Thursday, August 21

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Local Duos for TV Restaurant Week Lunch @ Naha »

News Thu Feb 26 2009

RIP James Ward

James Ward, former food critic for WLS-TV and the Sun-Times, passed away today after a long illness. From his Channel 7 bio:

Ward was restaurant critic and food columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times, from 1978-1984. Prior to this, he was restaurant critic for the Chicago Daily News.

From 1969 to 1974, Ward served as editorial director for R.R. Donnelley & Sons in Chicago where he was responsible for producing travel and food magazines.

He began his career as a restaurant critic as editor and assistant publisher of Restaurants and Institutions, a food service industry trade magazine from 1960-1969.

Ward, a Chicago native, graduated from Loyola University, and holds a Master's degree in political history from the University of Chicago. He and his wife reside on the city's north side.

Ward was memorable for his often flamboyant delivery and purple prose, employed here in this review of Lindy's Chili (from early 2000s, judging from the website at the end) -- and his trademark red-rimmed glasses.


kiplog / February 27, 2009 2:49 PM

I had the pleasure of working with James on a magazine years ago, and even wound up eating dinner with him in footage of a St. Patty's Day report (he recruited me off a barstool when he walked into a pub and recognized me).

His Bread & Circuses reports were fun fare, but I relished the times I got to talk food with him, when I could get some of his more serious knowledge of food and dining around.

He was always articulately professional, while at the same time being a truly unique character, and a whole lot of fun.

Bob Skilnik / March 6, 2009 10:41 AM

My God...where was I when this was announced?

I loved James Ward. Always thought of him as sort of a "Gil" from Frasier..."rumping with my boyhood chums."

He had the shtick and expertise to back it up. That's good show business. Wow, a real shame.

Add a Comment

Please enter the letter i in the field below:

Live Comment Preview

Notes & Tags

Items marked with a * are required fields. Please respect each other. We reserve the right to delete any comments borne out of douchebaggery or that deal in asshattery.

Permitted tags and how to use them:

To link: <a href="">Link text</a>
To italicize: <em>Your text</em>
To bold: <strong>Your text</strong>

Event Mon Jul 21 2014

A Garden Party at Rick Bayless' House

By Judy Wu

I was using Rick Bayless' restroom, I mused, staring up at the ceiling window that was projecting a heavenly beacon of light upon my less-than-angelic duties. I could barely distinguish Rick's faint murmurs through the orange walls, something about how...
Read this feature »



Fri Aug 22 2014
Bridgepork @ Maria's

Fri Aug 22 2014
Kulturk├╝che: Make Your Own Crepes @ DANK Haus

Sat Aug 23 2014
Bridgepork @ Maria's

Sat Aug 23 2014
Food Truck Social @ Kendall College

Sun Aug 24 2014
Monkey Business Backyard BBQ @ Sportsman's Club

Sun Aug 24 2014
Food Truck Social @ Kendall College

Drive-Thru on Flickr

Join the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Robyn Nisi,
Drive-Thru staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15