Hollywood has the Oscars (nicknamed for someone’s statuesque uncle)

College sports have the Heisman (named for the founding organization’s athletic director)

Music has the Grammys (named after the gramophone)

And the Twin Cities has the Charlies (named in honor of the area’s original fine-dining spot, Charlie’s Exceptionale)

The Charlie Awards are our version of the Academy Awards for the greater metro-area’s foodservice community. And on January 27, 2019, finalists will be in the audience of the Pantages Theater in downtown Minneapolis waiting to hear who will be called up on stage in nine categories to take home the coveted Charlie plate.

This is our chance to celebrate both the diversity in the Twin Cities restaurant community as well as its excellence. And at the same time support the good work being done by Open Arms, a nonprofit meal delivery service that prepares and delivers nutritious meals to people fighting life-threatening diseases. Proceeds from the awards program and afterparty go towards Open Arms’ mission.

Your $30 ticket is your passport to both the show and Afterparty. For ticket information, click here.


2019 Categories for Winners

Lifetime Achievement
Someone who has made a unique contribution to the local food service community as a mentor, influencer and/or innovator
(This is the only category with just one person revealed at the show.)

Community Hero
He or she uses their skills and platform to better the community, either through charitable acts or mentorship

Outstanding Chef
A working chef with at least 5 years in the industry, who shows consistency, relevancy, creativity and isn’t resting on his or her laurels. The chef of the moment, so to speak.

Rising Star
An under 30, up-and-coming foodservice professional whose talent and hard work guarantees he or she will make their mark on the Twin Cities community and go on to even greater contributions

Outstanding Baker/Pastry Chef
A working baker or pastry chef with at least 5 years of experience who is an artist when creating the staff of life or the masterpieces of desserts and morning pastries.

Outstanding Restaurant
A restaurant that continually hits on all cylinders with creative and exceptional food, atmosphere & service

Outstanding Restaurateur
Not all the magic happens in the kitchen. This category is for the owner of the restaurant with at least 5 years in the industry, who excels at running a restaurant, keeping it profitable and relevant and who is an influencer in the community

Beverage Innovator
A professional who is doing innovative work with wine/beer/spirits, either as a brewer, mixologist, sommelier, craft soda producer or bartender.

Hidden Gem
An out-of-the-box restaurant, food truck or catering service that often flies under the radar of the mainstream media, but is a favorite with the neighborhood or foodie fans.

Outstanding Service
A restaurant or foodservice business that excels at hospitality by being consistently outstanding and welcoming, and having an inviting and fun personality that makes people feel more at home than when they are at home.

Outstanding Barista
A working barista who can make a mean coffee drink during a rush, while being charming, customer-centric and attentive to detail.

Outstanding Caterer
A consummate professional who runs a catering company and sets up festive and delicious spreads for groups, with imagination, creativity and attention to every detail.

Outstanding Bartender
He or she possesses the skill-set to be an expert in both human nature and concocting  new and classic drinks, along with the ability to draw people out and guide their beverage journey with diplomacy and grace.

Best Entertainment Restaurant Venue
Sometimes called eatertainment, this outstanding venue never forgets food is first, drinks are first and fun is first. (can be kid-friendly or focus on the 21+ crowd)

Best Brewery
A brewing company that makes innovative beer or hard cider, has a social component, whether it’s a conscience or conscious effort to engage customers in a stellar product.