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Rachel Maddow Toast-Fest

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How cool is the Society of Gentlemen? For starters, it promotes civility, respect and other gentlemanly behavior and awards scholarships to college-bound high-school seniors. (Its founders include my friend Peter Lindberg, editor-at-large for F&W’s sister magazine Travel + Leisure; director Spike Jonze, who designed the goofy logo of a man who needs help finding his arm; and actors Mike Myers and Dermot Mulroney.) And it quite possibly reached the zenith of coolness on Saturday, when they hosted a Night of Toasts—an Evening of Cocktails and Conjecture at New York's Player's club. There was a presentation about the history and trivia surrounding toasts: Why raise your glass? Why clink? There was a special guest toastmaster: Rachel Maddow. There was an equally star-packed audience (Catherine Keener, Samantha Mathis, Keanu Reeves looking like Serpico with a beard). And yes, there were drinks to toast with, including Manhattan on Toast (Manhattans with flamed lemon peel) created by legendary mixologist Sasha Petraske and the Jack Rose, Maddow’s favorite cocktail, which just happens to be featured in F&W’s brand-new Cocktails 2009.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.