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Stories by Samantha Nelson

Pitmaster Dominque Leach in front of Lexington Betty Smoke House
December 2, 2022 | Samantha Nelson
The work hasn't always been easy for pitmaster Dominique Leach, co-owner of Pullman barbecue restaurant Lexington Betty Smoke House. But she says her community has been receptive to her work as a Black woman chef, and lines at her restaurant are longer than ever.
A spread of Laotian food from Laos to Your House
November 18, 2022 | Samantha Nelson
The pickup-and-delivery-only restaurant Laos to Your House is the only restaurant in Chicago where you can try the cuisine of the Southeast Asian country. “We're really putting in a lot of time and a lot of effort into this, but it doesn't feel like work when you're passionate about it," says one of the owners.
Alisha Elenz. Image: Wade McElroy
October 27, 2022 | Samantha Nelson
Alisha Elenz, chef de cuisine at the new West Loop restaurant Bambola, was an executive chef at age 23 and was nominated for a James Beard Award before she was 25. She talks about her perspective as a young woman in the culinary world and balancing life outside the kitchen. 
Roasted baby artichokes by Sarah Grueneberg
October 7, 2022 | Samantha Nelson
Monteverde Restaurant & Pastificio chef and owner Sarah Grueneberg has a new cookbook with recipes for vegetables and—what her restaurant is perhaps best known for—pasta. The James Beard Award winner shares her recipe for roasted baby artichokes, which came about by accident.
Alma and Cristóbal Mora of Bueno Days sell Mexican coffee
September 26, 2022 | Samantha Nelson
Alma and Cristóbal Mora founded Bueno Days to use their love of coffee to explore their Mexican heritage, selling beans sourced from Mexico and providing education alongside their coffee and inspired drinks such as horchata cold brew and a mole latte.
September 12, 2022 | Samantha Nelson
Oak Park's The Daly Bagel is the brainchild of resident Amanda Daly, who began as an amateur baker making bagels for her son.
Three buckwheat brownies with a stenciled flour design on a red plate.
August 1, 2022 | Samantha Nelson
Get a sneak-peak at a forthcoming cookbook from James Beard Award-winning baker Greg Wade with a recipe for buckwheat brownies. He also talks about the new warehouse and retail space at Publican Quality Bread.