One of the things that makes Chicago Food Planet food tasting and cultural walking tours unique is the fantastic personalities that lead our groups every day. Let’s take a look at who’s next on our list…
Name: Heather Sabina
Tour: Near North
Chicago Food Planet: Tell us about your childhood.
Heather: I grew up in Allegany, N.Y., a tiny town in the middle of the woods, but I did a ton of traveling when I was younger. My parents wanted my brother and me to be exposed to different cultures and experience more than just Small Town, USA. We went to a lot of major cities (including Chicago, of course!) and even lived in England for a while. They definitely planted the travel bug in me at a young age.
Now, in my day job, I’m a lecturer of French language at UIC, and I dream of living in France one day.
CFP: How did you decide to become a tour guide?
Heather: I was a campus tour guide at University of Delaware, where I did my undergrad, and absolutely loved it. When I moved to Chicago, I did a lot of research to find tour companies in the city. I think I like it so much because every day is different — you are always meeting new people, and new situations spring up all the time. Plus, I have an excuse to walk around outside for three hours every day!
CFP: What’s your favorite tour stop?
Heather: Delightful Pastries. Pierogies are definitely my favorite food, and owner Dobra Bielinski does them really well. I also have a severe addiction to coffee and quality baked goods, so it’s basically like stepping into my personal heaven.
CFP: What’s your favorite tour memory?
Heather: I led a tour on my birthday last year, and I must have let it slip that it was my birthday. (Just kidding! I told everyone.) My group secretly bought a couple of bottles of oil and balsamic at Old Town Oil — a totally acceptable infraction of the no-shopping rule — and signed a makeshift card for me. They surprised me and sang “Happy Birthday” at the end of the tour. They were great people, and it really felt like we were all friends by the end of the tour.
CFP: If you could take any celebrity on a Chicago Food Planet tour, who would it be?
Heather: Ellen DeGeneres, for the sole reason that she’s awesome. And she’d probably dance the whole time.