1. BEST CELEBRITY DESIGNERNate Berkus
He lost his TV show but wrote a book, inked a deal with Target, and landed on the cover of Architectural Digest
2. BEST CAKE CREATORRobin Martin
The Gateaux cake master made Betty White’s 90th birthday cake on behalf of Betty Crocker.
3. BEST CUPCAKE BAKERKevin VanDeraa
Owner of exquisite Cupcake bakery and winner of TV’s Cupcake Wars.
4. BEST SPORTS FIGUREChris Kluwe
Vikings kicker, human rights advocate, Twitter-monster.
5. BEST BREWEROmar Ansari
The founder of Surly Brewing Co. paved the way for our taproom boom.
6. BEST LAWYERB. Todd Jones
He won the landmark case against Mahamud Said Omar, who helped recruit terrorists for al-Shabab.
7. BEST CHANCE AT U.S. PREZAmy Klobuchar
With the U.S. senator’s ever-growing popularity and power, some say she’ll be president in 2016.
8. BEST NEWS ANCHORFrank Vascellaro
Our hero. See below.
9. BEST ACTRESSAnna Sundberg
Onstage at the Guthrie Theater. A lot.
10. BEST SONGWRITERDan Wilson
Wrote an Adele hit, won a Grammy, wrote a Facebook post telling people not to send him their songs for Adele.
11. BEST MIXOLOGISTSIra Koplowitz & Nick Kosevich
The Bittercube founders are the geniuses behind the bar at Eat Street Social.
Best News Anchor
SUPER ANCHOR In 2011 and 2012, Vascellaro won Regional Emmy Awards for best news anchor, beating out, among others, his co-anchor wife, Amelia Santaniello. The era of Dave Moore, Paul Magers, and Don Shelby has passed, but Vascellaro represents a new kind of anchor and a new kind of guy. Like past giants of local news, he has integrity, charisma, and great hair. But those aren’t the only reasons we think he’s the best.
SUPER DAD What better model for contemporary manhood could we have than a good-humored guy who shares the spotlight—and the workload—with his wife at home and at the office? “Every day is not harmony and bliss. Fortunately, love, trust, and respect for each other make it work. We both cook, clean, and do laundry, and I do the yard work—Amelia hit the jackpot,” he says. “Our twins, Joe and Francesca, are 10. Sam is 12. They’re all very athletic and we spend a lot of time in gyms or on ball fields. I’m an excellent chauffeur.” Of course, there’s more to parenting than knowing how to operate a vehicle: “Listen, ask questions, and be constantly engaged. I don’t think you can be selfish and be a good parent. I had some hobbies before the kids were born, but I can’t remember what they were.”
SUPER GUY Fundraisers, nonprofit events, community service—he does it all with a smile, without breaking a sweat, and, most important, with heart. “The Cancer Kids Fund does great work and has been asking me back for 16 years. The Bash for Nash is deeply personal because our dear friend Nash Wicka has Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
HIS KRYPTONITE? Potato chips.
A little shout-out to old-school artisans and new-school do-it-yourselfers
BEST BUTCHERY CLASSThe Whole Hog
Mike Phillips’s class at Kitchen in the Market usually sells out right as it’s posted, because having the local king of charcuterie teach you how to break down a whole hog is higher education, indeed. 920 E. Lake St., Ste. 107, Mpls., 612-568-5486, kitcheninthemarket.com
BEST PICKLING SECRETMenards
You can go to the fancy kitchen store for classes and books, but for supplies no one beats Menards on value for Ball jars, funnels, and beginner kits. Remember, a jar is a jar. 16 metro locations including 6800 Wayzata Blvd., Mpls., 763-541-9300, menards.com
BEST HOME CHEESE-MAKING HEROCedar Summit Milk or Cream
Beyond mastering your cheesecloth technique for kitchen ricotta or the right pull for your own mozzarella, the thing that turns cheese makers into cheese masters is the quality of the base. 25830 Drexel Ave., New Prague, 952-758-6886, cedarsummit.com
BEST HOME BREW SHOPNorthern Brewer
With locations in both towns, this place is like a clubhouse for beer nerds. 6021 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-843-4444, northernbrewer.com
BEST CITY FARM STOREEggplant Urban Farm Supply
It’s the coolest weed ’n’ feed by a parking meter. 1771 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-645-0818, eggplantsupply.com
BEST WOODWORKERWillie Willette
We keep spying gorgeous custom, modern furniture in homes on photo shoots, and so often the incredible pieces are tied to this clever guy. Willie Willette Works, 3338 University Ave. SE, Mpls., 612-333-3022, williewilletteworks.com
BEST WALLPAPER HANGERKurt Peterson
This guy is proof that wallpaper is here to stay. He’s constantly busy with huge designer projects and little bitty rooms. If you need a pro, Peterson’s your man. 651-485-1806
BEST RENOVATING STARNicole Curtis
The single mom and star of HGTV-DIY’s Rehab Addict tackles some of the grittiest projects in town, salvaging historic properties and bringing them back to life. The community—and her (nearly) 20,000 Facebook fans—thank her. nicolecurtisdesign.com
BEST REGIONAL DESIGNForage Modern Workshop
This quirky newbie is winning indie hearts with its mission to bring together Midwest designers, builders, and artists. Find furniture, accents, and plenty of local love. 4023 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-886-3603, foragemodernworkshop.com
BEST ACCESSORIES DESIGNERSJennifer Wight and Julie Driscoll
We started seeing their darling Belle Vache leather bags and cuff bracelets a couple of years ago. Then they added Furbellish, a wide-ranging line of recycled fur products including luxe Christmas stockings, footstools, cell phone cases, and vintage jewelry. This year they also opened Crowned Cottage, an occasional shop in New Market. And, oh yeah, they do decorative and faux painting. No wonder they call themselves My Sister & I, Inc. mysisterandiinc.com