Food passion fuels Milwaukee teen’s restaurant review success, leads to Primanti Bros. visit

“Holy cow!” exclaimed Dominic Dean, his eyes wide as saucers, as he stared in awe and excitement at the towering sandwich placed in front of him.

The 16-year-old Milwaukee native is an up-and-coming food critic with a special twist — a focus on positivity and kindness.

Dominic, who is on the autism spectrum, struggled with communication skills for years. Then, in spring 2019, his eighth-grade teacher recognized his passion for food, cooking shows and the restaurant business and encouraged him to begin reviewing local establishments as a way to improve his writing and speaking skills.

“Because he’s so highly interested, it’s a good jumping-off point,” said Dominic’s mother, Amy Dean.

Since then, Dominic has reviewed nearly 100 restaurants in the Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis and, now, Pittsburgh areas. He boasts nearly 10,000 followers on Facebook and has become somewhat of a local celebrity in the Wisconsin food scene.

Amy Dean described

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‘Top Chef’ Portland names a winner, but controversy casts a shadow over a feel-good season (recap)

The “Top Chef” Portland season was hailed by many fans as one of the best seasons ever. The culinary competition series was filmed in Portland and other Oregon locations in September and October, when the restaurant industry had been hit hard by the pandemic, and the show brought a spotlight to local food and cooks. The cast was notably diverse, with the three finalist chefs, Houston-based Dawn Burrell, Austin-based Gabe Erales, and Seattle-based Shota Nakajima bringing a rich variety of experience, backgrounds and cooking styles to the show.

But when the “Top Chef” Portland season winner was revealed in Thursday night’s finale, response on social media was mixed. While many fans praised the choice of Erales, whose Mexican-inspired cooking had been consistently praised by judges Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and host and judge Padma Lakshmi all season, others brought up the fact that Erales was, following the

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