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It was a big night for the ladies at The James Beard Foundation annual awardsfest, which took place May 9 in New York City: Prune chef (and best-selling Blood, Bones & Butter author) Gabrielle Hamilton proved the third time's the charm when she won Best New York City Chef after being nominated in 2009 and 2010.

Hamilton was unfazed by the event's ritziness. "I just want to be wearing ratty clothes in my apron again," she told New York magazine.  "I'm rewarding myself for the book by cleaning Prune. It's all I want  to do—lose myself by cleaning and scrubbing Prune, looking like sh-t. I'm fantasizing about it, in fact."

Entrepreneur Danny Meyer saw many wins for his portfolio of restaurants: The Modern's Belinda Chang won for Outstanding Wine Service; Eleven Madison Park's Angela Pinkerton won Outstanding Pastry Chef; and Eleven Madison Park also won the award for Outstanding Restaurant.

Other big winners include Gabriel Rucker, chef of Portland, Oregon's Le Pigeon (Rising Star Chef) and Jose Andres chef of minibar in Washington, D.C. (Outstanding Chef). 

Just how influential are the JBF Awards? Despite Anthony Bourdain's well-publicized criticism, they still seem to carry some weight: Try getting a non-5:30 reservation for 4 at ABC Kitchen anytime soon. 

Last updated: May 11, 2011

CLARISSA CRUZ | Columnist | Contributor

Clarissa Cruz is the Fashion Features Editor of O, The Oprah Magazine. She is the former Style Editor of People magazine and has written for Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Food & Wine, and Budget Travel.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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