CAPE MAY — The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association named Curtis Bashaw, owner of industry leader Cape Resorts, the winner of its 2018 Gold Plate Award.
Cited for contributions to the industry and his community, Bashaw will accept the award at the organization’s 38th annual gala Dec. 3 at Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino.
Bashaw has been a stalwart in South Jersey hospitality for nearly four decades. His company, Cape Resorts, operates a collection of classic hotels, award-winning restaurants, unique shops and Beach Plum Farm, a 62-acre farm that provides its restaurants with produce and meats. About 73,000 guests stay at one of Cape Resorts’ eight local properties, and 450,000 people dine at one of its five restaurants annually.
“This award to Curtis is long overdue,” said association President Marilou Halvorsen. “For many years, he has been a driving force in transforming South Jersey’s hospitality landscape and continues to elevate its stature as a top culinary destination.
“Curtis has a long-range vision for Cape May’s culinary future. He employs many of the next generation of local hospitality talent. He also promotes sustainable farming in West Cape May, where many of his farm-to-table offerings are home-grown.”
Cape Resorts’ properties consistently garner top restaurant honors. Most recently, Wine Spectator bestowed its 2017 Award of Excellence on The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel. THRILLIST named the Rusty Nail at the Beach Shack one of the Top Beach Bars in the Country; and New Jersey Monthly’s 25th Annual Readers' Choice Awards recognized the Blue Pig Tavern at Congress Hall for Best Lunch in South Jersey, the Ebbitt Room for Best Romantic Dining, and the Brown Room at Congress Hall for Best Bar Scene.
“I am pleased and honored to have played a part in South Jersey’s emergence as a culinary center,” Bashaw said. “Cape May has an incredibly talented culinary community that has given people yet another reason to visit, and it has been tremendously rewarding for me to work alongside so many truly amazing colleagues.”
The hospitality group also embraces community service. Each year, it donates services to dozens of civic groups, schools and youth organizations to help them fundraise for needed projects. It also stages many community events that are free to the public.
Bashaw has been active on numerous local and state boards and committees over his career, championing such issues as city planning, economic development and arts and education. He also founded and serves as president of The Fund for Cape May, a volunteer group formed to preserve and beautify Cape May and foster citizenship initiatives, resulting, most recently, in the renovation of Rotary Park.