rebecca kilbreath hsIt’s the most wonderful time of the year — and I’m not talking about the holiday season that just passed. It is time to announce the 7th
annual rd+d award winners! You can find all the winners here, and you should definitely check them out! But I’d like to take this space to provide something you won’t find there: some insight into our judging processes.

We take a very thorough approach to this annual awards program. Our team reviews each entry and circles back to the submitter if they forgot to include something that is required and will help the judges properly evaluate their work. Seasoned professionals assess the entries and ensure that the submissions align with the stated criteria for each category. Then we schedule a time when all of our judges can meet on the same day. On that day, they sit down to read every entry and score each one based on the submission guidelines published on our website. 

For these awards, all the judges spent an entire late November day together in the same room, reading, scoring and discussing the projects submitted and the results. Our editorial team tabulates everything in real time so judges can review any ties and advocate
for any projects they find worthy of an Honorable Mention. Because we held the judging sessions virtually or partially virtual since 2020, returning to in-person judging added a wonderful dynamic to this year’s proceedings.That’s because being a fly on the wall during these sessions is fascinating. The judges are experienced enough in their fields to truly understand how the restaurants function from photos and floorplans. And some are even traveled enough to have already been inside many of these freshly opened spaces. The commentary, strong insights and opinions from the judges help to inform rd+d content all year long.If you are interested in becoming a judge, let me know! And if not, please keep our awards in mind for the restaurants you plan to open in 2023! 

Wishing you a fruitful new year,