November 12, 2012 by Sarah M
// By Sarah McKenzie //
The best restaurants and chefs of the Twin Cities food scene were honored with Charlie Awards on Nov. 11 at the Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave. Nearly 200 restaurants participated in the awards program.
The Charlie Awards are named after the iconic restaurant Charlie’s Café — a downtown Minneapolis restaurant until the 1980s. Veteran food writer Sue Zelickson came up with the idea for the awards program.
This year’s winners include:
— Lifetime Achievement: Lenny Russo of Heartland Restaurant and Farm Direct Market;
— Community Hero: Brenda Langton of the Mill City Famers Market and Spoonriver restaurant;
— Outstanding Chef: Doug Flicker of Piccolo;
— Emerging food professionals: Birk Grudem and Christina Nguyen of Hola Arepa;
— Outstanding Pastry Chef: Michelle Gayer of Salty Tart;
— Outstanding restaurant: Tilia;
— Outstanding Restaurant Service: Meritage;
— Outstanding Restaurant Design: The Bachelor Farmer;
— Outstanding Bartender: Johnny Michaels;
— Outstanding Neighbor: Randy Stanley of Parasole and Uptown Restaurant Taskforce;
— Outstanding Cup of Coffee: Moroccan Mocha from Cahoots Coffee Bar;
— Outstanding Local Craft Brew: Summit Saga IPA from Summit Brewing Company;
— Food Truck Item: Hola Arepa’s slow roasted pork arepa; and
— Outstanding Restaurant Food Item: Masu Robata’s Masu Roll.