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Foodservice News Announces 2019 Charlie Award Finalists

FSN Editors Laura Michaels, left, and Nancy Monroe on stage at last year's Charlie Awards.

The eighth annual Charlie Awards, which celebrates the exceptional contributions of the Twin Cities food and beverage community, will be held Sunday, Jan. 27, beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis. The entertainment-filled event will be co-hosted by Joy Summers (Eater Twin Cities) and Jason DeRusha (WCCO TV, Minnesota Monthly). Winners in each of 13 categories will be presented with the coveted Charlies plate award. The ceremony will culminate with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and then the party will move next door to Seven Steakhouse. The festivities will include food prepared by culinary students from ProStart and St. Paul College led by Pat Weber from Mise en Place consulting and Seven’s chef, past Charlies Community Hero Honoree Seth Bixby Daugherty.   

This is a chance to celebrate both the diversity in the Twin Cities restaurant community as well as its excellence.

At the same time, the event supports the good work being done by Open Arms, a nonprofit meal delivery service that prepares and delivers nutritious meals to people fighting life-threatening diseases. Proceeds from the awards program and afterparty go towards Open Arms’ mission.

Tickets for the Charlie Awards Show and Afterparty are $30 per person. To purchase tickets, call 612-767-3229 or go online at charliesexceptionale.com. Tickets can also be picked up at the Pantages box office.

And now, in alphabetical order are The 2019 Charlie Awards Finalists

Outstanding Service

A restaurant or foodservice business that excels at hospitality by being consistently outstanding and welcoming, and having an inviting and fun personality that makes people feel more at home than when they are at home

112 Eatery

Joan’s in the Park


Outstanding Restaurateur

Not all the magic happens in the kitchen. This category is for the owner of the restaurant with at least five years in the industry, who excels at running a restaurant, keeping it profitable as well as relevant, and who is an influencer in the community

Thomas Boemer & Nick Rancone – Twist Davis Group (Corner Table, Revival, In Bloom)

Tim Niver – Meyvn, Mucci’s Italian, Saint Dinette

Luke Shimp – kindRED Hospitality (Red Cow, Red Rabbit)

Outstanding Restaurant

A restaurant that continually hits on all cylinders with creative and exceptional food, atmosphere and service

Grand Café

Hai Hai


Outstanding Baker/Pastry Chef

A working baker or pastry chef with at least five years of experience who is an artist when creating the staff of life or the masterpieces of desserts and morning pastries

Christina Kaelberer – Edwards Dessert Kitchen

Carrie Riggs – Alma

Diane Moua - Soigné Hospitality (Spoon and Stable, Bellecour)

Outstanding Chef

A working chef with at least five years in the industry, who shows consistency, relevancy, creativity and isn’t resting on his or her laurels.

Ann Ahmed – Lat14, Lemon Grass Thai Cuisine

Justin Sutherland – Pearl and the Thief, Handsome Hog

Karyn Tomlinson – Corner Table

Rising Star

An under 30, up-and-coming foodservice professional whose talent and hard work guarantees he or she will make their mark on the Twin Cities community and go on to even greater contributions.

Rikki Giambruno – Hyacinth

Joshua Walbolt – Lat14

Shannel Winkle – The Bird

Beverage Innovator

A professional who is doing innovative work with wine/beer/spirits, either as a brewer, mixologist, sommelier, craft soda producer or bartender

Adam Gorski – Young Joni

Tyler Kleinow – Marvel Bar

Marco Zappia – Martina, Colita

Returning Category – Outstanding Bartender

He or she possesses the skill-set to be an expert in both human nature and concocting  new and classic drinks, along with the ability to draw people out and guide their beverage journey with diplomacy and grace.

Paul Hennessy – The Bachelor Farmer

Shawn Jones – Fhima

Scott Weller – Parlour  

New Category – Best Brewery

A brewing company that makes innovative beer or hard cider, has a social component, whether it’s a conscience or conscious effort to engage customers in a stellar product.

Indeed Brewing Co.

Lift Bridge Brewing Co.

Summit Brewing Co.

New Category – Entertainment Restaurant Venue

Sometimes called “eatertainment,” this outstanding venue never forgets food is first, drinks are first and fun is first. (can be kid-friendly or focus on the 21+ crowd)

Can Can Wonderland

The Dakota

 Icehouse MPLS

New Category – Outstanding Caterer

A consummate professional who runs a catering company and sets up festive and delicious spreads for groups, with imagination, creativity and attention to every detail.

Breaking Bread Café & Catering

Chowgirls Killer Catering

D’Amico Catering

Hidden Gem

An out-of-the-box restaurant, food truck or catering service that often flies under the radar of the mainstream media, but is a favorite with the neighborhood or foodie fans

Birch’s on the Lake

Lyn 65

Primo Plates & Pours

Community Hero

He or she uses their skills and platform to better the community, either through charitable acts or mentorship

Rose McGee - Sweet Potato Comfort Pies

Nathan Sartain – Saint Paul College

Rhys Williams – The Good Acre

The Charlie Awards are produced and administered by Foodservice News, along with the founders of the Charlies, Sue Zelickson and Scott Mayer.  Franchise Times Corp bought Foodservice News in 2001. In addition to its 11-times a year magazine, it also produces a website/blog site, an award-winning Chef Book and a Buyers Guide. Offices are located at 2808 Anthony Lane S in Minneapolis. Contact information can be found at foodservicenews.com or by calling 612-767-3200.

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