Chicago’s biggest restaurant critics are gone. Will anyone replace them?

As the journalism industry continues to constrict, making full-time editorial staff an increasing rarity, Tom Sietsema at The Washington Post notes another newsroom casualty: the restaurant critic. Homing in on the Chicago dining scene, he notes that two of the city’s most powerful critics have retired without being replaced. Sietsema (a critic himself, it should be noted) talks to restaurant owners and industry players about what diners lose when they don’t have a voice of authority steering their suggested meals. At the same time, with the Covid pandemic and its attendant severe dining restrictions battering the industry for the last year, the restaurant critic has largely been sidelined anyway. Whether or not Chicago’s critics will be replaced if/when the pandemic ends, and whether the replacements hew to the prior demographic mold (white guys), remain open questions.

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