Longtime Chicago food media personality Steve Dolinsky, formerly known as the Hungry Hound, will soon return to the Diner Rhythm, as a food reporter on NBC’s WMAQ-Channel 5. Now renamed “The Food Guy,” Dolinsky’s new segment is slated to air on the 10 p.m. TV news on Thursdays starting this week. It will take place again on Friday afternoons and weekend mornings.
Speaking to Chicago media reporter Robert Feder, Dolinsky said he won’t try to reinvent his approach – the new segments will be very similar to his previous work and he will continue to cover a range of restaurants, new openings. upscale to neighborhood favorites around town and suburbs. However, he’s definitely getting rid of the name Hungry Hound, although it’s not yet clear whether the change is Dolinsky’s decision or an issue with ABC.
The recipient of multiple James Beard media awards, Dolinsky left ABC 7 Chicago in late January after 17 years after the station decided not to renew his contract. Much has been said about his departure, as he quickly followed the retirement of Tribune food critic Phil Vettel after 31 years. The news sparked a eulogy from Washington post food critic Tom Sietsema, who interpreted the outings as the possible death knell for Chicago’s position among America’s best food scenes.
Feder spoke to Kevin Cross, the president and CEOs of NBCUniversal Local Chicago, who was responsible for hiring Dolinsky. Cross mentioned the nostalgia while watching ABC 7’s James Ward, who spent two decades doing restaurant reviews on television, from 1995 to 2005. Vettel was among his fans.
Four months after Sietsema’s statement, however, Dolinsky is back on television and the Tribune (since purchased by famed Alden Capital group) has promoted food journalists Louisa Chu and Nick Kindelsperger to co-reviewers. Heaven never fell on Chicago’s culinary media landscape: The pieces largely shifted as familiar faces and voices reappeared under new titles.
It remains to be seen if that same fate awaits Elliott Bambrough and Marley Kayden, co-hosts of the Emmy-winning cooking show. The best of Chicago. WGN announced last month that it had canceled the show after more than a decade.
Dolinsky, which has a sequel to Pizza City United States due in October, was not immediately contacted for comment.
And in other news …
– The Mammoth Lollapalooza Music Festival often attracts celebrities to Chicago for shows and events. Indeed, the stars, they are like us! – also need to eat. Here are a few VIPs spotted having dinner in the city, according to representatives:
– The annual Taste of River North neighborhood food festival is canceled for 2021 due to the pandemic fallout that the Chicago hotel industry still faces, according to a press release. Although many restaurants in the area are keen to participate, too many of them still struggle with economic issues and staff shortages that make it impossible to host a large public event, organizers say. The event, which would have marked the festival’s 20th anniversary, was scheduled for August 20-21. More details and information on refunds for advance ticket holders are available online.