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From the Editor: We’re All Winners



If you're reading this I must not be dead. I'm not so lame as to think the Charlies was life-threatening, but there were times when I strongly wondered how founders Sue Zelickson and Scott Mayer pulled if off year after year and still lived to smile about it. 

Being part of the Charlies was incredible. If I had known how much I would love being involved, I would have added it to my bucket list long ago. (But then I would have had to take something off, like riding a horse on a beach or getting a dog, so maybe it's a good thing I didn't consult the list in my bucket first.)

What did I love about it? Hanging out with Sue, of course, and getting to know both the finalists and the presenters. As we heard numerous times at the ceremony, this is a great industry in a great food city—actually it's such a great food city it had to be divided into two cities just to accommodate all the great restaurants.

The four hosts for the evening, the rapping Amol Dixit, owner of Hot Indian Foods (who introduced himself as being married to the original hot Indian); Events Editor Laura Michaels, who looked like a movie star; Roshini Rajkumar, an executive coach and radio host for WCCO (or as she says, a foodie smart enough to marry a gourmet cook); and I took turns introducing the presenters, rock stars in their own right. There are so many people to thank, including all our sponsors, but I hesitate to do it here, because 1. I didn't win an award and my attempt wouldn't be as sweet and fun as the thank you speeches delivered from the podium, 2. I'm likely to forget someone and then will have to kick myself until the next award season rolls around. But one person I do want to single out is Molly Steinke of NemerFieger who did the Charlies PR. When you're a journalist, you sometimes only think about being nice to PR people when YOU need something, not when they're pitching stories to you that don't fit your needs at the time. So it was fun to work with Molly and see how vital a really good PR person is to an event. 

There were also the creative chefs and culinary students who helped prepare all the food for the afterparty—I heard more than one person say the food was the best ever. And who didn't love going right next door to Seven Steakhouse and avoiding the dirty urban snow drifts?

Beth Ewen wrote a lively story that makes it way back to two pages of pictures. They'll be more pics on FSN's and Charlies' website and social media. Check it all out and don't forget the VIP event March 12

Also in this issue, we covered another award program, this time for the ACF chefs. Nicholas Upton attended his very first vigil for a quick-service sign and Tom Kaiser tells us how to fight city hall. 

An interview with a career server dovetailed nicely with Server Speak this month. The most memorable celebrity(s) Murray's Ricardo Catarrinho has served were Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, who were dining together right after the thriller Silence of the Lambs came out. In true server mode, he says, he pretended not to know who they were so as to give them their privacy, but couldn't help smiling a bit when they both ordered the lamp chops. (Get it, he was silent, they ate the slaughtered lambs...)

OK, maybe I'm still a bit punchy from the Charlies. 

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