This is a bittersweet winner profile for BOM voters. Hometown boy and two-time BOM winner Stefano’s Head Chef Chris McDonald has served up memorable fine dining since the restaurant opened in 2009. McDonald’s love of seafood and his inventiveness with flavors and textures helped develop the restaurant’s loyal following.

But when this year’s Valentine’s Day dinner is done, McDonald will hang up his apron for the last time. “Stefano’s has been a great experience,” he says. He wants to spend time with family—he has children ages 8 and 9—and work on personal culinary projects, like making bacon and advancing his Von Blaze pickle company.

McDonald doesn’t know yet whether he’ll cook again at another restaurant or start his own venture. He does offer this one assurance: “It’ll definitely be in Morgantown.” — PK

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Pam Kasey
Written by Pam Kasey
Pam Kasey has traveled, brewed, farmed, counseled, and renovated, but most loves to write. She has degrees in economics from the University of Chicago and in journalism from West Virginia University. She loves celebrating Morgantown and West Virginia as executive editor at New South Media.