Charlie Awards Honor the Industry’s Best
With the executive chef of The Strip Club Meat and Fish on lead vocals and Corner Table’s main man in the kitchen showing off his guitar skills, the sixth annual Charlie Awards honored the best in the Twin Cities food and drink scene.
After the aforementioned J.D. Fratzke and Thomas Boemer and their Knives of Destiny band left the stage, the show continued and Eddie Wu, owner of Cook St. Paul, shared some poignant words as he accepted the award for Emerging Food Professional.
“I want to do everything I can not just with food, but for the community,” said Wu.
“My restaurant is a space where everyone is welcome, and no matter who you are you deserve great food.”
To close out the program, Molly Broder, the 2015 Lifetime Achievement honoree, began to introduce this year’s winner, noting, “a tomato variety has been named after her.”
Lynne Rossetto Kasper is the host and co-creator of food radio show The Splendid Table. She’s also a James Beard award-winner and, among many other things, a Minnesotan since 1985.
“Sharing with people what food can be, it’s about inclusion,” she said. “Our field banishes the idea of ‘other.’
“Thank you for feeding me and inspiring me.”
The November 13 awards show at Pantages Theatre was followed by an after-party at IDS Center Crystal Court, where culinary students from St. Paul College, Le Cordon Bleu, and Art Institutes International Minnesota served hors d'oeuvres. For the first time, ProStart students from Elk River and Sauk Rapids-Rice high schools also lent their talents, serving bites such as Parmesan gnocchi and seared beef and fig crostinis. A VIP dinner featured dishes from 2015 Charlie Award winners.
2016 Charlie Award Honorees
Outstanding Bakery: Patisserie 46
Nominees: Rustica, Sun Street Breads
Outstanding Bartender: Nathaniel Smith, Spoon and Stable
Nominees: Tim Leary, Tattersall Distilling; Keith Mrotek, Norseman Distillery
Outstanding Food Truck: MidNord Empanada
Nominees: World Street Kitchen, Taqueria El Primo
Community Hero: Fernando Silva, Harriet Brasserie
Nominees: Tim McKee, Lucas Hobbs
Outstanding Brewery: Town Hall Brewery
Nominees: Fair State Brewing, Lift Bridge Brewing
Outstanding Distillery: Tattersall Distilling
Nominees: J. Carver Distillery, Norseman Distillery
Emerging Food Professional: Eddie Wu, Cook St. Paul
Nominees: Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef; Mel and Ky Guse, GYST
Outstanding Restaurant: Joan’s in the Park
Nominees: Borough, Corner Table
Outstanding Chef: J.D. Fratzke, The Strip Club Meat and Fish
Nominees: Thomas Boemer, Corner Table and Revival; Jorge Guzman, Surly Brewing Co.
Lifetime Achievement: Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table
Nominees: Tammy Wong, Rainbow Chinese; Brenda Langton, Spoonriver