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Top Chefs and a Real Housewife at ‘Food and Wine’ Fete

Food and Wine magazine celebrated their 25th annual Best New Chefs in a lavish affair at Pranna last night. In addition to dishes served by past winners including Scott Conant, Michael Symon, Dan Kluger, and April Bloomfield, New York’s own Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese Food) and Alex Stupak (Empellon Cocina) were among this year’s recipients.

We caught up with Kristen Kish, winner of this season’s Top Chef, (above, with Top Chef Season 8 contestant Angelo Sosa) find out how the win has changed her and get the real scoop on nemesis Josie Smith-Malave.

“I get to go to a lot of cool parties,” Kish said of life post-win. “I’m just much busier.” So does she have any regrets about her famous fall on her sword? “No,” she said. “That’s just how I conduct myself. I was much happier leaving being who I was, even if there hadn’t been a Last Chance Kitchen.”

And if she could say one thing to Josie now? “No hard feelings,” said Kish. But her companion, who asked to remain anonymous, was not as PC. “I’d ask ‘Why were you even invited back?’”

Also on our minds: Does restauranteur Danny Meyer have as many lost weekends as we do from getting sucked into those addictive ‘Law and Order’ marathons, starring Stephanie March, wife of chef Bobby Flay? “Of course!” he said. “I can’t get enough of it! It’s always on somewhere.”

Before the night ended, we just had to ask Scott Conant, chef and judge on “Chopped,” who he would chop from the evening. “Myself!” he told us. “I’ve been too busy socializing to even be at my station!”

So at an event full of the best chefs, who caught the most attention? Surprise guests Kyle Richards and her husband Mauricio Umansky, (right) fresh off season 3 of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”

- JESSICA EULE

Red Rooster owner/chef Marcus Samuelson, Food & Wine’s Gail Simmons, and Top Chef Masters judge (and former Mediabistro food writing instructor) Francis Lam

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