About Michael Gebert
Michael Gebert is widely recognized as one of the most knowledgeable and innovative journalists on food in Chicago. Born in Kansas, he worked for many years in Chicago as an award-winning copywriter for many top brands and advertising agencies. The author of an earlier book on film, he began writing about Chicago food online non-professionally in the early 2000s, first at Chowhound and then as one of the creators of the Chicago discussion site LTHForum, managing it during its period of greatest influence on the food scene in the mid-2000s and creating many of its best-known initiatives including the Great Neighborhood Restaurant awards.
In 2008 he launched his nationally-acclaimed video podcast and blog, Sky Full of Bacon, and began writing for publications including the Chicago Reader (such as this), Time Out Chicago (such as this), Saveur.com, the Sun-Times, Where Chicago and Maxim. From 2011 until its closing in 2013 he was the Chicago editor for Grub Street, a daily food blog owned by New York magazine, growing its readership by about 40% during his tenure, achieving the highest rate of daily returning readership in the Grub Street network, and earning it acclaim among readers, PR professionals and chefs as the most insightful and literate daily food blog in Chicago. Since then he’s been a regular freelancer for the Reader, Thrillist and others; his posts for the Reader’s blog regularly rank among the top five among most-read posts for the week across the entire publication (as published in the print edition), and he has reached as many as 150,000 readers for some of his Thrillist pieces.
His video work has earned national acclaim for its in-depth and personal approach to the food scene, and to date he has been nominated three times for James Beard Foundation awards, winning in 2011 for the “Key Ingredient” series for the Reader, for which he’s produced over 100 episodes. He’s participated as a food expert, speaker or judge on PRI’s Marketplace, Chicago Public Radio, WGN Radio, the Hamburger Hop/Chicago Gourmet, the Printers Row Book Festival, the Good Food Festival, Cochon 555, Baconfest, the Greater Midwest Foodways Association, 2nd Story and many other local events.
He lives on the north side (but eats all over town) with his wife and two sons, who think it’s normal when the chef comes to your table during dinner and asks if you want to see the kitchen.
Hey, Do You Have a Shorter Bio We Could Use? Michael Gebert is a James Beard Award-winning food writer and video maker based in Chicago. He’s the creator of the acclaimed blog Sky Full of Bacon and a contributor to the Chicago Reader, Time Out Chicago, Where Chicago, Serious Eats, Thrillist and others, and was the editor of Grub Street Chicago.
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Email mikegebert at gmail dot com.
What Is Sky Full of Bacon?
1. It’s Michael Gebert’s acclaimed series of video podcasts about food in Chicago and the midwest, which have been praised by the likes of the Chicago Tribune (“A great story… mouthwatering”), Michael Ruhlman (“great video”), Evan Kleiman (“Have you seen these videos? I think they’re fabulous”), Francis Lam (“Long but lovely”), Serious Eats (“always enlightening”), Saveur.com (“a blog that’s truly great”) and many more. Sky Full of Bacon-produced videos have been nominated three times for James Beard Foundation awards (in 2009 for these videos, together with Chicago Reader writer Mike Sula’s mulefoot pig stories in the multimedia category, in 2011 as half of the Chicago Reader’s Key Ingredient series, also in the multimedia category, which it won, and in 2012 for “A Barbecue History of Chicago.”
Chefs and food world figures who have participated in Sky Full of Bacon-produced videos include Grant Achatz (Alinea), Charlie Trotter, Nathan Myhrvold (Modernist Cuisine), Paul Kahan (Blackbird), Jean Joho (Everest), Doug Sohn (Hot Doug’s), Mike and Amy Mills (Blue Smoke/17th Street BBQ), Paul Virant (Vie), Stephanie Izard (The Girl & the Goat), Sean Brock (Husk), Fabio Viviani (Siena Tavern), Homaro Cantu (Moto), Dave Raymond (Sweet Baby Ray’s), Roberto Trevino (Budatai), Mike and Pat Sheerin (The Trenchermen), Takashi Yagihashi (Takashi), and Sarah Grueneberg (Spiaggia), as well as prosciutto makers Herb & Kathy Eckhouse (La Quercia), Zingerman’s owner Ari Weinzweig, cookbook author Nancie McDermott and Texas barbecue legends Bobby Mueller and Vencil Mares.
2. It’s also Michael Gebert’s blog about food in the Chicago area, which was named Best Local Food Blog by New City in 2009, nominated for a Time Out Chicago Eat Out Award in 2010 and a Saveur Best Food Blogs award in 2011, and featured as one of Saveur’s Sites We Love in 2011.
3. It’s a food video production company which makes low-glitz, high-interest online videos about the world of food for media outlets such as the Chicago Reader, Eater, Time Out Chicago, WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio)— and could do so for you, too. Check out our latest collaboration with the Chicago Reader, the James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient series, with top Chicago chefs such as Grant Achatz, Stephanie Izard and “Hot Doug” Sohn.
4. And it’s an audio podcast about Chicago food and food media. Go here.