I never met an organ meat I didn’t like. Well, that’s not entirely true. The goat eyeball taco at the Maxwell Street Market was a challenge, but that’s why God invented hot sauce. Generally, my engagement with “weird” food has been enlightening.
I will never be a foodist. I believe the finest dining is found at the bottom of a soulful bowl of pho in a corner noodle shack on Argyle Street and also in a multi-course elegant pre-fixe dinner in the Loop. I also eat a lot of Hot Pockets and Totino’s pizza rolls.
I launched my food journalism career producing long form podcast “Fresh Air” style interviews with chefs and food personalities as the founder of the blog Hungry. Since then, I’ve been a freelance contributor to Serious Eats, Chicago magazine, Time Out Chicago, Newcity, Zagat, Modern Luxury CS, Chicago Journal, Eater Chicago, and the Chicago Tribune. I’ve written nationally for Saveur, Food & Wine, Zagat, Food Network, and Grubstreet, and was also a contributing writer for the James Beard Award-Winning Alinea cookbook. I’m the former (and last ever – for now) Chicago Sun-Times food critic, and also a former contributor to Chicago Tribune RedEye and Sotheby’s Artful Living magazine.
I also spent five years working the line at a mom and pop pizza joint in suburban Detroit, and while I may not be a top chef, I understand the heat of the kitchen and the throbbing of leg muscles at the end of a long night of cooking. Because I’ll eat anything twice (you never know if the first dish was cooked right), I relish a lifetime of pursuing delicious second chances.
I am always interested in dialogue, praise, and/or being told how insufferable and ignorant about food (and everything else) that I am, so if you want to reach out: mike [at] michaelnagrant [dot] [com]