There were two days this week where the Chicago Tribune featured great dining and culture roundups. I like reading those kinds of sections, because I always feel like my cultural incursions are so widely spaced that I'm always starting from scratch.
Upside: The Tribune has critics and reporters like Chris Jones, Bill Daley, Greg Kot, Kevin Pang, Judy Hevrdejs, Howard Reich, Doug George, Phil Vettel, John von Rhein -- and more -- to help us stay up to date.
That's how I feel about it as a reader. As a journalist, I also know that keeping annual stories fresh can be a challenge.
Thursday brought the Chicago Tribune 2012 Dining Awards, followed Friday by On The Town's "What's New?" section. I asked food writer Kevin Pang about the Dining Awards, and editor Kevin Williams about the year's critics' pics:
Kevin Pang: This is year two of the Chicago Tribune Dining Awards. We don’t just choose winners arbitrarily.
We locked our food writers in the 5th floor conference room and deliberated for hours over who we believe deserves recognition.
Believe me when I say there were several contentious moments and raised voices. In the end, the 12 individual and restaurant honors represent, we believe, exemplars of the Chicago restaurant experience over the past 12 months.
Here's an online link to their decisions.
Kevin Williams: Every year, we figure out some new way to treat new stuff on the entertainment scene.
This year, I thought it would be cool to have the critics do something writerly, rather than list-y. Then they just did what they do.
Art director Nicole Dudka -- after giggling at my idea of a detergent box illustration ("New!") -- came up with Friday's very nifty design.
-- James Janega
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