Hollywood has the Oscars (nicknamed for someone’s statuesque uncle)

College sports have the Heisman (named for the founding organization’s athletic director)

Music has the Grammys (named after the gramophone)

And the Twin Cities has the Charlies (named in honor of the area’s original fine-dining spot, Charlie’s Exceptionale)

The Charlie Awards are our version of the Academy Awards for the greater metro-area’s foodservice community. And on January 27, 2019, finalists will be in the audience of the Pantages Theater in downtown Minneapolis waiting to hear who will be called up on stage in nine categories to take home the coveted Charlie plate.

This is our chance to celebrate both the diversity in the Twin Cities restaurant community as well as its excellence. And at the same time 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.

Your $30 ticket is your passport to both the show and Afterparty. For ticket information, click here.


The 2019 Charlie Awards Finalists

in alphabetical order


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

Sean 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