Food Writer Becomes Personal Chef to Atlanta’s Luckiest Chipmunk

Angela Hansperger used to be a food writer in Atlanta, Georgia…well, technically, she still is, though restaurant reviews are of limited availability over the past year amid the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s been a tough time for many Americans, and Hansperger’s 10-year-long career had ground to a halt, prompting her to experiment with a new one: personal wildlife chef.

That’s where chipmunk Thelonious Munk enters the picture. The jazz-legend-monikered mammal had been living in a hole near Hansperger’s house, and the writer began feeding him during the quarantine. These feedings began with simple nuts and such, but soon burgeoned into complete miniature multi-course meals, all served on a specially crafted picnic table where Thelonious heads out for his exclusive entrees.

Hansperger has both a good sense of humor about this endeavor and a commitment to its sincerity. “I just thought it was putting something sweet out into the world when there was so much ugliness being put out constantly,” she says in an interview with WSB-TV2 in Atlanta. The chipmunk’s spread always includes handcrafted tableware, mixed “cocktails,” and even a tiny vase with flowers to accompany their al fresco dining. 

An Instagram page catalogues the animal’s meals, photographed through the door as Hansperger and her cat look on and document the meals. The meals are, of course, not exactly what they seem, with a taco plate reimagined with ingredients like chopped nuts and tiny sliced vegetables and fruit. 

While a food writer remains at home during the lockdown like the rest of us, at least one lucky critter gets to enjoy the simple pleasure of fine dining, in Atlanta’s most exclusive outdoor restaurant.

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