In 2017, SFA honors Laura Patricia Ramírez with the Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award. She immigrated to Kentucky to work with the horse-racing industry, but now runs Tortillería y Taquería Ramírez, a place that functions as community space for Latino immigrants in the Lexington area.
After hosting a Nashville dinner for United Nations delegation in 1976, Hach wrote in her cookbook that commemorated the event, “All people everywhere are dependent on one another. Everyone needs everyone else for freedom, life, love, and happiness.”
In 2014, Goren Avery received the Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award. Over the course of a three-decade career, Avery has set national standards for service and professionalism and hospitality. In a field where turnover is typically high, Avery has mentored a generation of restaurant professionals.