Which chefs, restaurants, and brewers won awards in 2017?

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Parsnip with coffee, caramelized goats milk and escarole at Esker Grove. [Photo: Leila Navidi, Star Tribune]

First, the “bad” news: Not one Minnesota chef took home a James Beard Award this year.

Nonetheless, we did have 13 nominated chefs and two nominated restaurants... nothing to sneeze at. And Minnesota’s Steven Brown (Tilia) and Jorge Guzman (Surly Brewing Co.)—both first-time nominees—were among the five finalists for Best Chef: Midwest.

While none of our esteemed locals took home top honors in Chicago, we think they deserve one last shout-out before we crack open our 2018 calendars. They are:

Best New Restaurant
Esker Grove at the Walker Art Center

Outstanding Baker
Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart

Outstanding Bar Program
Marvel Bar

Outstanding Chef
Alex Roberts, Restaurant Alma

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable

Best Chef: Midwest
Thomas Boemer, Corner Table
Mike Brown, Bob Gerken, and James Winberg, Travail Kitchen & Amusements
Steven Brown, Tilia
Lisa Carlson, Chef Shack
Jim Christiansen, Heyday
Jorge Guzman, Brewer’s Table
at Surly Brewing Co.
Erick Harcey, Upton 43
Ann Kim, Young Joni

“But what about our beer?” you’re asking. Don’t worry!

In October, brewers from around the country converged on Denver for the Great American Beer Festival—the biggest national beer awards. GABF wins are kind of a huge deal—City Pages beer writer Jerard Fagerberg says winning one was “more or less the peg Sam Adams hung their hat on to get the craft beer movement started in the early 2000s,” which means taking home a medal can be a big boon for local breweries. And take them home we did...

The Freehouse
Silver, No. 33 Gose
Silver, No. 20 Barleywine

Summit
Silver, Extra Pale Ale

Lupulin
Gold, Dortmunder

Bent Paddle
Gold, 14º ESB

Beaver Island
Bronze, Oktoberfest

Click here to read more stories from our Year in Food 2017 issue


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