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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Thursday, February 22

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Windy City Blogger Wed Oct 07 2009

Windy City Blogger Wednesday: Bake and Destroy

This week, I would like to introduce Natalie Slater of Bake and Destroy!

Natalie Slater Bake and Destroy

What brought you to Chicago?
Destiny and a moving van. I was born in Joliet and as a teenager I spent every second I could spare in Chicago. As soon as I was ready to go to college I moved to the city. I graduated from Columbia with a BA in Magazine Journalism.

What do you do when you aren't blogging?
I'm the Internet Communications Manger for a Chicago-based green e-commerce company (, which means I'm kind of always blogging. I run our corporate blog, Facebook page and Twitter accounts. Besides Bake and Destroy I also have The Donut Database and Send More Cops. And I contribute to Brutal As Hell and All Things Cupcake. So um...yeah, always blogging.

Favorite restaurant in Chicago?
Ok, this answer comes with stipulations. I could absolutely live on Lou Malnati's, so that's my go-to. But for a night out with my lady bros I have to go with Hot Chocolate for sexy doughnuts. My husband and I got married at Chicago Diner, so that's in the top 5 for sure. Dawali has the best falafel in Chicago and if the line is too long at Kuma's, which it always is, you can get an amazing veggie burger with a side of hilarious at The Dragonlady Lounge.

Favorite restaurant in Chicago, if you aren't paying?
Dude, anything's my favorite if it's free. Who wants to take me out?

Favorite recipe and/or post?
I think I bake more Vegan Elvis Comeback Specials than anything else. I ran around Renegade with a dozen of them this year and gave them away to all my favorite sellers. I think my all-time favorite post is the one about the time my friend Melisser and I made the worst cinnamon rolls ever.

How do take your coffee?
I like my coffee like I like my men -- ground up and in the freezer. Oh, and I also like it straight up from Metropolis.

Cubs or Sox?
The Bears!

What is the one thing/place/restaurant that you recommend to your out of town guests?
My condo is kind of a hostel for other food bloggers and the one thing they always freak out about at my place is my kind of insane collection of Japanese miniature food. So after about 20 minutes of "what the? How the...?" I usually take them to Rotofugi where they can buy their own.

One (or two) things that you can't live without in your kitchen?
Butter. I know I eat/post about a lot of vegan food but I do eat dairy and when I'm not baking vegan stuff I use as much of it as possible. I would also be lost without my open star decorating tip. It gives me big, swirly frosting every time.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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