Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: February

This month’s philanthropic food events: a “Chopped”-style competition, the Charlie Awards, and cocktails with your dog

Sizzlin’ Hot

WHAT: Sizzle For A Cause  
WHEN: Thursday, February 22, 6:30 -9 p.m.
WHERE: Lafayette Country Club, Minnetonka Beach 

WHY: To raise funds to benefit the ICA food shelf, a social services agency offering food and financial and employment assistance to families in the western suburbs of Minneapolis (Minnetonka, Hopkins, Excelsior, Deephaven, Woodlawn, Greenwood, and Shorewood).

INSIDER INFO: Local chefs from five Lake Minnetonka restaurants—The District, Baja Haus, Jake O’Connor’s, Joey Nova’s, and the Lafayette Club—will battle it out in a Chopped-style cooking competition to take home bragging rights as well as the coveted Golden Clever. Tastes are provided for all the guests. Tickets in advance: $50. At the door: $60. VIP tickets: $100 for 5 p.m. pre-party hosted by Coalition and Red Sauce Rebellion Chef Eli Wollenzien, with complimentary apps and champagne. Learn more.

Taking Home a Charlie

WHAT: The Charlie Awards
WHEN: Sunday, February 25, 3:30 p.m.; 5–7 p.m. after-party 
WHERE: Pantages Theater and Seven Steakhouse 

WHY: To celebrate and honor the peer-to-peer recognition of the best food and drink in the Twin Cities area and to raise funds for Open Arms, which cooks and delivers nutritious foods for those with home-bound illnesses.

INSIDER INFO: This year, the Charlies are being produced by the Food Service News staff and will continue highlighting the great work that our culinary community does for our dining pleasures, including all the non-profits they support all year long. The VIP soiree, held at Open Arms of Minnesota on March 12 at 6 p.m., will feature cuisine from last year’s Restaurant of the Year winner Joan’s in the Park as well as other illustrious past winners, such as Eddie Wu of Cooks St Paul and Phil Gaffney of MidNord Empanada Truck. Tickets may be purchased in person at the State Theatre Box office, 805 Hennepin Avenue, or call to reserve at 612-767-3229. $25 for the awards show and after-party, $125 for the awards show, after-party, plus VIP dinner on March 12th at Open Arms of Minnesota. Learn more. 

For the Dogs

WHAT: Whisker Whirl
WHEN: Saturday, February 24    
WHERE: Union Depot, 240 E. Kellogg Blvd., St Paul

WHY: To benefit the Animal Humane Society.

INSIDER INFO: Bring your pooch and enjoy cocktails and yummy food stations, auction items, and activities. Learn more.

check back each month for sue z.’s philanthropic event picks

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Sue Zelickson (Sue Z.) is a James Beard Award-winning food media personality, philanthropist, and longtime contributor to Minnesota Monthly and WCCO radio. She has founded the Charlie Awards, the Women Who Really Cook networking organization for women in the local food industry, and the Kids Cafe at Perspectives, Inc., which improves access to nutritious meals for families in need. You can find her buzzing around from event to event throughout the Twin Cities, helping to raise funds for charitable organizations, including some she has had a hand in building.