Charlie Awards 2014: Winners, a Kitchen Band, and Bad Yelp Reviews

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For the restaurant patrons and peers attending the 4th annual Charlie Awards at the Pantages Theatre, where over a dozen outstanding food industry professionals were honored, the most-heard mantras from award recipients were:

"Holy shit!" and some variation of "Don't thank me, thank my wife/girlfriend/significant other," ostensibly for putting up with the long hours and absenteeism inherent to dedication to the craft.

Highlights included Salty Tart's Michelle Gayer as co-hostess, as well as the Taste Buds (a Steven Brown-assembled crew of restaurant folk banging on pots and pans in lieu of musical instruments; Brown was disappointingly absent) and a big-screening of pro actors reading hilarious Yelp reviews.

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Our Predictions for the Oscars of Local Dining: The 4th Annual Charlie Awards


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Our Predictions for the Oscars of Local Dining: The 4th Annual Charlie Awards

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Charlie Awards

Sunday is the 4th annual Charlie Awards at the Pantages Theatre, where food industry pros are honored by their peers in formal, ceremonial, celebratory style. Some sneak peeks for this year's festivities include chef Steven Brown of Tilia and a band of mates literally banging on pots and pans, and conceivably, other instruments too.

According to Rick Nelson of the Star Tribune, Brown says Sue Zelickson, mastermind of the awards, thought he was a musician. "I love Sue Zelickson, and if she asks me to do something, I say 'Yes,'" said Brown. "She thought I was a musician, but I'm not. But there are so many people who work in restaurants who are involved in music, so we put out an open call."

Should be interesting. And if that ear candy doesn't, um, pan out, attendees will be treated to an afterparty at the IDS Crystal Court with the more traditional sort of chef contributions.

Without further ado, here are our Charlie Award predictions.

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Charlie Awards finalists announced


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Get 25% off Iron Fork 2013 tickets

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Happy Halloween, Iron Forkers!

Here's a Halloween treat for you foodies -- and there's no trick involved: Purchase your Iron Fork 2013 tickets today and get 25 percent off the general admission price.

On Thursday, November 7, celebrated local chefs will take over International Market Square for the annual Iron Fork competition. These six culinary whizzes will go head to head in a competition to create the most appetizing and healthful dish from a secret ingredient provided by Lunds. This year's competitors include last year's champion Landon Schoenefeld of Haute Dish, Daniel de Prado of Best Steak House-winner Burch Steak, the always enigmatic Jack Riebel of Butcher and the Boar, Ian Gray of Gray House, Stephanie Kochlin of Pig and Fiddle, and Pat Weber of the Art Institutes.

Click here and use the promo code TREATS to redeem this offer. The deal only lasts until Sunday, and with Iron Fork 2013 only a week away, you'll want to grab your tickets while you still can.

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Get your tickets to this year's City Pages Iron Fork competition! Sign up for our newsletter below or click here to purchase directly.

Chef Daniel del Prado on '90s rock bands and seeing a shrink

Each week, we'll interview two of the chefs participating in our 2013 Iron Fork competition. On November 7, these six culinary masterminds will go head to head to see who can create the most appetizing and healthful dish using a secret ingredient provided by Lunds. For more information on the event, or to purchase your tickets, click here.

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Courtesy of Daniel del Prado


Daniel del Prado
Executive Chef
Burch

Chef Daniel del Prado loves food and he always has. He credits his Italian mother for providing an early appreciation.

"Every Sunday, we would wake up and everyone was cooking and making pasta. A whole Sunday event," says del Prado. "Food was always a big part of my life. I eat a lot."

Originally from Argentina, Daniel del Prado's love of food has taken him around the world, from London to Copenhagen, and in the U.S. from Colorado to our own Minneapolis. Most recently, he partnered with longtime friend and mentor, Isaac Becker, at Burch Steak and is having "a marvelous time" there.

In fact, del Prado believes Minnesota chefs are some of the best in the country. "Minneapolis is in the top seven cities for food, no doubt," he says, "I'd say top five but someone would probably get mad at me."

As for why Minneapolis ranks so high, he has a theory. "Farming is closer to the chefs' process here. You must work with ingredients that are available during the varied seasons -- especially the winter."

Del Prado's high opinion of his fellow local chefs might make the upcoming Iron Fork a daunting prospect. He has never participated in a competition like this and isn't quite sure what to expect; although he believes his rustic cooking style could give him an advantage.

"I don't like too many ingredients on the plate. I feel like it means you're not confident about cooking something right, so you try to mask it," he says.

He wouldn't go so far as to predict his victory, but regardless of whether he wins or loses, del Prado knows what he will do as soon as the competition is over.

"Have a drink," he says, "either to celebrate or cry."

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Chef Stephanie Kochlin talks St. Paul pride, her Iron Fork competitors, and hatred of foams


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Celebrate the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden's anniversary with commemorative Cheerios

Categories: Contest, Events

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Courtesy of Walker Art Center
To celebrate the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden's 25th anniversary, Walker Art Center has created custom mini-boxes of Cheerios featuring the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry to hand out during this month's First Free Saturday event.

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Best of the Twin Cities: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden


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Calling all drink masters: Iron Bartender 2013 registration now open

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Things got heated at last year's competition

Now is the time for the hardworking men and women behind the bar to step forward and throw down. The Northstar Bartender's Guild has opened up registration for its 2013 Iron Bartender competition. Dust off the fedora, button up your best vest, and get ready: Here's how you can enter.

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Kaskaid hosts contest to name new Uptown restaurant

Categories: Contest
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At the very end of June, we reported that Kaskaid Hospitality Group, owners of the new Figlio, Union, Uptown Urban Eatery, and all the many locations of Crave had their sights set on the former Old Chicago space on Hennepin Avenue. The parent company confirmed purchase of the space just a few weeks later (as well as purchase of the former Trocaderos space in the warehouse district which is going to become a multi-tiered, multi-use event center) and now must go about developing an entirely new concept for the restaurant. But they want your help.

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Local chef showdown at TPT's Whisk Factor

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tpt.com
Crank up the ovens, the competition is going to get hot at TPT's Whisk Factor challenge next week.

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Michelle Gayer possible judge for new baking competition show
Signature Dish: Barbette's chef Sarah Master


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Win tickets to Monday's HOTlist event

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Kris Hase
Win a chance to hobnob with the local culinary glitterati

This Monday evening some of the most talented culinary minds will be gathering at the Guthrie Theater to raise money and awareness about childhood hunger. As these folks so often do, they will be bringing the fruits of their labor to share with ticket holders. While tickets are still available for purchase, the Hot Dish has scored two tickets for one lucky reader.

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Kingfield Farmers Market Rhubarb bake off this Sunday

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Minnesota grown bounty at Kingfield Farmer's Market

We've got it on good authority (i.e. the Weather Channel) that the weather will shine this weekend. Now is the time to grab this season by the sprouts and revel in this first season's produce. This Sunday, June 8, Kingfield Farmers Market will kick-off their bake-off competition where fans can cook up favorites from their kitchen and bring them to the market to compete for serious bragging rights and a $50 gift certificate. Market attendees also have the chance to taste the entries and crown a winner. Here's what you need to know before you go:

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