2018 DiRōNA Luncheon in Chicago!
2018 Hall of Fame Induction
We are very honored that our 2018 Hall of Fame Inductees included Richard Gonzmart of the Columbia Restaurant Group in Tampa, FL and Sir Chef Bruno Serato of the Anaheim White House Restaurant in Anaheim, CA. Both gentlemen were selected for their dedication to the industry and significant philanthropic efforts.
“Restaurants: The Family Business!”
Kimberly Winter Stern
Kimberly is a well-known Kansas City’s food, travel and lifestyle freelance writer and her company, SternWrites Communications & Public Relations, handles public relations for several high-profile clients. Since 2010 she has produced and co-hosted Kansas City’s only weekly food-centric radio show, LIVE! From Jasper’s Kitchen with Chef Jasper Mirabile Jr. (Saturdays 11 a.m. – noon, KCMO 710).
Her award-winning work has appeared in local, regional and national publications, including Better Homes and Gardens, national travel guides, and cover stories and features for The Kansas City Star, Kansas City Homes & Gardens and KANSAS! Magazine, among others. Kimberly served as managing editor of 435 South Magazine (now 435 Magazine) from 2011 – 2014 and editor-in-chief of KC Magazine from 2015 – 2016. A member of the American Food Journalists (AFJ) and Slow Food Kansas City, she served for two years as chair of one of KC’s most popular fundraisers, Giggle with Gilda, to benefit Gilda’s Club Kansas City. Kimberly also performs pro bono public relations for No Kid Hungry KC and mentors students interested in the competitive world of freelance writing and public relations. In January 2016, Kimberly joined former KC Magazine executive editor Katie Van Luchene and launched KSquared Communications & Public Relations, a boutique firm that offers select lifestyle and nonprofit clients public relations, communications, social media and promotions consultation and expertise.
The hospitality industry was always a part of Charles’ life. He was raised in his family’s seashore resort hotel and restaurant business located in Wildwood, New Jersey. A graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Charles spent many years in senior positions and co-owner of numerous restaurants across the country. During 1977 the Marshall family sold its resort business. After looking at many options the family purchased Mr. Stox Restaurant in Anaheim, California. It was managed by Chick, his brother Ron & Debbie Marshall (Ron’s wife) until it closed in March 2013 after 36 years of Marshall family ownership. Mr. Stox was a large fine dining restaurant seating over 275 guests in six dining rooms. Charles was active in the Community serving for many years on the Executive Committee of the Anaheim Area Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce. In addition, Chick has served as president of several organizations including the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs – South Coast Chapter and the Anaheim Visitors and Convention Bureau. He has been a member of the California Restaurant Association Board of Directors since 1980 and Chick taught Wine Education Classes at Mr. Stox, Cal State Fullerton Hospitality College and at UC Irvine.
Ralph Brennan is a New Orleans-based restaurateur and head of The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group. Ralph entered the family business in the early 1980s as one of a group of eight third-generation cousins active in the United States restaurant industry. His company runs seven restaurants, six of which are in New Orleans; Red Fish Grill, Ralph’s on the Park, Cafe NOMA, Heritage Grill, Cafe B, Brennan’s Restaurant, Napoleon House and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney Anaheim, CA, as well as a catering business. Ralph is co-owner of three additional restaurants; Mr. B’s Bistro, Commander’s Palace and Brennan’s of Houston. Among Ralph’s industry honors are the 1997 Gold Plate Operator of the Year, the highest honor bestowed by the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association. He has also served as president of the National Restaurant Association as well as chairman of its educational foundation and past Chairman ofDiRoNA. He has been inducted into the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Hall of Fame.
The fourth-generation “caretaker” of the Columbia Restaurant Group, Richard Gonzmart has been named – as part of more than 100 awards – Community Hero by the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. He also has been officially named a Luminary, a Visionary and a Philanthropist of the Year as well as Father of the Year, Hispanic Man of the Year, Businessman of the Year, two time Alumni of the Year, Outstanding Citizen of the Year and Tampa Police Citizen of the Year. He has been inducted into five Hall of Fames, most recently, the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Hall of Fame. Gonzmart serves or has served on dozens of non-profit boards and organizations. He is passionate about the education of our youth and young adults, and in finding a cure for cancer. Pope Francis recognized Richard with the highest recognition of the Catholic Church, the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. His great-grandfather started the world-famous Columbia Restaurant in Tampa’s historic Ybor City in 1905. Still 100 percent family-owned, it’s now the oldest restaurant in Florida. There are seven Columbia restaurants in Florida. Newer restaurant concepts include Cha Cha Coconuts, Ulele, Goody Goody and Café Con Leche Ybor City, increasing the total number of restaurants to 13.
Jasper J. Mirabile Jr.
For Jasper J. Mirabile Jr., working in the kitchen of Kansas City’s most award-winning restaurant has been a homecoming to his family-owned establishment. Mirabile’s family history reflects a love for fine food and elegance. His grandmother helped his father launch Jasper’s back in 1954. Jasper Jr, is in charge of the 2,000+ square foot kitchen. In his own style, Jasper creates dishes from his Sicilian background with heavy influences from Tuscany and the Piemomtese regions of Italy. Jasper attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Hotel and Restaurant School and Kansas State University. He has been featured in several major newspapers and magazines across the United States of America. Over the years, Jasper’s has made a name for itself for one of Kansas City’s most popular dining attractions. DiRoNA has named Jasper’s one of the best restaurants in North America for 25 years in a row. Mirabile’s other activities include; hosting a popular weekly radio show on KCMO 710, Live! From Jaspers Kitchen, Chairman of Slow Food Kansas City, Vice President – Midwest of Gruppo Ristoratori, and board member of The American Institute of Wine and Food Kansas City. Additionally, Mirabile is The Wisconsin Cheese Chef Ambasadore, Author of two cookbooks and working on his third (entitled On The Cannoli Trail). Jasper is an Advisor for the Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA).
Lunch with fellow DiRoNA Awarded Restaurateurs
Celebrate the achievements of our Hall Of Fame Inductees
Learn from our panel of industry experts
DiRōNA – Distinguished Restaurants of North America
Proudly celebrating 28 years of awarding North America’s finest restaurants!
The Distinguished Restaurants of North America that, by recognizing excellence, seeks to promote distinguished dining throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. An extensive criteria and impartial inspection process are used to evaluate all aspects of an excellent dining experience. A restaurant displaying the DiRōNA Achievement of Distinction in Dining has earned one of the most respected awards in the dining and hospitality communities. The authority for excellence in distinguished dining, DiRōNA provides a forum for education, networking, philanthropy and marketing, benefits for the distinguished dining community.