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Best Chef 

Dennis Johnston, Fid Resto

Though Fid went through some big changes in 2009---a shift from fine dining to something stylish but a bit more casual---chef Dennis Johnston is still in charge of the menu, which continues to be stuffed with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. “I’m still cooking,” he says firmly. “Not to snap any suspenders, but a person’s style is who he is.” Spoken like a man who has made a living impressing people with his culinary skills, Johnston’s joint remains a popular destination despite---or maybe because of---the changes. “It’s going well, we’re very happy,” says Johnston. He says there’ve been a number of amazing parties in the past year, including one that took place on June 25, 2009, the day of Michael Jackson’s passing. When the word reached the restaurant---reserved for a group of university students that night---Jackson’s music was rapidly downloaded to an in-house iPod with speakers. Chairs and tables were pushed aside for an impromptu dance event that went until 3am. Of his star server, Lyttle, Johnston says he’s co-owner Monica Bauché’s son, “from a professional point of view.” Lyttle learned his trade at Fid and has since travelled to Australia and worked at Bear, but is now back. “He’s professional,” says Johnston, extolling Lyttle’s virtues. “He’s got a good point of view and is great with his clients.”

First Runner-up: Craig Flinn, Chives
Second Runner-up: Mark Giffin, Coastal Cafe

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