Best Chef: Bruce Bogartz

Best Chef Runners Up: Chip Meyer (Bistro at the Bijou), Stephen Meyers (Regas), Gary Nicely (Naples Italian Restaurant)

While his Southern-style flavors are huge, his restaurant location for RouXbarb is what you'd call "intimate." And maybe that's one contributing factor why Bruce Bogartz has won his third straight Best Chef prize—you can't help but get to know the guy if you eat his food, because he'll be right next to you asking how you liked your Escargot Pot Pie, Duck Confit, or sweet potato fries with figgy BBQ dip. This year, Bogartz has ventured further west to Rocky Hill with his new RouXbarbeque, combining Cajun and barbeque styles. If any local chef has enough presence to be in two kitchens at once, it's Bogartz.