The Gold Standard

Every industry has its awards: the Oscars, the Tonys, the Grammys, the Clios. In our particular business, these annual honors are known as the City-Regional Magazine Awards, and the most recent round of winners was announced in early May. Minnesota Monthly took first-
place in two categories: one for writing, another for design.

The gold for food writing went to our own Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, who beat out writers from such publications as Chicago, Washingtonian, and Portland Monthly. The judges commented: “Dara Moskowitz has been reviewing restaurants in Minneapolis long enough (more than 15 years) to be understandably jaded…. But her reviews, which tell a story as much as they describe the dining room and the food, reveal an enthusiasm undimmed by experience. She also happens to be a lively read.” Amen.

The gold for feature-spread design was bestowed on former Minnesota Monthly art director Brian Johnson, who left the magazine earlier this year to take a job at Texas Monthly. Brian’s winning entry, for last June’s “Up North” feature, included an opening spread that contained no words, and the judges’ comments pretty much sum up the stunned reception the design got in our office: “What? You can’t do that. There’s no headline, no deck, no caption…. Well, what about those arrows, Martha? And a hand’s pointing to the right…. It means turn the page….. Brilliant!” Indeed.

Joel Hoekstra, Editor


Minneapolis writer Jennifer Vogel didn’t have to think twice when the magazine offered her an assignment to write this month’s cover story on Brainerd (“The Shore Thing”). Vogel, a longtime Twin Cities journalist and author of the memoir Flim Flam Man, spent her childhood summers in the area, swimming, motor-boating, and sipping Shirley Temples. Today, she works as a reporter at Minnesota Public Radio.

Photo by Omar van de Wyngard

Zela Lobb is a Canadian illustrator who is currently residing in Santiago, Chile. Her illustrations feature engaging mixtures of graphic lines and movement and regularly appear in Minnesota Monthly’s Muse section, as well as such publications as Rolling Stone and Spin. Outside of print, Lobb’s work has made its way onto album covers, snowboards, clothing, and numerous advertisements around the globe.
When not photographing top models, country music stars, or features like this month’s article on Brainerd (“The Shore Thing”), commercial photographer Kevin White can be found at his cabin in northern Minnesota hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family. Even after 24 years of working in the industry, he still thinks shooting on a glacier in Alaska at sunset is the ideal location, even in spite of the black flies.