Restaurant critic Phil Vettel shows his face for the first time in 30 years

CHICAGO — Have you seen this man? If you love food, chances are you know his work, but you’ve likely never seen his face— until now.

Chicago Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel refused to show his face in public for the past 30 years, hoping to keep his identity a secret to ensure he’s treated like any other customer. But he says this day and age it’s been impossible to stay anonymous, and people including restaurant staff have been noticing him anyways.

Vettel says he’s also dropping his anonymity so he can connect more personally with his readers. In the age of digital journalism, that’s easier if they can see his face in videos. He’s not alone: a number of dining critics nationwide have recently dropped their anonymity.

Phil also does reviews for WGN-TV, so you may even see him pop up on your TV screen some time.