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Chicago’s Four Best Food Podcasts

Illustration by John Kenzie
Illustration: John Kenzie

1 The Big Schmear

What:All about Jewish food, from scholar Beth Schenker
Best for:Adepts who can already tell a kishke from a knish
Start with:“Cheesecake Time With the Iconic Eli’s Cheesecake,” a dive into the dessert’s local rooss

2 Chewing

What:Louisa Chu (Chicago Tribune) and Monica Eng (WBEZ) get into the science and stories behind everything from weed to square pizzas.
Best for:Listeners who don’t mind geeking out
Start with:“Bao and Boom,” which includes both a chat about Pixar’s short film Bao and exploding watermelon seeds

3 The Feed

What:Rick Bayless and ABC-7’s Steve Dolinsky recount experiences both local and far-flung.
Best for:Globetrotters — there are lots of city-specific episodes, from Montreal to Istanbul, and the hosts offer restaurant recs.
Start with:“Food Styling,” which will teach you more about culinary photography than you ever imagined you could know

4 Overserved

What:Ari Bendersky and Maggie Hennessy (a Chicago contributor) interview chefs.
Best for:Those who wish they could pop into the kitchen at restaurants for a philosophical chat
Start with:Their conversation with Virtue’s Erick Williams, who explores the historical distinctions between urban soul food and rural Southern fare without shying away from their ties to racial oppression.

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