateur of the Year and was named Washington Business Journal’s Most Admired CEO. His restaurants have also been consistently nominated for prestigious awards by the James Beard Foundation including Best Chef-Mid Atlantic, Rising Star Chef, Outstanding Restaurant and Restaurateur of the Year. Rasika’s Group Executive Chef Vikram Sunderam captured the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Mid-Atlantic in May 2014.

As a leader in Downtown DC dining, Bajaj’s restaurants have significantly fueled the growth of Penn Quarter’s development and status as a dining and tourism destination. For the past 25 years, Bajaj’s restaurants have launched and furthered the careers of so many of the DC region’s most successful chefs and restaurant industry leaders.

“There is no one I can think of more deserving of this award,” said Chef Nicholas Stefanelli, chef and owner of the acclaimed restaurant Masseria.  “Ashok has not only had a strong positive influence on my personal development and career, but has been a driving force in shaping the restaurant development we all see and enjoy today.”

For more information regarding the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Reception or the 35th Annual RAMMY Awards Gala held on Sunday, July 30, please email or call 202-331-5990.



Presented by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), The RAMMY Awards Gala honors the exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and organizations of the region’s restaurants and foodservice community. Named the #1 Food & Restaurant event by BIZBASH Magazine since 2009, The RAMMYS celebrate one of Metropolitan Washington’s greatest assets: Its restaurants.

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW)

The Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area. Established in 1920, RAMW is an advocate, resource and community for its members. The Association works to promote and sustain the growth and development of the industry while providing its members legislative and regulatory representation, marketing and small business support, programming and events. RAMW strives to serve its members with professionalism and integrity, and provide them the training, education and support they need to grow a successful business.



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