Imagine planning a 2 day, 3 stage, 12 (or so) band event. That's exactly what Meghan (fellow ISES member) and Emily are responisble for creating every year in an around the grounds of the Basilica in downtown Minneapolis. The volunteer orginazation was insane, the production quality, timing and exectution was seriously top-dollar, and holy crap - the talent!!!
Well anyway, this some of day one. Day two to follow shortly.
Earlier this Spring, MN Monthly Magazine asked me to cover their annual Chef's Challenge at the Mall of America. Their incredible staff photographer, Todd Buchanan, was also there shooting stills but mostly creating a live video feed for the audience as well as for use on the magazine's website. Needless to say, it was a prividledge to work next to him.
The challenge took place over two days and involved 16 of Minnesota's finest chefs. At the end of the day, it was chef Vincent Francoual of Vincent - A Restaurant vs. chef J.D. Fratzke of A Strip Club cooking like mad to win $10,000. To see more photos and see who won, pick up a copy of MN Monthly Magazine, or visit their website.
This event is one of the Basilica Landmark's most important fund-raising events of the year. The event included an impressive silent and live auction, and plenty of excellent food and entertainment for the guests. The entire ball was designed by a small group of talented St. Mary's event planners.
This past Friday was the Minneapolis/St. Paul ISES chapter's (International Society of Event Specialists) annual award night called the Star Awards. This was my third time attending, and first time as a member. Most of the awards given are for entries submitted by both members and non-members for a variety of categories that are independently judged by another chapter. These entries are comprised of the very best events by the very best event specialists in the Midwest. It is always quite a treat to be a part of such an event.
This year, I was excited to part of one of the most sought after awards - Best Team Effort. Let me tell you, this award is not an easy thing to win. Our fearless leader and event designer, and past president of ISES, Lisa Marie Borchert, submitted an excellent entry that was nominated. The other two nominees' events and teams would be VERY tough to beat. Well guess what, we won!! It was the last award of the night and was simply thrilling to be up on stage with this amazing group of people that I worked with on Lisa Marie's event.
But we're not done yet :) I mentioned that before that most awards are for entries, but there is one in particular that is not. Every year, the ISES board has a committee that votes to award the Star Award for Best Partner. (ISES has many partners that help make all the activities and programs throughout the year a success) Well wouldn't you know, they awarded yours truly for that honor! This was the second to last award of the evening, and when they called my name, I was totally.....well, speechless. I can not think of another time that I was ever more surprised. I hope I never see the video of this because apparently, my surprise was pretty obvious.
Thank you to all those who made this year's Star Awards such a huge success. And, a big thanks to those who felt I was a great choice to bestow the honor of being the Best Partner. I look forward to continuing to support and help ISES in any way I can.
Recently, The Sample Circuit asked me to be their super official Grand Poobah photographer for their 2010 season (okay, I embellished a bit there). Quite an honor and opportunity for me. If you love great food and beverages, and trying out new restaurants, The Sample Circuit is definitely for you. There will be 6 events this year to which anyone can buy tickets and enjoy.
Other than photographing the events themselves, each chef will be photographed beforehand. That's right, I get to harass, bad-mouth and boss around some of the best-of-the-best chefs in the Twin Cities. How cool is that?? I'm really excited about this project because it is perfect for what I love to do - photographing people and the things people do.
My first victim was the executive chef of Restaurant Max at the Hotel Minneapolis, Nick O'Leary. I'll spare you a poorly written bio of this young and talented chef who LOVES his mama! To learn more about him, check out the Sample Circuit's very own Katy Tepley's interview with him right......here.
Here are a few portraits of Nick, as well as a few from the event Tuesday evening. And Nick, I WILL take you up on the shot of Powers in the very near future. ....I had to bail early to make sure I got home in time to say goodnight to Isaac. I know, ahhhhhh right? Tell that to a chef who's in the mood to celebrate a terrific evening. And that guy's got some serious peer pressure abilities! You just can't help to agree, "you're right, I really should jump off this bridge huh?"
Nick wanted to be sure I had a chance to harass his sous chefs, Jess and Tom.
Kevin, owner of Minnesota Vine Partners/Meilleurs Vins de Provence, brought some seriously impressive wines. He's only one year as an importer and of the 7 wines he's working with FIVE have won Best in Show!
Like hard cider? Then you HAVE get yourself a bottle of Crispin Original or their Saint. In the words of the great Jimi Hendrix, "Oh so tasty." Chris was there serving it up to very pleased guests. They're a local company with their headquarters in NE Minneapolis.
Other than making Nick's portraits, this was the first time I'd been to the Restaurant Max. Not only were they able to provide a ton of space for the Sample Circuit guests, but they were also able to seat regular guests AND serve a busy bar without missing a beat. Wonderful service and excellent taste in decor to say the least.
..I about crapped my pants when Nick said he wanted a photograph with me. Nice work on the great shot Katy.