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Beard Predictions: Who Will Win Outstanding Restaurateur/Chef?

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Tonight the top talents in the restaurant world, their handlers, and the press that so anxiously covers them will converge upon Avery Fisher Hall for the 2009 James Beard Awards. Ever since the final nominees were announced, the experts have been handicapping the awards and predicting who will return to the after parties as victors. We're really more interested in who you think should win and see how reader votes match up with the choices of the JBA voting panel. So, throughout the day, we'll run polls for the five most vital (to us) categories: Outstanding Restaurateur, Outstanding Chef, Best Restaurant, Best New Restaurant, and Best Chef NYC. The first two up ahead:

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