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Attn: White House cooks: Barack Obama used to be a food critic

January 8, 2009 | 10:32 am

Before he auditioned for two years to become president of the United States in a few days, someone named Barack Obama was a Chicago restaurant critic.

No, seriously.

Chicago TV station WTTW was constructing a new local show eight years ago, "Check, Please!" involving three regular citizens, each of whom would review their favorite eatery and help critique those of the others gathered around the table.

The show's producer knew Obama, then a state senator, and asked him to join. He did and reviewed Dixie Kitchen & Bait Shop in his South Side Chicago legislative district.

But that episode was never broadcast, show executives now say, because Obama was too good and with his easy charm dominated that program that featured a firefighter and retail buyer as his co-critics.

You might guess what's coming. Now that episode will be finally broadcast on Jan. 16 as the show's 100th episode.

So, now The Ticket's giving you your own chance to critique the future president's critique. Let us know below how you think he did. We actually have two video excerpts today -- one right below here and another on the jump. Click on the "Read more" line to see it.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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