Team Gears Welcomes Food Writer Michael Nagrant

Everybody in the Chicago food scene knows (or knows of) Michael Nagrant, and we’re happy to announce he’ll be a contributor to Changing Gears. Mike is taking charge of Reinvention Recipes, our look at chefs and food purveyors across the region who are taking new approaches to cuisine. Watch for Reinvention videos and recipes to run here soon.

In my short stint in Chicago, I’ve found Mike to be an encyclopedia of the local food scene. Ask him for a recommendation, as I did today, and you’ll get a synopsis of the menu, the backgrounds of the chefs and a description of the atmosphere and prices.

His work has appeared in Saveur, as well as New York Magazine’s Grub Street blog. He’s a regular contributor to Chicago Magazine and the Chicago Sun Times, and the regular food columnist for and CS-Modern Luxury. He also was — drum roll — an essayist in the Alinea cookbook by chef Grant Achatz that won the James Beard Award.

Recently, Mike wrote about the eyeball taco at Chicago’s Maxwell Street Market; reviewed the restaurant Kith and Kin; and looked at the intimidating yet fascinating sport of competitive eating.

Have an idea for Mike to pursue? Send it to changinggears (at) umich.ed and put “Reinvention Recipes” in the subject line.

P.S. wonder why we’re not running Mike’s photo? There are still some places in Chicago where he wants to eat and doesn’t want people to know he’s eating there. There’s always this idea, though.

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