America’s Classic: Chef Vola’s, Atlantic City, NJ

Customers make pilgrimages to eat at Chef Vola’s, a traditional Italian-American eatery in Atlantic City, and our first America’s Classic of the night.

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2011 JBF Awards Show Opener

  The 2011 Awards opening video, for those of you not watching our live stream at jamesbeard.org/awardslive.

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Awards Watch: Belinda Chang, where were you when…?

Belinda Chang, wine director at Wine Service Nominee The Modern, was in the presence of greatness when she found out her restaurant made the semifinals, and again when the news broke of their nomination: “I was in Alsace at the legendary, historic Trimbach winery in February when the semifinalists were announced. I was with Jean Trimbach and his niece and we were opening up older and older Rieslings. My phone started buzzing and buzzing. I thought someone must have died or something. Then, on the day of the nominees announcement I was at Gramercy Tavern with winemaker Brian Talley and a room full of 25 sommeliers and journalists. Again, my phone started buzzing. I jumped up and screamed, and somehow managed not to spill wine all over myself! Tonight, I think I need to have a really fantastic winemaker sitting next to me. They seem to be good luck!”

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The 2011 JBF Awards Live!

The 2011 JBF Awards are underway. Here are all of the ways you can follow our live coverage tonight: JBF Awards Live: Live stream, live blog, and live tweets, all in one place at jamesbeard.org/awardslive Live Blog: Stay tuned to jamesbeard.org/blog for all the live updates from our live bloggers with images, video, and more. Twitter: Follow @beardfoundation on Twitter—and don’t forget to include #jbfa in your own Awards-related tweets!

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2011 JBF Awards: Welcome!

James Beard Awards medallion Welcome to the live blog of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Awards. The culinary stars are arriving on the red carpet, tonight’s featured chefs are setting up for the reception, and our team of guest bloggers is gearing up for the festivities. We’d like to introduce tonight’s guest bloggers who’ll be reporting, eating, and rubbing elbows with all the fabulous food folk: Just like years past, the team at Savory Cities will be joining Jennifer Leuzzi of Snack on the red carpet. Jennifer, a veteran of the JBF Awards, will be checking in to share her unique perspective throughout the night and interviewing winners as they make their way through the press room. Immaculate

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Follow the JBF Awards Online!

JBF Awards Can’t make it to the JBF Awards? We have a number of ways for you to attend virtually! To follow tonight’s Book, Broadcast, and Journalism Awards, park yourself in front of @beardfoundation on Twitter starting at 7:00 P.M. You’ll find out the winners as they’re announced, and a few recaps will be posted here on Delights & Prejudices as well. On Monday night you can tune into our live-stream of the Awards at Lincoln Center by going to jamesbeard.org/awardslive starting at 6:00 P.M. We’re also going to be live-blogging right here on Delights & Prejudices, and have assembled an elite team of guest bloggers to help us out, including Chris Stang and Andrew Steinthal of Immaculate Infatuation; Fiona Tang and Amy Cao of Foodspotting; Megan Krigbaum, associate wine editor of Food & Wine; photographer Michael Harlan Turkell, photo editor of Edible Brooklyn/Manhattan

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Interview with Menton's Barbara Lynch

Barbara Lynch
Opening a luxe restaurant in a former industrial zone that’s experiencing a gradual rebirth sounds like a hazardous venture, but Boston chef and restaurateur Barbara Lynch beat the odds last year with her latest project, Menton. With chef Colin Lynch (no relation) manning the kitchen, the establishment earned a spot on many 2010 “Best New Restaurant” lists, and it’s up for another accolade at the JBF Awards on May 9. Read on for our interview with Barbara Lynch about Menton's risks and rewards.

JBF: Menton is named after a small French village that’s very close to the Italian border. How is that specific place expressed in the food?

BL: Many of my restaurants are influenced by my sense of nostalgia for places I've been to. Menton is one of them. It’s a beautiful place and very French, but it shares a border with Italy so you can't help but feel that Italian soul.

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Awards Watch: Readers’ Choice, TV Food Personality/Host

Beard Awards: Readers' Choice

The results of our first Readers' Choice poll are in: Menton has won the Best New Restaurant category with 68 percent of the vote! Today we're inviting you to pick who you think should win the JBF Award for the best food personality or host on television. Have a look at the nominees below and cast your vote! Poll closes at noon tomorrow. [poll id="13"] Note: these results have absolutely no bearing on who will win a bona fide Beard Award. (You can read about the Awards nomination and voting procedure here.) To find out who gets the real prize, tune into Delights & Prejudices and

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Awards Watch: Readers' Choice, Best New Restaurant

Beard Awards: Readers' Choice To get an early start on the upcoming festivities, we're bringing back our Readers' Choice Awards, in which our audience gets to cast votes for their favorite JBF nominees. It's simple: we set up a snazzy poll and you make your pick. Our first category is Best New Restaurant. This year's BNR noms are especially impressive, and likely backed by passionate legions of fans on their home turf, so we're expecting this contest to be pretty intense. So size up the contenders below and vote! We'll close this poll at noon tomorrow, then launch another round in the afternoon. [poll id="12"] Note: these results have absolutely no bearing on who will win a bona fide Beard Award. (You can read about the Awards nomination and voting procedure

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