Louise McCready: Last award

Outstanding Chef Dan Barber's speech: "I remember telling my father, I want to be a chef. He said, why? I said, I love food. He said, I love books, but I don't read for a living...As the economy collapsed, most industries died down to the lowest common denominator. But fine dining didn't become less fine and I credit managers, and mostly chefs, who refuse to lower that bar and love food and continue serving good food."

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Louise McCready: Food!

I've never had octopus carpaccio until this night. Only now do I know what I've been missing! Thinly sliced octopus with an incredible olive oil. None of the chewy texture many people hate about octopus. Also, Debbie Gold's cured bone marrow on mustard croutons with parsley and ramps---you know the taste of pork belly? Imagine that with the texture of an olive-oil grilled crouton. Add a quick shot of mustard.

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Meredith Arthur: It may be late in the evening...

But it's never too late for Jean Georges to win for Outstanding Restaurant and Dan Barber to win for Outstanding Chef. Not too surprising overall. In fact no surprises. But well deserved success all around. Congrats to the winners. What a happy night for them all.

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Jody Williams: My favorite

Holly Smith does green apple sorbet (perfect) topped with crab meat (fresh and succulent) with a pinch of crab buttet powder!!! Get upstairs and get it!

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Louise McCready: I hate twittering

Drew Nierporent, who won Outstanding Restaurateur, said as he thanked his presenters that he's gained 50 lbs with each restaurant. His speech: "I know you're hungry. Rocco behind me is eating his ear. Hold on a second, I'm twittering. Don't you hate that?!?" He said he knew he'd win because he stepped in dog shit last night. What?!?

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Adam Sachs: Gratuitous Martha Stewart Mention #2

A journalist drifted outside the media room to sneak a smoke outside. "Martha walks by and sort of hisses at me 'oooh smokers!' But if anybody is going to scold you it might as well be Martha."

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Meredith Arthur: Winners

Had to take a quick break from the Awards and try a fantastic beet brownie from Monica Pope at T'afia. It was so inventive and set apart from the many beef carpaccios. Now back in time for the final biggies: Drew Nieporent, David Chang, and da da dum...

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Adam Sachs: Gina DePalma wins!

"This is the coolest thing!" says Ed Levine, journalist and proprietor of Serious Eats, is watching Gina DePalma win for Outstanding Pastry Chef. "Gina is amazing. She is just a great writer and she's been through a lot lately. This is the best thing ever."

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Jody Williams: Let the tasting begin

Jennifer Petrusky's fava bean and onion surprise is a great start to the tastes being served by women chefs. Anita Lo's steak tartar has added surprise---she personally spoons a granita of asian pear juice into each dish.

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Louise McCready: Food fight

It's 9pm. The awards aren't done, but presenters, recipients, and guests alike are storming the stands. I feel sorry for the chefs attempting to put finishing garnishes on the food before it's whisked off their table.

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