The World-Renowned Neil Diamond Tribute Band
Entertainment at ICI’s 55th Annual GMM Dinner was provided by Super Diamond, the world-renowned Neil Diamond tribute band. Attendees enjoyed a fun show featuring the timeless music of pop icon Neil Diamond. Classics included “Sweet Caroline,” “America,” “Song Sung Blue,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” and many more.
Capital Chef Classic
ICI’s third annual Capital Chef Classic, featuring renowned local chefs Geoff Tracy, Todd Gray, and Mike Isabella, was a smash hit! Exhibit Hall attendees enjoyed the lighthearted cooking competition and delicious treats. They also received Capital Chef Classic recipe cards and aprons.
Representatives from selected GMM sponsor firms served as judges for the competition, which was won by Chef Isabella.
Geoff Tracy graduated from Georgetown University in 1995 with a degree in theology. He then graduated first in his class at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Before he reached the age of 30, Tracy opened Chef Geoff’s, in 2000, and Chef Geoff’s Downtown, in 2002. Subsequently, Tracy opened LIA’s, Chef Geoff’s Tysons Corner, and Chef Geoff’s Rockville.
Tracy oversees kitchen and dining room operations as well as managing the concept, menu development, marketing, finances, and growth at each of the restaurants.
In 2009, Tracy was awarded the Albert Uster Chef of the Year Award. In 2011, Chef Geoff’s Tysons Corner won “hottest restaurant bar scene” from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW).
Please visit Chef Geoff’s website for more information.
Already a star chef when he opened Equinox, Todd Gray is a top culinary talent in the nation’s capital and an avid promoter of local and seasonal mid-Atlantic foods. Known for breathing new life into historical recipes, Gray developed the distinct cuisine of Equinox to reflect Virginia-Piedmont ingredients and recipes as well as his classical training.
Gray has earned many awards for his artistry and inspired menu combinations, including RAMW’s 2008 award for Best Fine Dining; five nominations for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic award; and eight nominations for RAMW’s Chef of the Year. Other honors include top ratings in the ZAGAT Guide, Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for six consecutive years, and numerous Awards of Excellence from the Distinguished Restaurants of North America.
Gray won both the first and second annual Capital Chef Classic competitions at ICI’s GMM.
Please visit Chef Gray’s website for more information.
Mike Isabella is the chef and owner of Graffiato in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, DC. The 130-seat Italian-inspired spot features small plates, locally cured meats, artisanal pizzas, and pastas with seasonal ingredients. The menu is influenced by the food that he grew up eating in New Jersey, prepared by Isabella’s Italian American grandmother.
Before opening Graffiato, Isabella was the executive chef of Jose Andres’s Zaytinya. During his three-year tenure, Isabella generated accolades and national attention for Washington, DC’s powerhouse Mediterranean restaurant.
Outside the kitchen, Isabella recently appeared on season six of Top Chef, and was the runner-up on Top Chef All-Stars.
Please visit Chef Isabella’s website for more information.
On Thursday morning, May 2, conference attendees and exhibitors participated in Wellness Works, an interactive health and fitness event that included a hatha flow yoga class led by registered Yoga Alliance teacher, Jennifer Mercanti from Manulife Investments. Attendees were eligible for prize drawings and enjoyed networking with exhibitors over a delicious and healthy breakfast.