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Introducing my HD food video podcast, Sky Full of Bacon!

Introducing my HD food video podcast, Sky Full of Bacon!
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  • Post #91 - March 8th, 2010, 7:59 am
    Post #91 - March 8th, 2010, 7:59 am Post #91 - March 8th, 2010, 7:59 am
    Sky Full of Bacon #14: The Last Days of Kugelis



    The history of Lithuanians in Chicago is the history of the twentieth century— from immigration in the early years of the century to the racial tensions of the 1960s. One of the last examples of Lithuanian Chicago closed in late 2009: Healthy Food, a 71-year-old restaurant serving good hearty Eastern European food in the Bridgeport neighborhood. I was at Healthy Food during its last few days, talking to owner Gina Santoski about her life in the restaurant (which her parents bought in 1960) and to the staff and customers who made it one of Chicago’s classic old neighborhood spots.

    And, for the first and only time, I captured on video the complete making of Healthy Food’s signature dish, kugelis— according to Gina, she never let other journalists shoot the full process, because she was concerned that the traditional ways of making it would attract unwanted Health Department attention; but since she was closing anyway, she let me shoot it all. (15:31)
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #92 - March 9th, 2010, 11:23 pm
    Post #92 - March 9th, 2010, 11:23 pm Post #92 - March 9th, 2010, 11:23 pm
    Hi,

    Oldest Lithuanian restaurant was here in Chicago, who would have guessed.

    I'm glad you used ambient light following the cook going through the paces of making kuglis. It lent a somber tone to the film. Knowing this hasn't happened in months, it is almost ghostly.

    I'm inspired, I am going to make some Kugelis at home real soon. I see I missed an opportunity to add another (another!) food t-shirt to the collection: "Kugelis: Breakfast of Champions" has a nice ring to it.

    Well worth the time to watch it.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #93 - March 10th, 2010, 1:34 am
    Post #93 - March 10th, 2010, 1:34 am Post #93 - March 10th, 2010, 1:34 am
    Mike G wrote:
    And, for the first and only time, I captured on video the complete making of Healthy Food’s signature dish, kugelis— according to Gina, she never let other journalists shoot the full process, because she was concerned that the traditional ways of making it would attract unwanted Health Department attention; but since she was closing anyway, she let me shoot it all. (15:31)


    Another compelling and well-shot story, Mike; many thanks. Her "bacon is bacon" maxim is really funny, and totally in character. Would her kugelis have been better with a home-cured side from an heirloom Old Country pig, smoked over sustainable applewood or whatever they used in her father's village? I'm not sure. When I asked her about her source a few years ago, she shrugged and said "Oscar Mayer." In that sense, bacon is bacon. But if I ever made this at home, I'd probably spring for the good stuff (especially if I had recently visited Zup's or Nueske).
  • Post #94 - March 11th, 2010, 9:16 am
    Post #94 - March 11th, 2010, 9:16 am Post #94 - March 11th, 2010, 9:16 am
    Thanks, both of you, this one has gotten a lot of good comment so far, even here. Yeah, I have no idea why Wanda cooked in such Caravaggian murk, but she did, and when she offered to turn on a light for me, I said no, no, it's great!

    And yes, "bacon is bacon" had to make the final cut as a counter view to everything I stand for!
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #95 - June 11th, 2010, 8:20 pm
    Post #95 - June 11th, 2010, 8:20 pm Post #95 - June 11th, 2010, 8:20 pm
    Sky Full of Bacon #15: Big Chef Small Farmer



    Can small-scale, artisanal agriculture ever really compete with modern industrial agriculture? That's the question I explore in this Sky Full of Bacon— by seeing how the chef-farmer relationship works from both sides. Chef Mark Mendez runs Chicago's huge Carnivale restaurant; he has a real commitment to buying better meat and produce from local farmers, but we also see how his principles sometimes collide with the need to keep this huge operation running smoothly. David Cleverdon sells high-quality organic greens from Kinnikinnick Farm 90 minutes northwest of Chicago; he talks about how farmers respond to demand from chefs, and what it will take to create a market that supports better forms of agriculture. (23:11)
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #96 - June 11th, 2010, 10:07 pm
    Post #96 - June 11th, 2010, 10:07 pm Post #96 - June 11th, 2010, 10:07 pm
    Nice, Mike. Both Wellesian characters come across very well in their own domains; Cleverdon hits the table and himself so hard that you don't even need a foley, and I like that Mark places himself past "a carrot is a carrot," a step further than our friend Gina in the last episode. Where is David from? I can't place the accent, and would love to know how he got to CBOT in the first place, and then made the transition to growing hectares of arugula in Caledonia.
  • Post #97 - June 11th, 2010, 11:00 pm
    Post #97 - June 11th, 2010, 11:00 pm Post #97 - June 11th, 2010, 11:00 pm
    He's from Long Island, I think, or somewhere in that area; he says so at some point in two hours of raw footage but I can't find it easily at the moment. (Speaking of Wellesian, at times he sounds remarkably like Paul Stewart to me, Raymond the butler in Citizen Kane and years later, the physically inapt standin for Truman Capote in In Cold Blood.) He also worked as a political consultant (and found himself suddenly out of work when Governor Dan Walker lost the primary, which apparently occasioned thoughts of other careers). Becoming a farmer evolved out of doing a lot of gardening at a vacation home in the 70s; the farm itself dates back to the 1840s and the house is actually built around the log cabin it started as, the logs and their mortar visible in the oldest part.

    I'm not exactly sure how his academic background led to the Board of Trade but at one point he divides Chicago chefs into "the existential chefs and the Hegelian chefs." That is, there are the ones who make something out of what's at the market, and the ones who are creating a system, like Hegel, and designing the plate entirely out of their own heads. Works for me.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #98 - June 12th, 2010, 11:26 am
    Post #98 - June 12th, 2010, 11:26 am Post #98 - June 12th, 2010, 11:26 am
    It will be interesting to see where Mark Mendez goes, though I’m assuming and hoping that he’s staying in Chicago. For some odd reason, he gets less attention than his Fulton neighbors Kahan and Cantu. Odd, because the attitude he has about what he’s sourcing and how he’s cooking, and the undeniable deliciousness of what his kitchen turns out, put him in the first ranks of Chicago chefs…and yet, he seems to get less recognition than he deserves. I do think part of it is that, ironically, he helms a very popular restaurant. 1K tops a night?! That may sound like success, and it clearly is a business success, but I think the very popularity of Carnivale works against Mendez because people may tend to think of Carnivale as a tourist/expense account place and a maybe a hangout for entitled arses who demand tomatoes in December. Mado, Lula, little places like that say “artisanal,” “hand-crafted,” and “local,” but a cavernous Kleinerama like Carnivale, well, the vibe of the place doesn’t communicate those values even though Mendez is living them every day.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #99 - September 28th, 2010, 10:50 am
    Post #99 - September 28th, 2010, 10:50 am Post #99 - September 28th, 2010, 10:50 am
    Sky Full of Bacon 16: Night of the Sfingi



    LTHers will be familiar with the Taste of Melrose Park, a 90%+ Italian-American food fest in a near-western suburb, thanks to David Hammond's extensive coverage of it here and elsewhere over the years. But it's time for everybody to get to know this lively, mostly amateur-in-the-best-sense three-day party in which families celebrate and share old family recipes with old friends. Every dish tells a story, and Hammond and I team up to hear the stories behind everything from lupini beans to sfingi to fried bologna sandwiches. It's about 19 minutes of good times, enjoy!
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #100 - September 19th, 2011, 8:36 am
    Post #100 - September 19th, 2011, 8:36 am Post #100 - September 19th, 2011, 8:36 am
    A year in the making! With a cast of thousands of rib tips and hot links! Starring your favorite pitmasters, and introducing new ones! At long last, it's the new Sky Full of Bacon video...



    Although other videos have been inspired by this (Cathy) or that (David) LTH member, this one draws so much inspiration from the long-running and obsessive chronicling of barbecue here at LTH that I had to thank the whole community this time in the end credits. So... thanks, and enjoy.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #101 - September 19th, 2011, 9:58 am
    Post #101 - September 19th, 2011, 9:58 am Post #101 - September 19th, 2011, 9:58 am
    Wow. Thanks. Mike, you have given us the definitive document on Chicago's endemic BBQ. It's been a long time coming. Your work gets better and better.
  • Post #102 - September 19th, 2011, 10:33 am
    Post #102 - September 19th, 2011, 10:33 am Post #102 - September 19th, 2011, 10:33 am
    Really loved it. Great stories and history.
  • Post #103 - September 19th, 2011, 11:36 am
    Post #103 - September 19th, 2011, 11:36 am Post #103 - September 19th, 2011, 11:36 am
    Mike G wrote:A year in the making! With a cast of thousands of rib tips and hot links! Starring your favorite pitmasters, and introducing new ones! At long last, it's the new Sky Full of Bacon video...


    Although other videos have been inspired by this (Cathy) or that (David) LTH member, this one draws so much inspiration from the long-running and obsessive chronicling of barbecue here at LTH that I had to thank the whole community this time in the end credits. So... thanks, and enjoy.


    Yes! A year of anticipation as well since you teased it! :lol: Excellent work as usual.
    One of my best food memories is Big Will from Emma's BBQ in Harvey taking me into his home to toeach me how to make hot links and cook rib tips. Thanks for jogging them.
  • Post #104 - December 8th, 2011, 5:26 pm
    Post #104 - December 8th, 2011, 5:26 pm Post #104 - December 8th, 2011, 5:26 pm
    Hi Mike,

    Is there no longer an RSS feed option for the Sky Full of Bacon podcast? I noticed recently that it hadn't updated for a while in my RSS feed reader, but I just presumed you were busy with other things. Then I saw the video with Takashi Yagihashi that you posted for Grub Street Chicago, and noticed the SFOB title screen. But on the site, clicking on the RSS icon yields a "page not found, 404 error" message.

    Also, don't know if you already know this, but when I go to the SFOB web page (skyfullofbacon.com), the WOT (web of trust) screening add-in for Firefox flashes up a big scary warning screen that says "This site has a poor reputation based on user ratings."

    Is there a different web address I should be using to subscribe to the RSS feed, or is it just not available via RSS feed any more? I think the last video I was able to see via RSS feed was #17, on barbecue history in Chicago.
    Last edited by Katie on December 8th, 2011, 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #105 - December 8th, 2011, 6:00 pm
    Post #105 - December 8th, 2011, 6:00 pm Post #105 - December 8th, 2011, 6:00 pm
    I don't use RSS much, so I never quite know what to do about that, but yes, I think it got broken in the (otherwise surely helpful) rehab of the site recently, or sometime, or something.

    It's on my to-do list, but, you know, good luck with anything in December.

    As for why Firefox doesn't trust it, beats me, it's spam-free and whatnot. I don't trust you either, Firefox! So there.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #106 - December 8th, 2011, 6:21 pm
    Post #106 - December 8th, 2011, 6:21 pm Post #106 - December 8th, 2011, 6:21 pm
    It's not a Firefox issue. Web of Trust is a separate service that works with all browsers.

    See http://www.mywot.com/en/scorecard/skyfullofbacon.com

    Apparently someone, at some time, hijacked the address for an on-line pharmacy. There's a link on that page for the owner to claim the site and, presumably, clear the poor reputation flag.
  • Post #107 - December 8th, 2011, 6:28 pm
    Post #107 - December 8th, 2011, 6:28 pm Post #107 - December 8th, 2011, 6:28 pm
    Well, that was fascist and unhelpful. Really speaks well of the quality information users are getting out of it.

    Jesus, the web makes you do a lot of stupid stuff just to exist.

    Thanks, Darrin, I guess...
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #108 - July 23rd, 2013, 8:57 am
    Post #108 - July 23rd, 2013, 8:57 am Post #108 - July 23rd, 2013, 8:57 am
    Sky Full of Bacon 21: Woodsmoke Nation

    In this Sky Full of Bacon Mike Gebert embed with a barbecue competition in downstate Illinois to experience the world of championship BBQ teams.

    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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