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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.
  • Welcome to the Cook County animal maze

    A patchwork animal-control system with no central database has made Chicago and its environs a place where lost dogs stay lost. Animal lovers and Commissioner John Fritchey want to change that.
  • Zoom in: West Town

    The Polish Museum of America just might be haunted by a former Polish prime minister
  • The Food Issue

    Rare pigs, vexing cheese, heirloom grains, black pepper gelato, farming for the city, and the best new restaurants of 2009
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