'Sky Full of Bacon' on Serious Eats

Video: 'Big Chef, Small Farmer,' from 'Sky Full of Bacon'

In his latest video, Sky Full of Bacon's Michael Gebert starts with the assumption that the industrial food system in the U.S. needs to change—"to something better for farmers, better for the environment, better tasting"—and then asks the question, "How do you change change a system that feeds 300 million Americans and still feed 300 million Americans?" In this video he explores one such possibility via the chef-farmer relationship between Mark Mendez (Carnivale) and David Cleverdon (Kinnikinnick Farm). More

Michael Gebert on the High Price of 'Underground' Dining Events

On his blog Sky Full of Bacon, Chicago food writer Michael Gebert brings the Truth Hammer to bear on underground dinners: "But these underground dinners are like somebody finding the dilapidated space in the edgy neighborhood—and then charging $85 per seat for an illegal performance of The Lion King. They use an underground atmosphere to cover the fact that they're trying to serve a Blackbird-level meal at a Blackbird-level price without the costly support system of Blackbird. If you could pull it off, it would probably be pretty lucrative. But they often seem not to pull it off, and so you wind up with a sub-Blackbird experience at the full Blackbird price, The Lion King in cheap Halloween costumes." More

Video: 'The Last Days of Kugelis'

Chicago food and restaurant documentarian Michael Gebert posted a melancholy and sort of bittersweet video a couple weeks ago that follows along during the last days of Chicago's Healthy Food restaurant, one of a dying breed of Lithuanian eateries in the Windy City. I say bittersweet because we finally get to see how Healthy Food owner Gina Santoski makes kugelis, the restaurant's signature dish and a national dish of Lithuania. More

Video: 'Sky Full of Bacon' Goes Behind the Scenes at Hoosier Mama in Chicago

If you're not in the mood for pie, you will be after watching Michael Gebert's latest episode of Sky Full of Bacon that takes us behind the scenes at Chicago's beloved pie shop Hoosier Mama. Owner Paula Haney and her staff make pies the old fashioned way with all-butter crusts filled with local, seasonal ingredients, and revive recipes from the 19th and early 20th-century (oatmeal pie, anyone?). Haney talks about how she started the business, how she makes pie, and her thoughts about the pie lifestyle. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Video: Sky Full of Bacon Explores the Midwestern Land of Whitefish

We are big fans of Michael Gebert's Sky Full of Bacon video podcast series, even when they don't involve bacon. In this one, he investigates whitefish—what's usually deep-fried for fish and chips or smoked for deli bagel sandwiches. Gebert chats with 92-year-old Robert Schuffler of Robert's Fish Market in Chicago, a man who's digested his fair share of whitefish (even for breakfast) and is still going strong. Gebert then adventures out to the Lake Michigan waters with a family behind a fifth-generation Wisconsin fishery. When it's fresh, whitefish should smell like cucumber. The video, after the jump.... More

Quote of the Day: A Maxim to Eat Pizza By

"... One of my rules is, always try a pizza that dates back to the 1950s. There is always a small possibility that in the intervening 35+ years, they have NOT screwed it up by trying to make it more like Domino’s or something." —Michael Gebert, on Bill's Pizza in Mundelein, Illinois, which he finds surprisingly good... More

Video: Sky Full of Bacon's 'A Better Fish'

Fish is complicated. You can have this one, but not this, and eating that Chilean seabass, oh dear, that might give you awful karma forever. In this beginning of a two-part series on fish, the always enlightening podcast Sky Full of Bacon visits Supreme Lobster, one of the country’s largest fish distributors. SFOB producer-writer-editor Michael Gebert goes behind-the-scenes to understand how the company moves thousands of pounds of fresh fish a week. He talks to sales rep Carl Galvan, who's so passionate about selling the good stuff, he keeps his chef clients updated on Twitter (@chicagofishdude). So much of the seafood discussion is difficult for consumers to navigate but this 22-minute video offers a clear perspective on what happy... More

Video: 'Sky Full of Bacon' Visits Iowa Prosciutto Producers La Quercia

Sky Full of Bacon's Michael Gebert posted this video of his visit to La Quercia in late May, but we haven't blogged it yet, and like all his videos, it's definitely worth watching. Says Gebert: Iowa fills the supermarkets with generic produce and meat... but a few people are trying to show that it can be capable of world-class cuisine, too. That's the mission of La Quercia, whose prosciutto made in a suburb of Des Moines has been raved about by top chefs and food writers. The video, after the jump.... More

In Videos: Sky Full of Bacon's 'Raccoon Stories'

Every year for 82 years now, the Delafield American Legion Post 196 has hosted a raccoon feed to fund the town's youth sports teams. Daniel Zemans touched on the 'coon feed briefly in a pizza post on Slice. That nugget of info was but an appetizer. The always informative and interesting Sky Full of Bacon video podcast comes through with the main course, a nicely produced 18-minute video documenting the 82nd Annual Delafield Raccoon Feed called "Raccoon Stories." As SFOB podcast producer-writer-editor Michael Gebert says, "Ten bucks gets you a trip back in time when Midwesterners hunted for their supper yet were happy to share their catch with strangers, too." Now that you've got some time to really dig... More

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