Time was we could never get a Chicago food critic to speak to our group; they religiously refused to reveal their identities in public. That is until about three years ago when the Tribune’s esteemed food critic, Phil Vettel, published a story in the paper, complete with his photo, explaining that it was almost impossible for him to remain anonymous when reviewing restaurants. Canny restaurateurs often were able to figure out who he was, and Phil ultimately figured he could still accurately review the food as a fully exposed food critic.
Phil retired in January, after 31 year at the Trib, and thanks to his casting away all attempts at anonymity, he paved the way for us to showcase the Trib’s newly named food critics, Louisa Chu and Nick Kindelsperger.
Please join us in welcoming this dynamic duo as they talk about their evolving roles as food critics, provide an overview of Chicago’s amazingly diverse food culture, and inform us how the pandemic has affected our dining scene. Following their talk, members will be able to pepper them with questions.
Prior to being named the Chicago Tribune’s new food critics, Louisa Chu and Nick Kindelsperger, have been food and dining reporters at the Tribune since 2016. They each bring a full buffet of experience:
Born in Hong Kong, and raised in Chicago, Louisa has spent a lifetime in restaurants starting as a 4-year-old folding menus for her family’s Chinese-American restaurant on the Near West Side in the 1970s. She worked as a server through high school and college; lived in Paris where she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu. She worked in the kitchen at the world renowned El Bulli in Spain and cooked at a fishing lodge in Alaska. She also was a correspondent for Gourmet magazine and worked as a field coordinator for Anthony Bourdain. Louisa continues to co-host the “Chewing” podcast with WBEZ journalist Monica Eng.
A native of southern Indiana, Nick, like Louisa, has a had a lifelong passion for food. His previous work ranged from launching The Paupered Chef, a recipe blog focused on affordable home cooking, to serving as the founding editor of Serious Eats Chicago. He has also written about food for Epicurious, The Washington Post, New York Magazine and Grub Street. You can often find him around the city eating a questionable number of meals for research purposes.
Wednesday July 28, 2021
If you are not already on our email list, then to receive zoom link, please e-mail: Culinary.Historians@gmail.com