The James Beard Awards: Gallery Of Culinary Superstars

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Guru Meditation:

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One of the real thrills of attending the Beard Awards is getting to mix and mingle with the sort of folks who otherwise you'd only expect to encounter with a TV screen (or at the very least, a kitchen wall) between you. Not only are chefs and food celebs just about the nicest bunch of famous people you could hope to meet, they're also delightfully willing to let folks run up to them and urgently request to take their picture using a cellphone.

Above: Mindy Segal's back tattoos. After the jump: all of our new best friends!

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L to R: Frog & Koren Greiveson; Martha Stewart; Grant Achatz
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L to R: Nick Kokonas; Paul Kahan & lovely wife; Stephanie Izard
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L to R: Todd English; David Chang and lovely lady; Lorraine Bracco
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L to R: Jacques Pepin; Mark Steuer and Mindy Segal; Ming Tsai and Barry Rice
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L to R: Carrie Nahabedian; Ed Levine and Ming Tsai; Ted Allen

[All photos by Helen Rosner]