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Stories by Meredith Francis

Naengmyeon, or cold buckwheat noodles, from "The Korean Vegan" cookbook. Image Courtesy of "The Korean Vegan" by Joanne Lee Molinaro
June 3, 2022 | Meredith Francis
For TikTok creator and James Beard Book Award-nominated cookbook author Joanne Lee Molinaro, food and family are inextricably linked. She shares the story behind her recipe for vegan naengmyeon, or cold buckwheat noodles.
A lychee martini
June 2, 2022 | Meredith Francis
Just a little over a year after it opened, Nobody's Darling already has a James Beard Award nomination for Outstanding Bar Program. Co-owners Angeles Barnes and Renauda Riddle share the story of their Andersonville cocktail bar, along with the recipe for their Southside Lychee Martini.
People walking through the Chicago Food Truck Festival
May 23, 2022 | Meredith Francis
With summer around the corner and the return of festival season, we've got a round-up of some of the food festivals happening in Chicago and the suburbs in June. Have a taste of everything from beer and hard seltzer to vegan food and ribs. 
A man holding saffron in his palm.
May 19, 2022 | Meredith Francis
Chicago-based Heray Spice works with a farmers' co-op in Afghanistan to support Afghan farmers while providing quality saffron to chefs and at-home cooks in the United States. CEO and co-founder Mohammad Salehi talks about his love for saffron and some of the challenges his company has faced since the Taliban took control of his home country last year.
The new Shel Silverstein Forever Stamp was dedicated at Darwin Elementary School on April 8, 2022. (Credit: USPS photographer Nate Chavis)
April 26, 2022 | Meredith Francis
A memorable image from Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree is now preserved on a U.S. postage stamp.
Jane Byrne raising her finger while speaking at a mayoral forum
March 29, 2022 | Meredith Francis
Jane Byrne was the first woman to be elected Mayor of Chicago and the first woman to lead a mayor U.S. city. A new Chicago Stories documentary follow's Byrne's rise to power and tenure as mayor. 
December 16, 2021 | Meredith Francis
Did we all hope 2021 would be a calmer news year than 2020? Probably. Was it? Most definitely not. Test your knowledge of Chicago’s top news stories –– from the essential stories, to the bizarre ones –– with our year-in-review news quiz.
Viola Spolin. Courtesy: Viola Spolin Estate
October 13, 2021 | Meredith Francis
Improv "was born out of a need to communicate with a new immigrant population, from a woman who loved theater," says the producer of our new upcoming documentary Inventing Improv: A Chicago Stories Special.
Katherine Dunham dancing and Katharine Kuh smiling and reading papers
September 7, 2021 | Meredith Francis
Dancer Katherine Dunham and curator Katharine Kuh are part of an upcoming exhibition at the Newberry Library called "Chicago Avant-Garde," which tells the story of five Chicago women who took risks throught their art.
Henry Blake Fuller and a cover of his book, "Bertram Cope's Year"
June 16, 2021 | Meredith Francis
Henry Blake Fuller isn't necessarily a well-known name in literature. But his book Bertram Cope's Year is considered by many to be one of the first American novels to feature gay characters. Fuller also played a big role in making social realism the literary style of Chicago.