BEL AIR, MD — Two employees of restaurants in Bel Air were honored by the Restaurant Association of Maryland at its 2022 gala. Each year, the trade organization recognizes leaders in the restaurant industry, designating winners in categories from best chef to best bartender.
Shelby Stange of Independent Brewing Company was honored as Bartender of the Year, and Kristen Oktavec of One Eleven Main was named the Manager of the Year.
They were among several winners honored with a gala on Sunday, March 27, at Maryland Live!
Stange “has an incredible work ethic” and was described as “sweet,” helpful and “knowledgeable about brewing beer,” according to the Restaurant Association of Maryland.
Oktavec was described as a “dream employee” who “encompasses everything about a restaurant manager you could ever hope for,” according to the Restaurant Association of Maryland. “She is selfless, putting customer experience about personal time, cares for her staff [and] fills in at a moment’s notice.”
Nearby, Amanda Wiley of Fallston Barrel House was named Server of the Year.
Other winners were Chef of the Year Gregory James of Stars Restaurant/Inn at Perry Cabin; 2022 Restaurateurs of the Year Joe and Mary Barbera of in Columbia; and 2022 Heart of the Industry Award recipient Roxanne Upole, general manager of the Roy Rogers in Cumberland.