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The 2014 Charlie Awards Winners

Above: Chef Thomas Boemer accepting his award.

Gathered to celebrate the Twin Cities’ food and drink scene, hundreds of chefs, restaurant owners, bartenders and their cohorts packed the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis Sunday, November 16, for the fourth annual Charlie Awards.

Alex Roberts, of Restaurant Alma and Brasa, was named Outstanding Chef, while the Outstanding Pastry Chef honors went to John Kraus of Patisserie 46. Russell and Desta Klein, who also have Meritage in St. Paul, collected the Outstanding Restaurant award for their new restaurant, Brasserie Zentral.

Corner Table snagged two awards, the first for Outstanding Service and the second for Emerging Food Professional. The latter was presented to chef/co-owner Thomas Boemer and the award recognizes a chef with less than five years experience.

Restaurateur Kim Bartmann took the stage to accept her Lifetime Achievement Award, thanking “the crazy people who wrote checks for crazy things.” Bartmann launched her seventh and eighth restaurants this year—Tiny Diner and the Third Bird—adding to her collection that includes Barbette, Bryant-Lake Bowl, Red Stag Supperclub, Gigi’s Cafe, Pat’s Tap and Bread & Pickle. She also had a hand in brining sustainable sushi to Minneapolis with Kyatchi.

The Outstanding Bartender award went to Jesse Held of Borough, Parlour and Coup d’etat, with Coup d’etat also picking up honors for Outstanding Restaurant Design. The Uptown restaurant was designed by ESG Architects of Minneapolis.

Noting its extensive whiskey list, Butcher and the Boar earned Outstanding Beverage Program recognition, while the award for Outstanding Local Craft Brew went to Harriet Brewing for its West Side IPA.

This year’s Community Hero award went to Vincent Francoual, chef and owner of Vincent, A Restaurant. Presenters Tracy Singleton and Bertrand Weber noted Francoual’s commitment to raising funds for Fraser, a Twin Cities organization serving those with autism and special needs.

Garnering the most votes in a public online poll for Outstanding Food Truck was the Moral Omnivore. Online voters also picked the finalists for Outstanding Menu Item, with the winner then chosen by a panel of industry expert judges. In the end it was “The Grill Charlie’s”—beef tenderloin sliders with bearnaise—from the St. Paul Grill that earned the title.

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