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And The Winners for the 2019 Charlies are...



Eater Editor Joy Summers, who hosted the 8th Charlies with Jason DeRusha of WCCO and Minnesota Monthly fame, threw herself enthusiastically into the job.

Joe Veen

The eighth annual Charlie Awards celebration was held at the Pantages Theatre on Sunday, January 27. The Charlie Awards honor the exceptional contributions of the Twin Cities food and beverage community. Winners in each of 13 categories were presented with the coveted Charlies plate award. 

The celebration culminated with the bestowal of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Sue Zelickson. Zelickson, “the Twin Cities original foodie,” founded the Charlie Awards with Scott Meyer. Her long list of accolades includes induction into the Minnesota Broadcast Hall of Fame is 2015 and winning the 2005 James Beard Award for Food Reporting in 2005. Sue is still active in the community, giving her time, talent, and treasure to a variety of worthy causes, like starting Kids Cafes, a nutrition and hands-on cooking program with at-risk kids, and Women Who Really Cook, a networking organization for women in the food industry that gives out yearly grants.

The 2019 Charlie Awards Honorees

Outstanding Service: Meritage

Outstanding Restaurateur: Luke Shimp - kindRED Hospitality (Red Cow, Red Rabbit)

Outstanding Restaurant: Hai Hai

Outstanding Baker/Pastry Chef: Christina Kaelberer – Edwards Dessert Kitchen

Outstanding ChefJustin Sutherland – Pearl and the Thief, Handsome Hog

Rising Star: Joshua Walbolt: Lat14

Beverage Innovator: Marco Zappia – Martina, Colita

Outstanding Bartender: Sean Jones – Fhima’s    

Best Brewery: Lift Bridge Brewing Co.  

Entertainment Restaurant Venue: Can Can Wonderland      

Outstanding Caterer: Chowgirls Killer Catering

Hidden Gem: Birch’s on the Lake

Community Hero: Nathan Sartain – Saint Paul College

The Charlie Awards support 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.

After the awards ceremony, the party moved next door to Seven Steakhouse (700 Hennepin Ave., 

Minneapolis). The festivities included 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.   

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