Held in the Pantages Theatre on Hennepin Avenue on a cold, brisk Sunday afternoon, theCharlie Awards brought in quite the crowd. From renowned Minneapolis chefs to the city’s service industry crew, Monday is considered their Saturday. Drinks were flowing and flasks were passed around, it was a time to honor these hardworking culinary pioneers.
They celebrated in style with a live band to present award winners on stage and mini video clips that only people that have worked in a restaurant could truly enjoy. It truly felt like a classic award ceremony like The Golden Globes! Awards were handed out for a variety of categories: Best Restaurant went to The Corner Table, and Best Food Dish went to the St. Paul Grill for their wonderful steak sliders with French fries – that I now have to try. They also recognized this woman that had the most Open Table reservations this year, along with one of my favorite categories the Best Craft Beer – Harriet Brewing “Westside”.
Of course we couldn’t leave the event until we tried everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – at the reception. Located inside the lobby of the IDS building, the area was adorned with white lights, the beautiful waterfall fountain, and mannequins dressed in food. Our favorites ranged from the maple custard with a crunchy pecan chip to a lettuce wrap topped with perfectly cooked pork belly and (my personal favorite) Kimchee. We had the privilege to try all these appetizers, desserts, and beverages compiled from local culinary schools in Minneapolis.
EDD had first-hand experience at this year’s events and it was truly an honor to be invited. We can’t wait for what next year’s awards ceremony has in store!