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Picturing the Charlies’ Kick-off

The Charlie Awards officially kicked off September 18 with short speeches; Joia cocktails; delicious hors d’oeuvres—the ingredients of which were supplied by US Foods and expertly prepared by ACF chefs and culinary students—music, comedy and large, walking, talking vegetables from Open Arms.

The event was a chance to thank last year’s sponsors and welcome new ones. It was also the beginning of the nomination process for the 2017-2018 Charlie Award winners. 

 To see more pictures of the event, check out Charliesexceptionale on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 


Founders of the event, Scott Mayer and Sue Zelickson, thanked last year’s sponsors and welcomed Foodservice News to the Charlies.

Joan’s in the Park co-owners, Susan Dunlop and Joan Schmitt, last year’s winner of Best Restaurant, will be helping prepare the 2018 Charlies’ sit-down dinner at Open Arms on March 12.

FSN Event Editor Laura Michaels served as emcee for the event.

Saint Agnes Bakery’s Dan “Klecko” McGleno was announced as one of four Charlie Award hosts. 

ACF Chef Gary Hjellming takes a break from his chef duties to pose with CenterPoint’s Ann Lovcik, left, Sue Zelickson and Phil Dvorak of Mise en Place Consulting. 

 Three of the colorful costumed veggies from Open Arms, the Charlies official sponsor, made the rounds. 

—Photos by Nick Upton

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