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Guild hosts gala, honors restaurants

The Spokane Culinary Arts Guild held its first awards gala Tuesday night at Max at Mirabeau in Spokane Valley.

This was the first year for the gala and the second year for the local chef and restaurant awards. This time, there were a lot more categories – and, of course, winners.

The Spokane Culinary Arts Guild, founded in 2017, is owned and operated by the husband-and-wife team of Erin and Rob Peterson. It’s made up of volunteer “tastemakers” who help review restaurants and vote on the awards.

“We don’t call ahead. We don’t ask for free meals,” Erin Peterson said. The goal, she said, is to support and promote restaurants with patronage and free social media coverage.

“Spokane has some true excellence that’s in a pocket here that no one really sees,” she said. “I’ve made it my personal mission to seek out the very best and that’s who we’re honoring here tonight.”

Renee Cebula of Raising the Bar vintage barware and Spokane chef, restaurateur and SCA Guild award-winner Jeremy Hansen gave keynote addresses.

Hansen started his speech by telling guests the restaurant business is “hard.” There are a lot of “long days.” To those who might be thinking about getting into the industry, he joked, “Don’t do it.”

Then, he said, “I’m actually honored to be part of it. … You get to express who you are as a human being. It’s just a great living, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’ve met a lot of amazing people. I’ve eaten a lot of amazing food. I’ve gotten to see our community grow.”

Dinner was catered by the culinary staff at Max at Mirabeau, who received applause and a standing ovation at the end of the night.

The SCA Outstanding Restaurant Awards were presented by Numerica Credit Union. The winners are:

Fine DiningPark Lodge

Upscale CasualVine and Olive


Fast CasualCochinito


Bar – Hogwash Whiskey Den

GastropubProhibition Gastropub

Best New Restaurant for Fine DiningPark Lodge

Best New Restaurant for Casual Dining – Cochinito

Best New BarTiny Tiki

Spokane Legend Luna

The Category Awards were presented by Windermere Valley/Liberty Lake. The winners are:

Best Destination Dining1898 Public House

Best Neighborhood DiningElliotts, An Urban Kitchen

Best Sushi – Izumi

Best Ice Cream – Panhandle Cone and Coffee

Best Hotel DiningTable 13 at the Davenport Grand

Best Family Dining – Central Food

Best BBQ – Junior’s Barbecue

Best Food Truck - Raw Dead Fish

Best Ethnic Dining – D’Bali Asian Bistro

Best Take Out – King of Ramen

Best Bakery The Grain Shed

Best Craft Cocktails – Ruins

Best CafeMadeleine’s Cafe and Patisserie

Best Quick Lunch Soulful Soups and Spirits

Best Market – Main Market

Best Wine Tasting RoomNectar Tasting Room

Best BreweryWhistle Punk Brewing

Best Juice/Smoothies – The Wellness Bar

Best Southern FoodTen/6

Best DoughnutsHello Sugar

Best Tacos – Cochinito

Best SteaksWolf Lodge

Best Seafood – Hay J’s

Best Vegan DiningMizuna

Best Burger Durkin’s Liquor Bar

People’s Choice for Burgers – Messy’s Burgers

Best Sandwiches – Smacky’s On Broadway

People’s Choice for SandwichesMeltz

Best CoffeeIndaba

People’s Choice for Coffee – Vault and Woops

Best PizzaVeraci

People’s Choice for PizzaThe Flying Goat

The Individual Awards were presented by San Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water. The winners are:

Best Chef – Jeremy Hansen of Inland Pacific Kitchen, Hogwash Whiskey Den, Sante Restaurant and Charcuterie, Biscuit Wizard and 509 Cooks.

Best Front of House/ManagerJustin Curtis of Cochinito

Best Bartender Simon Francis Moorby of Hogwash Whiskey Den

Best Food Event Coeur d’Alene Food and Wine Festival

Best Food BlogFeasting At Home by Sylvia Fountaine

Restaurateur of the YearTony Brown of Ruins

Best Guild Tastemaker – Queena Hale

(And I was honored, too – for Best Food Writing.)

For more information about the Spokane Culinary Arts Guild, visit

To see a list of last year’s winners, visit