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April 18, 2019

HospitalityMaine names 2019 award winners  

Courtesy / HospitalityMaine Danielle and Justin Walker, who own Walkers Maine in Cape Neddick, were named HospitalityMaine’s Restaurateur of the Year.

HospitalityMaine has named winners of awards that recognize leaders in the hotel and dining industries.

Award-winners will be recognized at a gala held May 21 at Thompson’s Point in Portland, according a news release sent to Mainebiz. The new event emerges from the Maine Restaurant Association’s annual awards program.

HospitalityMaine is a nonprofit trade group formed in a merger last October of the Maine Innkeepers and Maine Restaurant associations

Award nominees were selected by HospitalityMaine members. Then a committee chose the final winners. One Rising Star will be announced the night of the gala.

Awardees, from Casco to Lincolnville, include:

Chef of the year: Kerry Altiero, chef/owner of Cafe Miranda, Rockland.

Courtesy / HospitalityMaine
Kerry Altiero, chef/owner of Cafe Miranda in Rockland, was named HospitalityMaine’s Chef of the Year.

Entering his 26th year in business, Altiero helped build the midcoast food scene.

“This award is for my staff, everybody who does this hard work every day under all the conditions we endure,” he said in the release. Altiero is a two-time winner of Portland’s Harvest on the Harbor. He serves farm-to-table cuisine and wrote a cookbook called “Adventures in Comfort Food.”

Restaurateur of the year: Danielle Johnson Walker and Justin Walker, owners of Walkers Maine, Cape Neddick.

In a short period of time, Walkers Maine has become a local magnet. The couple was previously the “creative force” behind Earth at Hidden Pond restaurant in Kennebunkport and Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit. They took over the Cape Neddick Inn and turned it into a rustic, chic retreat.

Innkeeper of the year: Gerard Kiladjian, general manager of Portland Harbor Hotel and Inn at Diamond Cove, and area director for Hart Hotels.

Kiladjian has three decades in the hospitality industry. He manages teams of 40 to 150 and is involved in all recruiting, training and HR matters across his properties. The Syrian native is a board member of Piper Shores Retirement community, president of the Armenian Cultural Association of Maine, and past board member and board chair of Visit Portland.

• Rising Stars:

Rob Labelle, director of marketing at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport.

Maddy Abbott, food and beverage director for the Migis Lodge, in South Casco.

Millicent and Renato Kriste, owners of Glenmoor by the Sea. 

Courtesy / HospitalityMaine
Maddy Abbott, food and beverage director for the Migis Lodge in South Casco, is one of HospitalityMaine’s three “Rising Stars.”

The gala evening includes scholarships to deserving youths interested in the industry.

Tickets are $85 each or $645 for a table of eight. To learn more, visit  HospitalityMaine

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