We were briefly tempted to headline this story “Guy Who Doesn’t Get Chicago Pizza Launches Chicago Food Site,” but focusing on Serious Eats founder Ed Levine’s unaccountable blind spot toward Chicago’s exquisite reinvention of the pizza paradigm wouldn’t give a fair appraisal of what Serious Eats Chicago will likely be. That’s because the longtime Serious Eats contributors from Chicago who are going to be involved have impeccable track records when it comes to taking our Eats Seriously. The editor will be Nick Kindelsperger, who just happens to be the former editor of Grub Street Chicago, and his roster of contributors will include Blake Royer (who is Kindelsperger’s partner on the blog The Paupered Chef) and Daniel Zemans, who has been a tireless chronicler of Chicago pizza on the Slice sub-blog of the Serious Eats empire.
Judging by the stated purpose in the announcement, and the hot dog in the logo (though we’d rather have seen a minimalist Gene’s and Jude’s-style dog there) as well as what we know of the team and their past work, the intention would seem to be to mostly steer clear of the food industry/media news beat (as represented by this and a few other sites) and to focus on food qua food, high and low, throughout the city. This is, we think, a good thing. The lower, neighborhood-jointy end got a big boost of attention in LTHForum’s heyday of influence in the mid-2000s, and suddenly everybody was talking Katy’s Noodles and Old-Fashioned Donuts. But the highish end (or whatever you want to call gastropubs and up) has been so active and vibrant in the last few years (not a bad thing, of course) that it’s crowded the low end back out of the media spotlight, with the rare exception such as Lao Hunan. It will be good to have a major and active site dedicated to focusing attention on that side of the city again; welcome and good luck.