Tabletop Awards

Recognizing excellence in the strategic and functional application of tabletop design.


2020 Performance in Tabletop Awards

Per Person Check Average of Less Than $75

First Place: International Smoke, San Diego

Specifying Team

  • Operator: Michael Mina, president, founder and chef for The Mina Group, which owns International Smoke; Jason Rocheleau, vice president of operations
  • Dealer: Melissa Miller, director of tabletop sales, TriMark Distribution West; John Skaggs, field sales rep, TriMark Distribution West


  • China: Lodge, Staub, Steelite, Premier Collections by TriMark
  • Flatware: Cardinal
  • Glassware: Cardinal, Duralex, Fortessa, Hospitality Glass, Libbey, Nachtmann, Stozle
  • Accessories: Arcata by TriMark, Brown Halco, Chef Specialties, Churchill, Chef Specialties, Frieling, Weck

Why it Won

The combination of different textures adds visual intrigue to this tabletop. The amber glassware really evokes visions of smoke at the table, connecting the installation to the menu in a creative manner. This installation uses nontraditional items to serve cocktails, showcasing additional creativity.

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Tabletop International Smoke Combo Rack Curry Cornbread

Honorable Mention: Blue Elephant, Pottstown, Pa.

Specifying Team

  • Operator: Pearl Somboonsong, director of operations; Win and Sutida Somboonsong, owners
  • Dealer: Sally Harris, sales representative, Singer Equipment Co.; Cara Walter, district manager, Singer Equipment Co.
  • Manufacturers’ Reps: Sarah Bulmer, business development, LMT; Jim Hahn, president, Hahn Associates; Steve Kravitz, president, Steve Kravitz Co.; Chris Murphy, sales manager, Mid-Atlantic Hospitality; Lesley Widergren, FTS Design Group


  • China: Figgjo, RAK, Rosenthal, Steelite
  • Flatware: Amefa
  • Glassware: Cardinal, Hospitality Glass, Libbey, Steelite
  • Accessories: FOH

Worth Mentioning

This tabletop installation stays true to the aesthetics and the East Indian, British colonial theme of this restaurant. It’s a nice, simple and clean tabletop that resists the temptation of getting too ornate. The gold touches add some visual intrigue. The color combinations, including the deep blues paired with gold chopsticks and silverware, gave this tabletop a theatrical element.
Photos courtesy of Brenda Frezeman, Singer Equipment Co.

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Honorable Mention: Blue Iguana, Waterloo, Iowa

Specifying Team

  • Operator: Clint Goodman, chef
  • Dealer: Pat Grady, sales representative, Edward Don & Company; Rob Utterback, district sales manager, Edward Don & Company; Stella Lorens, corporate photographer, Edward Don & Company
  • Manufacturers’ Reps:  Kerry O’Connor, tabletop specialist, The Hode Group; Laurel Galiger, sales associate, Mirkovich and Associates


  • China: Steelite
  • Flatware: Walco
  • Glassware: Libbey, Steelite
  • Accessories: American Metalcraft

Worth Mentioning

This installation features a very modern aesthetic that’s also very cohesive. The tabletop really reflects the room, helping to convey the Mexican ambience that’s central to the restaurant’s brand. And the tabletop accomplishes all of this in a very contemporary setting. It’s a stunning, industrial modern space and the tabletop connects to it well.

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