Immaculate Infatuation: Tom Colicchio

Lex Luther preaching his plan for world domination.

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Immaculate Infatuation: Calling Ruth Bourdain

Ruth Bourdain (winner of the Humor Award), show your face already. Ken Friedman, we know it's you.

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Immaculate Infatuation: A Wine Win for NYC

Shocker. The nominated NYC wine program (@The Modern), beats out all the smaller market joints. Score one for the home team.

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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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Awards Watch: Paul Virant, where were you when…?

"I was taking the Metra train to the city and one of my new partners, Kevin Boehm of Boka Group, sent me a text message. I couldn't celebrate then because the day had just begun, but I did open a bottle of Sea Smoke with my wife, Jennifer, that night!" –Paul Virant of Vie, nominated for Best Chef: Great Lakes, on where he was when he found out he was nominated.

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Megan & MHT: Midwest Love

Colby Garrelts, 2011 nominee for Best Chef: Midwest, and his wife, pastry chef Megan, arrived at Lincoln Center with a stack of postcards for their new cookbook, out in November. The book will read like a menu at their Kansas City restaurant, Bluestem, and pay tribute to seasonality--midwest-style. "Although the seasons are shorter," said Megan, "there's a lot going on in the midwest." The two met while cooking at Tru in Chicago and have been catching up with friends who also worked the line there. Case in point: dinner at Alex Stupak's new West Village spot, Empellon.

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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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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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