Sky Full of Bacon


About Michael Gebert and Sky Full of Bacon

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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, 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).

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 nearly 100 episodes. He’s participated as a food expert on PRI’s Marketplace, Chicago Public Radio, WGN Radio, 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.

Photo: Click for upscale image:

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photo: David Hammond

Click for downscale image:

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photo: Myles Gebert

Work Samples

Go here.

Contact Me

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.

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7 Responses to “About Michael Gebert and Sky Full of Bacon”

  1. Jonathan Koertge Says:

    I’ve been waiting years for this, Michael! I’m very excited and will certainly be checking in and watching. This is guaranteed to be some of the best food writing and reporting on the Internet.

    Let me know when you decide to get some Scandinavian content filmed…

    Sincerely,

    Jonathan (aka “Bridgestone”)

  2. Michael Gebert Says:

    Thanks, Jonathan. It remains to be seen how much blogging-blogging I’ll actually do (isn’t that a city in Norway, Blogging-Blogging?) but it will be a central point for info on the video podcasts which will debut very soon, so that if you want more info about something you saw, there will be a link here, you don’t have to freeze the frame to get the URL, that sort of thing.

  3. JimInLoganSquare Says:

    OK, this is going to be great, or best ought to be. I’m downloading the first episode now, and at 429 megabytes I reckon it is equivalent to ~107,250 TRS80 Model 1s. I had a lot of fun with my brother’s TRS80 Model 1, 4K personal computer, circa 1978-80. 107,250 times that fun I have to think would actually hurt. So I’m just saying.

  4. Michael Gebert Says:

    I know it’s a big honkin’ file, there seems to be no in-between point between the full file or the much more efficient Flash version you get when you play Vimeo’s version. If speed/disk space is an issue, go the Vimeo route, it’s very efficient and the quality is certainly miles above YouTube. If it’s fine to set it to download and then go live your life for a couple of hours (or go to bed and watch it in the AM), get the whole file.

    But if you want to talk ancient technology, know that I used to make super 8 sound movies. There is NO BITCHING about computer-edited video from people who have not experienced the frustration that was super 8 sound.

  5. JimInLoganSquare Says:

    I guess the super 8 sound frustration helps explain your silent movie expertise.

    Anyway, I followed your advise to let the file download overnight and plan to enjoy the show tonight through the space-age miracle of seamless, pure digital technology.

  6. RonS Says:

    Michael: What a great series. As a farmer who raises my own chickens for meat, butchers them and sells them off the farm to folks with the more discerning palate, I can totally understand and appreciate your work.

    THANK YOU for humanizing the difference between feed-lot meat and locally grown sustainable production of this american staple. I know many more people who are meat eaters than vegetarians

  7. Debbie Says:

    I want to subscribe to the podcast, but I don’t use iTunes. What is the URL?
    Thanks.