Delicious DIRT. Chef Juice News, Awards + Shuffles: Danny Grant of RIA and Balsan Named a Best New Chef 2012; Chef Chris Macchia of Coco Pazzo to The Florentine; Chuy Valencia Leaves Chilam Bilam to Start Concept Cafeteria

DIRT Inside: Danny Grant, RIA, Balsan, Waldorf Astoria, Food & Wine, Stephanie Izard, Paul Kahan, Giuseppe Tentori, Coco Pazzo, Chris Macchia, The Florentine, Todd Stein, Piccolo Signo Due, JW Marriott, Chuy Valencia, Chilam Bilam, Top Chef, Soraya Rendon, Phil Tadros, Doejo, Natalia Oswald

Such Chef Moves:

Chilam Bilam Chicago via Facebook

Chuy Valencia of Chilam Bilam (and Top Chef Season 9 alum) has sold his shares in the resto to his partner Soraya Rendon, and has decided to move on to partner with hotness Phil Tadros in creating a chef-driven cafeteria. Tadros is interactive agency Doejo founder / coffee shop entrepreneur who’s been down since the social boom. This new cafeteria concept will allow diners to get classic dishes like a patty melt, beef stroganoff, meat loaf and other classic comforts. We’re hearing it’s possible name is “Ursa” and located in the East Lakeview area. Valencia is also releasing a book in the near future, “M.E.A.L.S.: Menus, Entrees, Anecdotes, Lies and Some Truth to Protect the Innocent and Equally Evil and Advantages That Helped Me Out Along the Way.” Chef Valencia will be leaving the kitchen at Chilam Bilam to his sous chef Natalia Oswald. We’ll keep you updated as more details on Chilam Bilam and the cafeteria project unfold. [Eater]

Chef Moves: Chef Chris Macchia of Coco Pazzo to Start at The Florentine 4/23. Below.

Chef Danny Grant Named Best New Chef 2012. Below.

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Delicious DIRT. Chi’s Own Final Beard Noms; Perennial Virant Mixologist Leaves; Mini Monday Round Up

DIRT Inside: James Beard Foundation, Next, The Aviary, The Violet Hour, Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Spiaggia, Topolobampo, Dave Beran, Michael Carlson, Schwa, Stephanie Izard, Girl and the Goat, Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia Perennial Virant, Matty Eggleston, Tenzing Wine & Spirits, Jessica Oroloso, Black Dog Gelato, Ukranian Village, Bleeding Heart Bakery, Intelligentsia, Merchandise Mart, Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center

Mini Monday Moves: What’s Going On In the CHI

Black Dog Gelato Courtesy of Grub Street

Jessica Oloroso’s Black Dog Gelato will be getting a second spot this spring, and it looks like it will be MUCH needed with all this beautiful spring and summer weather we are having here in the Chi. DIRT: BDG’s original location is in Ukranian Village, but the second gelato shop will be opening in Bleeding Heart Bakery’s old location @ 1955 W. Belmont. (BONUS DIRT: flavors like goat cheese cashew caramel and malted vanilla = TO DIE FOR.)

Brews Coming to the Merchandise Mart. Photo via Q Blog

Intelligentsia will be opening it’s fourth cafe, and this time in the Merchandise Mart. 1871, a tech-friendly center by Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, will house Intelligentsia in the Merch Mart. 22-seater, 12th floor, Wi-Fi included, all your coffee/tea/goodie cravings. Watch for it May 2.

Perennial Virant Saying Goodbye to Matty Eggleston. Below

Beard Noms Update: CONGRATS Chicago Noms. Below.

Oh my food porn feast...Goat Leg @ Girl and the Goat Courtesy of

Straight off the James Beard Foundation’s Twitter feed, we followed the live announcement of the final list of noms, and it’s as fresh as you can get: we’re delivering the Chicago noms to you. We’d like to congratulate all of the noms and send out a special congrats to everyone nominated in Chicago. Winners will be announced May 4 and May 7, so we’ll keep you posted! Full List below.

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Delicious DIRT. Gotta Check Out Epic Sky; Farm-To-Table Org. Ground Up Starts; “The Butcher’s Karma” by Sky Full of Bacon -> Watch Now!

DIRT Inside: Epic, Epic Sky, River North, farm-to-table, Ground Up, Spacca Napoli, Browntrout, Anteprima, C-House, Floriole, MK, The Bedford, Vincent and Wood, Mess Hall & Co., Rich Chocolates, Las Manas, Rare Tea Cellar, Green Grocer, Stephanie Izard, Heather Terhune, Sky Full of Bacon, Michael Gebert, Rob Levitt, Paul Kahan, Bartlett Durand, The Butcher & Larder, Publican Quality Meats, Black Earth Meats

Ground Up: Chefs Create New Organization, We’re Diggin’ the Farm-To-Table

Courtesy of Ground Up

Farm-to-table is here to stay . Chefs and restos across the city have been promoting and devising ways to bring food, farmers, and us urban-dwellers closer together for a while now. A new team of chefs have started a community called Ground Up, a “chef farmer community,” that aims to encourage farmer / chef collabs – and more than 12 of Chicago’s chefs have signed up already. So what can you do to help? Ground Up is hosting it’s first fundraising event Monday, April 9 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM at Spacca Napoli, and it’s first program (an indoor farmer’s market) at Browntrout on May 1. The program will benefit small family farms who provide to us right here in the Chi. The fundraiser in April will feature tastings from restos like Anteprima, Browntrout, C-House, Floriole, MK, The Bedford, Vincent and Wood, as well as vendors from Mess Hall & Co., Rich Chocolates, Las Manas, Rare Tea Cellar, and Green Grocer. Also – a silent auction with items from chefs like Stephanie Izard and Heather Terhune. Grab your tickets here! Get involved and go local!

Sky Full of Bacon’s Newest Mini-Flick: The Butcher’s Karma

Photo via PopSugar

Remember Dinner and a [Sky Full of Bacon] Movie? Whether you went to the event, or not, the film is now available for your viewing pleasure on Sky Full of Bacon’s blog.

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Delicious DIRT. Estate on the Riverfront, Chicago Brings Home the Nods, & Never Too Many Donuts

DIRT Inside: Estate Ultra Bar, Chris Turano, Dan De Los Monteros, 2012 JBF Restaurant and Chef Awards, Bistronomic, Next, The Aviary, The Violet Hour, Paul Kahan, Blackbird, Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia, Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Patrick Fahy, Café des Architectes, Mindy Segal, Mindy’s Hot Chocolate, Tru, Donnie Madia, One Off Hospitality, Topolobampo, Sepia, Dave Beran, Matthew Kirkley, L2O, David Posey, Matthew Carlson, Schwa, Stephanie Izard, Girl and the Goat, Martial Noguier, Chris Nugent, Goosefoot, Bruce Sherman, North Pond, Giuseppe Tentori, GT Fish & Oyster, Andrew Zimmerman, Do-Rite Donuts, Petterino’s.

Never Too Much of a GOOD THING: Do-Rite Donuts Opens in Loop

Bacon + Donuts = LOVE @DoRiteDonuts

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again! DONUTS ARE THE NEW CUPCAKES. We learned via Grub Street Chicago, that THIS morning @ 6:30 AM, Do-Rite Donuts opened in the Loop, attached to Petterino’s on Randolph. Francis Brennan and Jeff Mahin are the masterminds behind the latest addition to the doughnut line-up, bringing Lettuce Entertain You into the mix. And they’ve got some SERIOUS goodies in store: ranging from “gourmet” doughnuts (peanut butter + jelly + peanut better mousse topping) and “old-fashioned” cake doughnuts (topped with Tahitian vanilla or Valhrona chocolate) –> SO MUCH YUM. Definitely the next stop on our doughnut train. 50 W. Randolph.

NOW OPEN: Estate Ultra Bar is Rollin’ on the River

Peppadew Peppers by Estate Ultra Bar

Moving into some prime real-estate on the riverfront, Estate Ultra Bar is now open in River West.

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Delicious DIRT. Ring It In -> 2012

IN LOVE w Tiny Lounge

Inside: Packer Schopf Gallery, Moto, Kathy Halper Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, Azteca de Oro, Hideout, The Interview Show, Gaztro-wagon, Half Acre Brewery, Tiny Lounge, Chicago Pizza Tours, Blue 13, Working Chefs Dinner, Mark Steuer, Sushi Samba, Sushi and Sake 101, Hopleaf, This Much Is True, Stephanie Izard, Girl and the Goat, MCA  

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Delicious DIRT. Events This Week Kick ASSSSS

Longman & Eagle's Tete du Cochon with Sunnyside Duck Egg by Zemanation

Inside:  Food Porn, In Chef’s Hands, Cocktail Party/Fundraiser, Studio Paris, Chef Rodelio Aglibot, Chef Todd Stein, Vivo’s 20th Anniversary, U.S. Holocaust Museum, City Swarm, Sips & Songs, Bar Novo, Tock of Ages, The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Pop-Up, Longman & Eagle, Fall Pastry Market, Logan Square Kitchen, Sweet Spot Macarons, Rare Bird Preserves, Mayana Chocolate, Food & Wine, Food & Wine Entertaining Showcase, Museum of Contemporary Art, Koren Grieveson, Avec, Stephanie Izard, Girl and the Goat, Takashi Yagihashi, Slurping Turtle

Paris Club Delicious DIRT

11/8 Support In Chef’s Hands at their Cocktail Party/Fundraiser at Studio Paris. Jeremy Dubin, Chef Rodelio Aglibot and Chef Todd Stein helped start In Chef’s Hands in order to teach culinary skills to individuals with special needs. Enjoy drinks + passed appetizers while learning more about the organization + socialize with the best of ‘em. Tickets $35 in advance, $40 at the door. 59 W Hubbard. 6pm-9pm

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Courtesy of Xiamen

Our food nerd wet dream has officially begun. This fall, the city’s annual event line up might actually blow your mind. Well, maybe not your mind, but certainly your waistline is a GONER. Prepare to eat, drink and eat more…food porn galore. We’ll love every minute of it and thinking you will too.

Since there’s oh so many edible extravaganzas this fall, we did the dirty for you. Inside this post, the DIRT Team rounds up 7 of Chicago’s not to miss annual food festivals, events, + fiestas.

Chicago Gourmet Favorite Chocolate Cake by Barry Callebaut

Inside: Chris Pandel, Stephanie Izard, Mindy Segal, Graham Elliot, Chicago Gourmet, Hamburger Hop, Harris Theater Rooftop, Cultivate Chicago, Chipotle, Family Farmed, Paul Kahan, Tony Mantuano, Bruce Sherman, Paul Virant, Richard Blais, Michael Chiarello, Jonathan Waxman, Chicago magazine, Chicago’s Table, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Big Star, Davanti Enoteca, The Florentine, Longman & Eagle, Sable Kitchen & Bar, Second Annual Food Film Festival, New York Food Festival, Chicago’s Gateway Green, Green Tie Ball, A. Finkl & Sons, Return to Emerald City, Supreme Lobster Chef Challenge, Royster with Oyster, Shaw’s Crab House, Adam Richman, Man V Food
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

Delicious DIRT’s Fall Food Event Extravaganza Roundup

Courtesy of Eianz SEQ

9/17  Did you go green? This year’s Green Tie Ball boasted 65 Restaurants, 4 food trucks, and a partridge and a pear tree. Chicago’s Gateway Green hosted the 20th annual Green Tie Ball. This event truly helps keep Chicago green + serene. This year’s theme = The Return to Emerald City. We filled our pumpkin chariot with food, drinks + a huge party. Stay tuned for a full report on Delicious DIRT. Hint: our fave was the Bull + Bear BURGER. Heavenly. WE ate 6 of them! Hey, they were mini’s… For now, we hope you raised your glasses, loosened your belts, and helped keep Chicago sustainable.

Kouzina 2010 by Portokolada.com

9/21- 9/23 Get Everyone to the Greek! Join intellectuals, socialites, philanthropists and straight up food nerds at National Hellenic Museum’s Kouzina dedicated to showcasing culinary + cultural awesomeness of The Mediterranean culture. 9/21 entails sampling + tasting from Chicago’s trendiest most progressive varieties in Greek & Mediterranean foods + wines. On 9/22 Food Network star David Schneider, mastermind behind Taxim, serves a 4 course, 5 star meal paired with grandiose Greek wines as Culinary Institute of America Chairman Bill Anton wins his inaugural Cultural Icon Award. Food, wine, book signings, cooking demos, & many Greek market place delicacies are sure to leave you satiated. $200 for all 3 days, 1 day pass is $100. Nature Hellenic Museum 333 S Halsted

Photograph by Andrew Stamm

9/23 – 9/25 One of Chicago’s biggest and most anticipated culinary events, Chicago Gourmet, returns with weekend filled with chefs + fabulous food!
Hamburger Hop kick starts the weekend event from 6 – 9 pm as many of our friends & favorite chefs battle it out for best burger. Take those burgers down in true Chicago fashion at the Harris Theater Rooftop.  Saturday & Sunday are filled with an insane line up of live cooking demonstrations, seminars, tastings, speakers, classes + more.  Hundreds of our favorite chefs participate in Chicago Gourmet and then some (hottie Bannos JR, Izard (girl crush), Bayless, Priolo, Hogan, Poli, and oh so many more). You’ll get your gourmet on hardcore with the multitude of food, demos, exhibitions and classes. Ticket prices vary depending on the events.  201 E. Randolph St.

Chicago Gourmet 2010 Courtesy of Deja Views USA

10/1 Cultivate Chicago = a FREE food filled festival that brings together eats, farmers, chefs, thought leaders (interesante), and musicians in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park. Chipotle sponsors this free event + sells crafted dishes specifically for the day –> proceeds going to an org we LOVE = familyfarmed.org. Chicago chefs Paul Kahan, Tony Mantuano, Bruce Sherman, and Paul Virant will be there in addition to Richard Blais, Michael Chiarello, and Jonathan Waxman. Perfect fall Saturday in the LP.

Courtesy of 4 BP Blogspot

10/10 – 10/14  The World Is Officially Your Royster. Another of our FAVORITE festivals is Shaw’s Royster with Oyster. Literally awesome mind-blowing lobster rolls, oyster po boys and food for the books! Slurp up! You must add Royster with Oyster to your autumn calendar. Join in the annual “Slurp-o-Rama” contest & hope Adam Richman from Man Vs Food doesn’t show up & shut the place down. This four day extravaganza in Shaw’s LONG TENT is non-stop action we savor: oyster suckin ‘n slurpin, lobster rolls you’ll moan while eating, live music, drinking, and outdoor activities. Shuck + swallow all the 50 cent oyster’s your little tummies can handle. 21 E Hubbard St, Chicago, IL.

Pork Belly w Asian BBQ sauce by Blue 13 @ Chicago Gourmet 2010

10/21 Another charitable food event is Chicago magazine’s Chicago’s Table which benefits research and therapies for stroke patients at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. From 6 – 9 pm indulge in food from some of our favorite Chicago restaurants and chefs such as Big Star, Davanti Enoteca, The Florentine, Longman & Eagle, and Sable Kitchen & Bar. $125  online. 435 East Illinois Street.

11/18-11/20 Taste what you see on the screen at the Second Annual Chicago Film Festival. This one of a kind event is THE film fest you certainly do NOT want to miss. Your senses will be overflowing! Details + line up soon to be released. Stay tuned. For now, get your New York Food Film Festival on October 13-16 at Tribeca Cinemas (hint Food Porn Party is surely to rock your world). Both fests feature food porn galore, movies you’ll feel all over + a ton of fun.

Michael Kornick @ Chicago Food Film Fest 2010

Hoosier Mama Pies @ Chicago Food Film Festival 2010

MBK

Molly Bett Kovler is a social worker turned social media strategist, editor, publicist, blogger and event executor. After graduating with a Master’s from The University of Chicago and working on the Obama ’08 campaign, MBK founded and runs Elevate Your Presence, LLC. EYP is a full service publicity, social media, editorial, management, and event execution firm defining excellence. MBK is highly connected & heavily embedded in the social web. Join EYP’s exclusive client list to Embrace. Evolve. Elevate – Elevate Your Presence. #DeliciousDIRT

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Elevate Your Presence on Facebook
Elevate Your Presence on Twitter
MBK on Twitter
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MBK on Food Mafia

Food Porn Party. NYC Food Film Fest 2011 Details

Delicious DIRT Takes It Down At Wieners Circle

Mac On The Mac

Delicious DIRT. Aspen Food & Wine Recap


Aspen Food & Wine Festival (#FWASPEN) celebrated its 30th anniversary last weekend. Sadly the DIRT team did not make it to our home away from home this year. We #crave Aspen in the summer –> not a lot better. Perfectly sunny, warm and with NO humidity ->> Great. Hair. Days.  
CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE

Courtesy of Food & Wine Aspen, CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE - You will smile

#FWASPEN fest has been publicized as one of the prizes for each season’s Top Chef.  This year, food nerds and cuisine celebrities alike gathered in Aspen + indulged on tons of tasty tidbits and luscious libations.  Chicago’s own Stephanie Izard won top dish honors at the Best New Chef party with her goat sausage, which we down regularly at FAVE we CRAVE – Girl & the Goat. Another Chicago chef, Ryan Poli got his preview on as he showed what greatness Tavernita plans to bust out this summer.

Courtesy of Food & Wine Aspen

Get your swine on! The festival also hosted the finals for the Cochon 555 where chefs craft a menu utilizing an entire heritage pig. This year’s winners were Chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart of ZaZu in Santa Rosa, California for their pork bun incorporating bits of tasty pork neck, head and heart.

Chef Ryan Poli @ #FWAspen, Courtesy of Tavernita

Courtesy of #FWAspen

Summer in Aspen, Courtesy of #FWAspen, CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE - You will smile

Winter Aspen = Gorgeous, Photo by MBK, CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE - A MUST

Aspen Comedy Fest -> WE MISS YOU. BRING IT BACK. Photo by MBK

Check out Stephanie Izard's People's Choice winning dish at the Food & Wine Best New Chef dinner in Aspen. Goat sausage in an XO broth. Photo by Girl + Goat. CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE

For more #deliciousDIRT on the Festival including pics from inside the Grand Tasting tent and a recap of the Cochon finals check out the links below:

Best of #FWAspen in Aspen Skollie Magazine

Inside the Aspen Tasting Tents with Yum Sugar

Aspen recap with GrubStreet

Dishes from the Grand Cochon

An intense day in the life of Food & Wine magazine’s restaurant editor Kate Krader

Delicious DIRT. Girl + The Goat = Fave We CRAVE. LOVE

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’re familiar with the Goat.  Just in case you missed this scrumptious post, we thought you might want to get your palate WET (originally appeared on DD in January 2011). Thank you to friends Kevin, Rob + Gary for such fab nights as always.

Sneak Preview of our Elevate Your Presence #deliciousDIRTy dinner at Girl & the Goat below. These oysters simply left us ordering more and more and more! Have you tried them yet? A MUST!

CLICK PHOTOS TO ENLARGE AND FEEL THE DELICIOUSNESS

Photo by MBK

Fried Tauton Bay Oysters @ Girl & The Goat with egg salad and a divine sauce with capers! YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMM does not even describe it.

What a beautiful dish! We love the chickpea fritters at Girl & the Goat. Have you tried em? You MUST!

Photo by MBK

Chickpea Fritters at Girl & The Goat with romesco, hazelnut hummus, sesame, goat feta. AMAZE and a definite FAVORITE

Simply divine! Craving more of Girl & the Goat‘s stellar squash ravioli right now! Elevate Your Presence thanks Kevin Boehm, the entire Boka Grp, & Stephanie Izard for such a wonderful #deliciousDIRT dinner.  Can not wait for more…

Girl & The Goat’s AMAZING kambocha squash ravioli with mushroom raisin ragout, brussel leaves and shroom creme fraiche. Could eat this every single night.

Goat @ The Goat by MBK

Sauteed Green Beans with a fish sauce vinaigrette and cashews- Girl & The Goat- YUMMMMMMMMM. Photo by MBK

Sauteed Skate with a yellowfin-salsify salad, blood orange, spiced hazelnuts at Girl & The Goat. SIMPLE PERFECTION. Photo by MBK

Hiramasa Crudo @Girl & The Goat with crisp pork belly with aji aioli and caperberries as well. DIVINE, Photo by MBK

Sauteed Green Beans with a fish sauce vinaigrette and cashews- Girl & The Goat- YUMMMMMMMMM. Photo by MBK

Goat Pork and Veal SUGO at Girl & The Goat with pappardelle, rosemary, and cape goose berries. Sauteed Green Beans with a fish sauce vinaigrette and cashews - both are FAVORITES- Heavenly. Photo by MBK

Delicious DIRT. JUICE

INSIDE: Mercadito, Tavernita, Eatocracy for Girl & The Goat’s Stephanie Izard, Sushi Samba Rio’s Carnaval, Food and Wine, Eatocracy, James Beard Dinner, and more.

To Open: Mercadito Sister Spot in the Chi- Tavernita

It’s general consensus that we all love Mercadito—that New York import that took Chicago by storm with its delicious Mexican food. Now we have even more reason to love it. It’s getting a sibling of sorts this summer.

Though we loved the baked goat cheese at Martini Park, it wasn’t enough to keep the patrons rolling in, so the owners of Mercadito decided to purchase the space and transform it into Tavernita. “It’s not Mexican. It’s somewhat of an eclectic mix of Latin, Spanish, American concept…” said Larry Silver, Managing Partner Mercadito Hospitality. Sounds incredibly appetizing. But close your mouths for a minute. It’s not scheduled to open until this summer. But until then, Mercadito is still hot and is even participating in restaurant week. Get your Mexican food fix from Feb. 17-28 during the course of Chicago Restaurant Week.

In Girl & The Goat News: Saveur, Food & Wine’s ‘People’s Best’, James Beard Dinner…

The highly respected food monthly Saveur, has just announced that they will include long form essay-type restaurant reviews in every issue beginning with the March 2011 issue, and Girl & the Goat and Stephanie Izard are lucky number one. Kudos continues to roll in for the restaurant. Executive Editor Dana Bowen wrote the review, and she seems to be enamored with the place. “Stephanie Izard’s pizza doesn’t taste like any pizza I’ve had before…it’s crisp in all the right places and piping hot with gooey cheddar, Gouda, and tomme-style cheeses…”

The Mediterranean goat-heavy fare has won fans the world over, and has even received a nod from the James Beard Foundation. Stephanie and The Goat were selected to host a James Beard house dinner at the restaurant, which quickly sold out. But the recognition doesn’t stop there. Vaunted publication Food & Wine introduces us to their Best New Chefs every year, and this year, they’ve implemented a People’s Best New Chef award that includes Stephanie Izard as a nominee for the Great Lakes region. If you’re interested to see who will come out as top toque, why don’t you take part of this democratic process and vote in the eatocracy here?

Eatocracy Courtesy of CNN

Sushi Samba Rio’s Carnaval March 5th:

Brazilian Carnaval is upon us, and we love that the sexiness that it exudes, although we don’t celebrate it in the States. However, SushiSamba Rio is having its own Carnaval version here in the city. On March 5, the restaurant will transform into the streets of Rio with samba dancers, drummers, and costumes inspired by Carnaval performers. There will even be a Brazilian inspired menu and drinks to really get you in a sexy Brazilian mood. Call 312 595 2300 to make a reservation, and check out www.sushisamba.com for info about the restaurant.

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