Best Santa Maria Valley Restaurant
Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods
4869 S. Bradley, Orcutt

Visitors to Chef Rick’s Web site are greeted with the words that flash across the screen: "Everything I do gohn’ be funky ... from now on." From that motto, it’s obvious that this is no ordinary restaurant.

And when the chef refers to his food as "all-star, 3-D, freestyle, double-knit, butt-bumpin’, soul-system, groove-movin’ tasty," it’s obvious that the man in the white hat isn’t your typical potato peeler.

Chef Rick Manson thinks his restaurant received the accolades it has because he’s stood by his original goal of serving consistently imaginative, consistently good food–something rare in an area where he says "restaurants pop up like hushpuppies in deep fat, and collapse faster than a cooling soufflé."

After a taste of the top-notch staff, the tempting wine list, and the colorful dining room, a majority of Sun readers agreed that the atmosphere at Chef Rick’s is tops. But really, it’s the food that draws them back, right?

Manson said that he strives for flavors that are powerful but not overwhelming, that are in balance with each other while remaining true to their component ingredients. He believes that no single dish defines his cooking, but the menu as a whole reflects his style.

And from a guy who’s been known to appear at special events in his restaurant dressed in an outfit outrageous enough to make Elvis jealous–sequins and all–any food that reflects his style is gohn’ be funky for sure.