Best Of 2018

Best chef: CHRISTOPHER ARTRIP, THE FEINSTEIN GROUP

Best chef

Even great chefs can be one-trick ponies. They are usually either enamored of haute cuisine, with its complicated techniques and demanding multifaceted preparations, or they champion simplicity, embracing comfort foods, worshiping ingredients and looking for straightforward recipes that allow single elements to shine. Chef Christopher Artrip stands astride both worlds like a colossus driven by flavor. From foie gras and demi-glace (The Black Pearl) to mac ‘n’ cheese and smoked wings (Iron Oak New American BBQ), he elevates his dishes without grandstanding. Instead of seeking personal celebrity, he humbly submits his food for coronation. Impeccable technique and attention to detail, luckily for us, make for delectable food whether you choose upscale or down-home. Black Pearl: 315 Main St., Dunedin. 727-734-3463, theblackpearldunedin.com. Iron Oak: 917 11th St., Palm Harbor. 727-754-7337, ironoakbbq.com. —JPC