Julia Thiel
Julia Thiel

Julia Thiel

I've worked at the Reader since 2007 and have been a staff writer since 2010. I write Key Ingredient, a chef-to-chef recipe challenge that won a James Beard award in 2011, and Cocktail Challenge (a similar ingredient challenge for bartenders). In addition to reviewing restaurants and bars, I write about local beer, spirits, and cocktails. Most of my articles focus on booze or food, from Illinois's first farm distillery to why Chicago's food truck scene is stalled. I also like to document my personal failures, like getting lost on a bike ride to the Indiana Dunes or making mozzarella that could double as a SuperBall. Semicolons are my favorite punctuation mark.

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Key Ingredient: Ostrich egg Key Ingredient: Ostrich egg Small Bar's Justin White tackles the equivalent of two dozen chicken eggs July 28, 2011
A fond farewell to geoducks and other memorable Key Ingredients A fond farewell to geoducks and other memorable Key Ingredients Goodbye natto, and balut, and durian. August 16, 2018
Cooking like Achatz Cooking like Achatz November 19, 2008
The Cocktail Challenge hall of fame The Cocktail Challenge hall of fame Not even pig's blood or stinkbugs daunted our intrepid mixologists. August 16, 2018

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