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Local columnist receives award in journalism for culinary excellence

Amy Thielen

Food columnist Amy Thielen has received the notable 2011 James Beard Foundation Journalism Award, recognizing culinary excellence.

Thielen, a former food journalist for the Enterprise, learned she'd been chosen for the award in the "cooking, recipes and instruction" category Friday at a dinner in New York City.

The award, which Time magazine refers to as the "Oscars of the food world," was based on her stories in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "A Good Catch," "Low Tech Wonder" and "From the Bean Patch: Plenty"

Monday evening, she attended a gala event at Lincoln Center with husband Aaron Spangler.

The winners, selected from final nominees announced in March, include an LA Weekly writer; Amanda Hesser's "Essential New York Times Cookbook, Top Chef: Season 7;" the San Francisco Chronicle's food section and the executive chef of the Prune, who won best chef, New York City.

Awards are presented in the categories of books, design and graphics, broadcast media and journalism.

"Food is our common ground," Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, said Monday night. She stressed the organization's commitment to the "melting pot" that is America's culinary industry.