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New Site Promises Great In-Depth Writing About Chicago's Food Scene

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 14, 2015 6:35PM

Christine Cikowski and Josh Kulp of Honey Butter Fried Chicken toast the new site (via Fooditor)
As food geeks, we're constantly on the lookout for new restaurants, bars, food trucks and dishes. But just as exciting (and much rarer) is the launch of a new food publication. Fooditor, a web-based pub from James Beard Award-winning food writer Michael Gebert, launched yesterday, and promises to dramatically expand the availability of long-form food writing in the city.

Gebert is the man behind Sky Full of Bacon, the former editor of Grubstreet Chicago, a columnist for the Chicago Reader and the host of the dearly departed Airwaves Full of Bacon podcast. As food publications closed around the city, he saw a void that needed filling. Places like Grub Street, the Sun-Times, Daily Candy, Tasting Table, The Feast and others shuttered or cut back dramatically, leaving the food writing scene dominated by just a few players.

"We're back to our main sources of food coverage being the Tribune, Chicago Magazine and the Reader, as if the whole internet era had never changed anything," explains Gebert. Rather than just bitching over drinks before overpriced meals (as we food writers tend to do), he actually decided to do something about it.

Right now, his initial story is about Manny's, the famous Jewish deli in the West Loop, its long history and the launch of its retail line. There are pretty photos, tales of the employees who have been there for decades, and a tease that more locations might be coming soon. It's a great example of the kind of food writing that's rare—the sort that you can cozy up with for a good long read and come out on the other side feeling like you know the people involved.

In addition to stories, the site has tools to help people choose restaurants and follow dining news. "Destinator gives you curated lists to help you know where to go," explains Gebert, while "Buzz List gives you what's hot in kind of the same way."

He's not only planning to do long-form, serious, historical features, by the way. "Food is entertainment, so there's nothing wrong with some of it being kind of lightweight content as long as it's respectable lightweight content that helps people choose the better places to go."