Best Of 2011

BEST CHEF: Chad Johnson, SideBern’s

BEST CHEF

Although recent years have seen a pronounced upswing in the Bay area’s culinary talent pool, there is something to be said for having both the talent and the means. When Chad Johnson took over the SideBern’s kitchen a few years ago, he had big shoes and a big stage to deal with. He’s filled both of them with a vengeance. Johnson checks off the list of modern chef concerns — seeking out local ingredients, utilizing unusual foods, stretching his cuisine past genre and cultural boundaries, seasonal menus — and even though he’s a very serious dude, Johnson still seems to enjoy playing with his food. The result is often fabulous, in a setting that is easily one of the most elegant and modern in Tampa. 2208 W. Morrison Ave., Tampa, 813-258-2233, sideberns.com.