The first annual Charlie Awards, celebrating the Twin Cities dining and food community, took place in a ceremony on Sunday afternoon at the Pantages Theater in downtown Minneapolis.
Congratulations to the winners, including:
Outstanding Restaurant: Piccolo.
Outstanding Chef: Tim McKee of La Belle Vie.
Outstanding Pastry Chef: Khanh Tran of Cosmos Restaurant.
Outstanding Wait Staff: La Belle Vie.
Outstanding Restaurant Design: Parma 8200.
Emerging Food Professional: Mike Phillips of Green Ox Meat Co.
Best Innovation to Reduce Food Waste: Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market.
Lifetime Achievement: Richard D'Amico, Larry D’Amico and Paul Smith of D’Amico & Partners, owners of D’Amico Kitchen, D’Amico & Sons, Gather, Cafe Lurcat and Bar Lurcat, Campiello, Parma 8200 and Masa.
Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak honored longtime servers Cheryl Brezny and Roxanne Olson of Jax Cafe and Marcia Freeman of Murray’s; collectively, they have more than 100 years of service on their time cards.
In a best dish competition, top honors went to a salmon with roasted corn sauce entree from Porter Creek Hardwood Grill.
Winners were determined by votes among participating restaurants, as well as an online diners’ poll and a panel of experts.
The awards are named for Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale, the landmark Minneapolis restaurant that closed in 1982 after a 49-year run. The event was produced by Ivey Awards impresario Scott Mayer and WCCO Radio's Sue Zelickson.