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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Restaurant Dispatch

Top Chef Takeover: Jeff McInnis Lands in NYC

Hard-core Top Chef devotees take note: Top Chef season 5 contestant Jeff McInnis (most recently of Yardbird in Miami) and a new cheftestant, Janine Booth, who makes her debut tonight on season 11 in New Orleans, will be helming Root & Bone, slated to open in New York City’s East Village in January. Taking over a site formerly occupied by an old soul food restaurant, the new spot will celebrate Southern foodways through dishes like caramelized brisket meat loaf with smoky plantain crème, sunchoke and house-made ricotta “tater tots” and Carolina Gold rice risotto with butter beans and pickled egg yolk. To pair with the chefs’ modern takes on Southern dishes, the restaurant will serve an all-American beer and wine list with a focus on craft brews from the South. The chefs are also forming a partnership with Mama’s Bar next door to offer a hip, Southern gastropub late-night menu and weekend brunch. McInnis and Booth, his chef de cuisine, arrived in town only a few weeks ago but they are already inspired by the local produce: “I live near the Union Square farmers’ market and the vegetables are just amazing,” says McInnis. “The flavor of a carrot here is so beautiful and bright. It’s very different from what I could get in Miami.” And fanatics of the crave-worthy fried chicken he served at Yardbird can rest easy: He’ll be playing with different variations on the dish at Root & Bone, experimenting with spicy, mild and crunchy versions.

Related: F&W Star Chef Jeff McInnis
Top Chef Challenge: Fresh Corn Grits with Shrimp

Restaurant Dispatch

Pork Slope's Ode to the Best Dive Bars

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Corner Bistro

Corner Bistro burger / © A. Naro

Having tackled buzzy Asian fare in Brooklyn with the ultrasuccessful Talde, Dave Massoni, John Bush and Top Chef alum Dale Talde turned their attention to building a neighborhood bar: Pork Slope, which opened over the weekend in Park Slope.

Read more about Pork Slope plus the team's favorite dive bars >

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Top Chef

Bravo Gets a Peek Inside Family Meals at Uchi

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At some restaurants, staff meals or “family meals” before service can be as simple as a pot of hastily thrown together chicken and rice, but at the unconventionally Japanese Uchi in Houston, Texas, they are a point of pride. To celebrate the new season of Top Chef Masters, which airs on Wednesdays at 10/9c, Bravo posted an exclusive look inside Uchi's enticing buffet-style staff meals. “We're a little bit spoiled,” says Top Chef Season 9 winner Paul Qui in the short film by Christian Remde. Homemade bread, crispy pork katsu, freshly-fried churros, miso-glazed salmon collar and even a side of sushi-grade blue fin tuna have made the cut. Top Chef fans won't be surprised to find out that there is an element of rivalry among the team. “We had a gnocchi battle when everybody got to make different kinds of gnocchi,” Qui says in the clip. Watch the video, and to find out where Qui eats out in Austin, check out his F&W Insider Travel Guide.

Related: Top Chef Dishes
Top Chef Top 10 Obsessions
Gail Simmons Rescues Top Chef Dishes

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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.