Empire Builder of the Year: David Chang (M Pche)

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OTHER NOMINEES: Bobby Munekata, Gabriel Stulman, Michael White

Over the past 12 months, Michael White made his mark below 14th Street (Osteria Morini), Bobby Munekata staged a ramen coup (Totto Ramen, Hide-Chan Ramen), and Gabriel Stulman added a jewel to his West Village crown (Fedora). Still, you made your point loud and clear: Momomania ain't over yet. Having conquered the East Village, David Chang took his brand international (expansions are planned in Toronto and Sydney), online (a forthcoming iPad app and McSweeney's-published journal) and—perhaps most surprisingly—to midtown (M Pche, Milk Bar). Sure, his first hotel outpost wasn't as rock & roll as its predecessors. But as gourmands battled for "Beef Seven Ways" reservations and office workers brushed crumbs of "Crack Pie" off their neckties, Chang looked to be as formidable a maven as ever. Chambers Hotel, 15 W 56th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-757-5878, momofuku.com)

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