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What's Entertaining at the Charlie Awards Feb. 9

Michael Drabik, a blues, jazz and soul-based singer/songwriter will be part of the entertainment at the 9th Annual Charlie Awards, Sunday, Feb. 9, starting at 3 p.m. at the Pantages Theater.

This year’s Charlies will be even more entertaining than in years past. Along with presenting 12 “Outstanding” awards and a recognition for Lifetime Achievement, we have a new house band and singer, rappers, a third-installment of Joey Hamburger and Sheep Theater’s Chef’s Table video spoof and spoken word.

Poet/Baker Dan “Klecko” McGleno 

Not sure what spoken word is? It’s storytelling short and sweet—we’d say poetry, but that might scare you.

Poet/Baker Dan “Klecko” McGleno is no stranger to the Foodservice News audience; he’s written one of our most popular columns for years. In his combat boots, tats and hulking size, Klecko may not look the part, but recently he’s embraced poetry and a dashing facade. In his book, Hitman-Baker-Casketmaker: Aftermath of an American’s Clash with ICE, he addresses the circumstances behind the 2018 demise of St. Agnes Baking Company, as well as vignettes about his mother’s possible hitman boyfriend and girls wanting cake. We never know what to expect from Klecko, except that we'll be entertained and enlightened.

The energetic five-piece house band has been put together by Jordan Hedlund, who as a musical director has created bands, charts and show orders for sold-out shows at The Dakota, nationwide theater productions and elaborate variety shows. He's worked with some of the finest musicians and groups around including VocalEssence, Moore by Four, T. Mychael Rambo, and is currently on tour with Rhythmic Circus. And there's no question that live music elevates an event to the rafters. 

They will also be accompanying Michael Drabik, a blues, jazz and soul-based singer/songwriter. Drabik is perfect for the Charlies and the Pantages stage because in addition to his musical talent he’s part of the industry as a server at Eastside Eat + Drink.

If you attended the Musical Feast at the Minnesota Orchestra last year and watched the Travail chefs creates a giant noodle to the strains of classical music, most likely, you, too, were struck by another act, the Urban Youth of Appetite for Change. These talented youngsters are part of the nonprofit’s program to “use food as a tool to build health, wealth and social change in North Minneapolis” through cooking and growing food.  They will be performing an original song they wrote around the political subject of food.

Joey Hamburger and Sheep Theater is bringing back the clueless chef Zac La Cremme

And fan favorite Joey Hamburger and Sheep Theater are bringing back the clueless Chef Zac La Cremme for another culinary adventure. Known as “Old Forky” by the restaurant’s owner because he loves to “steal” forks from restaurants he visits (Hmm, wonder who they based that on?), Zac was inspired to pursue becoming a chef by the cooking rat in the movie, Ratatouille. And after all, this is the year of the Rat in the Chinese Zodiak. If you’re not used to laughing out loud, get ready to learn how.

And then there are the highlight of 12 of your peers walking up the red carpet onto the stage to receive a coveted Charlies plate, a peer recognition for being outstanding in your chosen profession. Thank you speeches are heartwarming, funny and sure to touch you with their sincerity. We will also be awarding the Lifetime Achievement Award to two giants in the local food scene.

The show starts at 3:30 p.m., Sunday, February 9, at the Pantages Theater in downtown Minneapolis. Tickets are $30 each and also include entrance to the Afterparty, next door at Seven Steakhouse and Sushi, where you can eat, drink, commesorate with your peers and celebrate the finalists and winners.  For tickets, go online at www.foodservicenew.net/Charlies or email us at info@charliesexceptionale.com or call 612-767-3229.

Urban Youth of Appetite for Change

Musical Director Jordan Hedlund


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