Foodspotting: Backstage with Rising Star Chef Gabriel's Purple Sneaks

Gabriel Rucker's kicks Backstage celebrating with the Award winners *right* when they get off the stage at the the Mercedes-Benz Victory Lane. Exciting vibe in here. First up to win was Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon, winner of the Rising Star Chef of the Year Award. Award presenter Marcus Samuelsson told us this is the hardest category to win, as you're up against the whole country. Funny story: Gabriel nervously packed two left black shoes, and had to wear these purple sneakers with his black tie gear. Adorable!

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Immaculate Infatuation: Wine and Spirits?

Wine and spirits award being handed out.  Unfortunately no wine or spirits being handed out.

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Immaculate Infatuation: Bar?

How is there no bar open on premises right now?  We can't write like this.

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Megan & MHT: Tom Douglas

Nominee Tom Douglas and his wife prepared for the evening with a strenuous day of sandwich eating around town. The morning started with an egg sandwich near their hotel followed by what they're sure was the entire menu at Prune. Just a hop across Houston provided a bagel with lox at Russ & Daughters (a favorite amongst the chefs walking the carpet). Next came a pastrami sandwich down the way at Katz's. Enough? Not quite. Last stop, a porchetta sandwich at Sara Jenkins's Porchetta with crispy potatoes, the memory of which brought a big ol' grin to Douglas's face. Fortifying.

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Immaculate Infatuation: Fashionably Late

Ken and April rolling in music biz style. Fashionably late, because they can.

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Imaculate Infatuation: Chang sighting

D. Chang, not one for doing much press, gets corralled for an interview momentarily before making a b-line off the green carpet.

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Megan & MHT

Pigs Not a joke. Mortimer in a tux and Mauve in a fancy navy ball gown were just ushered down the green carpet by Raj of Whistlepig Rye Whiskey in Vermont. Tough luck for the hogs: while the chefs were inside preparing appetizers for the nominees, the pigs were dining on brown apple slices in front of Avery Fisher Hall.

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Immaculate Infatuation: Michael White on the red carpet

              Michael White dropping pasta knowledge. Big man looks good in a suit.

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Immaculate Infatuation: Red Carpet

The crew from Canlis in Seattle looking smart on the carpet.

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Immaculate Infatuation: A Chef and his Mentor

Grant Achatz and Thomas Keller Thomas Keller is looking quite badass this evening.  

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