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Here's how the Giusti ritual goes. You book well in advance. When the day arrives, you hurry down a side street off the city's dignified Via Emilia to find the place shuttered. Frantically, you dial a number. The shutters are raised, and you are beckoned into a pocket-sized salumeria. This is Nano Morandi's boutique food emporium, filled with bottles of century-old balsamic vinegars and Emilia-Romagna's choicest Parmesans and prosciuttos. The walls of this hidden chamber glimmer with stemware in solid old cupboards. The four tables are crowded with dignitaries well into their second bottles of Barolo. When Nano offers you a plate of cured meats, savor them carefully: you might never eat such salumi again. The store part shuts for lunch, but behind it lies the inner sanctum of Emilian gastronomy. Lunch on gnocchi and house-cured zampone (spiced pork sausage) with lentils at Hosteria Giusti, a restaurant at the back of a 400-year-old salumeria that sells black-cherry jam made on the spot.

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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.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.