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"Food Concierges?" It's True.

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Dec 1, 2005 3:30PM

Have you ever entertained out-of-towners asking where to find the best hot dog in the city? Or deep-dish pizza? Should they go to Chinatown or Albany Park for good Asian-style barbecue? What spice houses sell real saffron? Is your short-term health affected by eating at a Harold's Chiucken Shack?

The Department of Cultural Affairs has taken a long look at this and hired four people to act as "culinary concierges" for these and other food-related questions. Each of the concierges has a background in food, from culinary school students to a gourmet food and wine buyer at Macy Field's.

The job position, initially created to coincide with last summer's "Stirring Things Up In Chicago" series of culinary-themed cultural events, became a permanent fixture at the Cultural Center last month. Identifiable by their red aprons, they offer advice and tips on everything from where to eat near the museums to what neighborhoods to visit for quality ethnic foods and bakeries. The one thing they don't do is make restaurant reservations.

Note to the Department of Cultural Affairs: If you're looking for "dive bar concierges" a number of Chicagoist staffers can fill the position handily.