JBF Awards 2010 America's Classics Awards: The Bright Star in Bessemer, AL

The Bright Star opened in 1907. Descendants of Bright Star founding fathers—Tom Bonduris and his cousin Bill Koikos, natives of the farming village of Peleta in the mountainous Peloponnesus region —still serve Southern cuisine with "a Greek flair."

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JBF Awards 2010 America’s Classics Awards: Gustavus In in Gustavus, AK

Three generations of the Lesh family have welcomed guests to this farmhouse at the edge of a meadow overlooking Alaska's Icy Strait.

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Carol Blymire: Backstage with David Kinch

David Kinch, Manresa, is backstage with his girlfriend, the lovely Pim. Kinch, who won Best Chef: Pacific, loves the weight of his medal. He keeps holding it up against his knuckles, saying it is heavy enough to be a lethal weapon. He might need a weapon to fend off fans if he went on a cross-country road trip with his friend, Eric Ripert. Kinch says traveling wih Ripert would be awesome because "that charming accent and his good looks will open all kinds of doors. And, he's the only Frenchman who will eat barbecue."

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JBF Awards 2010 America’s Classic Awards: Al's French Frys in South Burlington, VT

Founded by Al and Genevieve Rusterholz in the late 1940s, Al's French Frys was originally housed in a small hut, open to the elements. Many Chittenden Countians encountered Als French Frys stand at the Champlain Valley Fair, where they earned a reputation that has endured for more than a half-century.

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Awards Watch: The Best of the Rest (Regional Chefs)...and More

Best Chef: Southeast: Sean Brock, McCrady’s, Charleston, SC Best Chef: Southwest: Claude Le Tohic, Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand  Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas Humanitarian of the Year: Wayne Kostroski, Taste of the NFL America’s Classics: Al’s French Frys, South Burlington, VT Stay tuned for Outstanding Pastry Chef, Who's Who inductees, and more.

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Marcia "The Tablehopper" Gagliardi: And Now the Cutest Couple Has to Make Room for a Third...

Yup, here’s David Kinch (who just won Best Chef: Pacific) with Pim, and now James makes three. I have to hand it to him, I think he gave my favorite speech so far tonight. Not only did he thank his staff and lovingly thank his parents, but he also thanked Ella. As in Ella his cat. Meow.

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Shut Up, Foodies: Blowtorches

Blowtorches. That means there's serious business afoot.

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Apron Anxiety: Daniel Boulud Pigs Out

Daniel Boulud is not shy about his prefered pig-out food; that's not to say he can pronounce it. I asked him what he eats from a hotel minibar, in honor of José Andrés's Minibar. "Oh I love those things when I'm hungry. I will first choose the chewy, cherry, twisty things." I say, "Twizzlers?" He nods and continues..."Peanuts, Gummy Bears, and those fake potato chips in the tube." I ask if he means Pringles. "Yes, sprinkles. I eat those."

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Shut Up, Foodies: Star Wars

I like that the winners get a medal and not a statue. It adds a certain League of Justice Superfriends flavor, but I suspect it is an allusion to the scene in Empire Strikes Back when Princess Leia gives Han Solo and Luke their awards. The Beard Foundation is 100 percent Star Wars realness!

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Marcia "The Tablehopper" Gagliardi: It's Time to Hum(m) a Happy Tune

Just had a chance to powwow with the gracious and talented Daniel Humm of Eleven Madison Park (who won Best Chef New York). He took a moment to reminisce about living and working in San Francisco: “It has a special place in my heart. It was my first place in America, it was the place where I met my wife, it’s the place where I got four stars from the San Francisco Chronicle. I also loved to live there, I loved the ingredients...But there is something special about New York. When you come to New York, you feel that energy. Anybody who lives in New York is here to achieve something special. I wanted to be a part of that, to contribute to that energy. I am very happy to have a busy restaurant here. Like Frank Sinatra said..." [We both chuckled here]. "There is a lot of truth to what he said. If you can make it there...you’re on top of the world.”

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