Edit ModuleShow Tags

We Wuz Robbed!


It’s appalling that Tim McKee and the La Belle Vie crew were passed up for the James Beard Award earlier this week. I worried that all the Minneapolis nominees, including Isaac Becker of 112 Eatery and Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Brasa, would dilute the Minnesota vote and, alas, it looks like I was right. Check out the results here:


I have to admit that the restaurant voting can go astray. The judges for all the print and media awards are handed copies of whatever they’re reviewing—you should see the boxes of hardcovers I’ve had to plow through in the years when I’ve been a book award judge. But the restaurant reviewers just have to check a little box vowing that they’ve been to all the restaurants they’re voting for. I’m guessing that when you feel like you’ve got a dog in the fight, the temptation to vote in categories that you really shouldn’t is just too great. My sense is that the Milwaukee win represents a whole lot of people from Chicago messing with something they shouldn’t be messing with.

That said, I’d like to tip my hat to a few hometown wins. Hooray for Lynn Rosetto Kasper, Sally Swift, and Jennifer Russell at The Splendid Table! They won for best radio show, and no one deserves it more. They’re tireless, endlessly creative, and fascinating women. I’m thrilled for them.

Cheers too to John Ragan, a St. Thomas alum and former St. Paul resident who won the Outstanding Wine Service Award for his work as sommelier at Eleven Madison Park in New York. Ragan is one of the nicest, most passionate, most insightful, most egalitarian people I’ve ever had the pleasure of interviewing in the world of wine, and I couldn’t be happier for him.

And how about Brett Anderson? He won the award for best newspaper writing for his work at the New Orleans Times-Picayune. And while I admire him for his profoundly articulate work at that paper, Minnesotans will always claim Brett as one of our own because he grew up here, and started his career at the dear departed Twin Cities Reader. Go Brett!

Finally, I also sort of feel that Terry Thiese, the Austrian and German wine importer, is a hometown win—he won for outstanding wine and spirits professional—because he’s here so often for Surdyk’s. Hooray for Terry! That man has one of the world’s most finely tuned aesthetic senses—and is probably the only person on earth I’d care to answer the question: What part of beauty is justice? If you’ve ever read one of Thiese’s wine catalogs you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, why not take a few weeks’ vacation and do so?


You know what? I actually feel better now after going over some of these wins. Better luck next year to all Minnesota chefs, but ’til then: Hey, Milwaukee, next year it’s a grudge match.


Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Pineapple in Every Bite Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Enjoy this twist on the classic cake with chunks of sweet, juicy pineapple maximizing the fruit-to-cake ratio in every taste

3 Drinks to Give Winter the Kiss-Off

West Seventh in St. Paul is bursting with drink options to usher in spring (which is just around the corner, right?)

Minnesota-Grown Greens Now Available Year Round

New locally and sustainably produced Revol Greens makes eating clean and green throughout the year even easier

What to Buy for the Perfect Minnesota Home Bar

From vodka, gin, bourbon, rum, and beyond: Minnesota spirit-makers recommend the best home-bar companions

Quick Moroccan Chicken over Couscous Recipe

Enjoy the exotic flavors of a long-simmered tagine in this easy version that’s quick enough for a weeknight

No-Fail Caramel Corn Recipe

Celebrate National Caramel Corn Day with this sweet crunchy treat—no special equipment needed with this easy recipe

Best Restaurant Bargains Before A Target Field Minnesota Twins Game

They're offering baseball specials, but do you know where to go? Check out these good deals on food before Twins games.

3 Things to Eat This Week: April 4-8

Tropical cake, drinkable flowers, and some mouth-searing spice

Edina Bistro Celebrates National Peanut Butter & Jelly Day

Pinstripes offers a sophisticated twist on the childhood favorite with a five-course meal for two in honor of PB&J Day (April 2)
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags