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 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.