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14-year-old St. Francis food critic with autism gains thousands of followers

Posted at 9:00 PM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 22:00:53-04

MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin's most prolific food critic might be a 14-year-old boy from St. Francis. In under a year, he has amassed thousands of followers and reviewed nearly 40 restaurants.

"It's my passion, and I love food and going out to eat with my family," Dominic Dean, a 14-year-old food critic with autism, said.

He has gained thousands of followers on his Facebook page Dominic's Milwaukee Restaurant and City Review.

Dean loves food and trying new restaurants.

"And trying different types of cuisines like barbecue, Indian, Ethiopian, Mexican anything you can think of," he said.

TMJ4 reporter James Groh joined him on his review of the Wy'east Pizza in Milwaukee.

"A little bit of kick to it with the dip. I love it..." He said while eating sourdough focaccia.

"Interesting tomato flavor. A sweet flavor. I like it," he added as he took a bite of Hot Marmot pizza. It's the signature dish of the restaurant with pepperoni, garlic, and sweet hot peppers. "The peppers are delicious and a unique taste and a little kick to it too."

He started doing these reviews about a year ago. Since then, he has been to nearly 40 restaurants recording each experience on his Facebook page.

His mom said this has been instrumental in developing 14-year-old's maturity. When he approached her with the idea, she said that she would support him, but he had to take the lead and talk to all the restaurant owners and chefs. His mom said he use to be shy, but this made him out of his shell a bit.

Going forward, the future is bright for Dean's reviews.

"I'm invited to a restaurant in Menomonee falls," he said.

Beyond the thousands of followers he has accumulated, restaurants are now reaching out to him. As to whether those meals will be comped is unclear. He did have to pay for his meal at Wy' east (well, his dad did).

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