Kerry Altiero, chef/owner of Cafe Miranda in Rockland, has been named Chef of the Year. Courtesy of Kerry Altiero

HospitalityMaine has named Kerry Altiero, chef/owner of Cafe Miranda in Rockland, its Chef of the Year.

The award is one of several the group, formerly known as the Maine Restaurant Association and the Maine Innkeepers Association, present each year at an annual gala. This year, the gala will be held May 21 at Thompson’s Point in Portland.

Altiero, a leader in building the midcoast food scene, dedicated the award to his staff. In a statement, he said it was for “everybody that does this hard work every day under all the conditions we endure.”

Danielle and Justin Walker, owners of Walkers Maine in Cape Neddick, have been selected for the Restaurateur of the Year award. Hospitality Maine called them a “culinary power couple.” The Walkers previously worked at Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, and before that at Arrows, a nationally renowned fine dining restaurant in Ogunquit that closed in 2013.

The Innkeeper of the Year is Gerard Kiladjian, general manager of the Portland Harbor Hotel, who has worked in the hospitality industry for three decades. Kiladjian, a native of Syria, is president of the Armenian Cultural Association of Maine, a board member of Piper Shores retirement community, and past board member and board chair of Visit Portland.

Nominees were selected by HospitalityMaine members. A committee chose the winners.

The organization also chose three “Rising Stars”: Rob Labelle, director of marketing at the Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport; Maddy Abbott, food and beverage director for the Migis Lodge in South Casco; and Millicent and Renato Kriste, owners of Glenmoor by the Sea in Linconville.

Justin and Danielle Walker, owners of Walkers Maine in Cape Neddick, have been named Restaurateur of the Year. Courtesy Walkers Maine

Tickets to the HospitalityMaine Gala cost $85 each, or $645 for a table for eight. To order, go to A reception begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30.


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