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Pat Bruno Out as Sun-Times Restaurant Critic

By Anthony Todd in Food on Sep 13, 2011 2:30PM

2011_9_13_bruno.jpg If you've been on Twitter this morning (and you care about food) you've watched the big news spread - Pat Bruno has been fired as the dining critic of the Sun-Times.

Robert Feder has the full story at Time Out Chicago; apparently, Bruno got a call from a "mid-level weekend editor" who told him the news, which he said was "Very unprofessional. Very, very unprofessional on their part.”

We're left with mixed feelings over his firing. Bruno has been a fixture of the Chicago food scene for 27 years, and surely deserves better treatment than this - some notice, a retrospective, or an acknowledgement of his contributions. We also aren't alone in thinking that Bruno has been phoning it in for some time, and both his level of anonymity and his work ethic has been questioned. Hell, anyone who's been reviewing for that long has a hard time being anonymous and, as the food scene has grown in diversity, Bruno has often seemed unable (or unwilling) to keep up.

No matter what you think of Bruno, a Chicago icon has toppled. Even worse, yet another publication may be doing away with the institution of the anonymous, fully-paid dining review - which would be a disservice to restaurant patrons everywhere. No word yet on Bruno's replacement, if any.

As for Bruno's future plans, he told Feder he plans on setting up a website and blog to “keep readers abreast of what’s going on on the food and restaurant scene in Chicago.”