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Meet the Nevada Restaurant Association Culinary Excellence Award Winners

Winners were announced in six categories.

The Nevada Restaurant Association dished out its Culinary Excellence Awards during a gala on Wednesday night, with winners announced in six categories and a Lifetime Achievement Award for chef Andre Rochat of Andre’s at Monte Carlo and Alize at the Palms. Here now, a look at the winners.

Restaurateur of the Year
Brad Burdsall, Egg & I/Egg Works
As the admired "Chief Eggineer" and owner of The Egg & I and The Egg Works restaurant, Burdsall is passionate about serving good food and satisfying the customers. Even with five Egg Works locations around Las Vegas, Henderson and Summerlin, Burdsall keeps himself busy developing new product lines such as Habla Diablo and Fog Fields.

Culinarian of the Year
Johnny Church, MTO Café
Executive chef Church has worked at many restaurants in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, even partnering with organizations such as Three Square. He was named a rising chef of Las Vegas by Wine Spectator Magazine and will open a second location of MTO Café this November at Downtown Summerlin.

Pastry Chef of the Year
Claude Escamilla, Jean Philippe Patisserie
In 2009 Escamilla became the executive pastry chef of the Jean Philippe Patisserie for both Aria and Bellagio. He has won a gold medal in the National Pastry Championship and World Pastry Championship representing the United States in 2003, 2004 and 2008.

Allied of the Year
Brett Sutton, Sutton Hague Law Corp.
As one of the founding partners of Sutton Hague, Sutton brings 24 years of experience in counseling clients on labor and employment law matters. He is a member of the Nevada State Bar, Labor and Employment Law Section, and the Northern and Southern Nevada Human Resources Associations.

Employee of the Year
Jeff Trent, Hash House A Go Go
As the vice president of operations at Hash House A Go Go and co-owner of Jocks & Jill’s Sports Grill, Trent brings more than 35 years of leadership experience to all operational aspects of the restaurant industry.

Bartender of the Year
Lyle Cervenka, Velveteen Rabbit
Co-owner of Spirit Forward Ventures consulting group and lead barman at Velveteen Rabbit, Cervenka has more than eight years of experiences and notable cocktail bars in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He is an active member of USBG Las Vegas and recently won both the Appleton Rum Cocktail Competition and Las Vegas’ Margarita Festival.