The Zest Because it's strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.© 2020 WUSF Public Media. University of South Florida. All rights reserved.
The Zest

The Zest

From WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Because it's strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.© 2020 WUSF Public Media. University of South Florida. All rights reserved.

Most Recent Episodes

Talking Seoul Food with Miami's 2 Korean Girls

When you're in Miami, it's easy to find a Cuban sandwich... and wash it down with a cup of Cuban coffee. But Jennifer and Michele Kaminski were craving something different— more along the lines of the Korean food they grew up eating. So the sisters started a ghost kitchen. That's a restaurant that's available only for delivery and takeout. They called in 2 Korean Girls, and it's generating big buzz in South Florida. I recently spoke with Jennifer and Michele about the foods that remind them of childhood and the role 2 Korean Girls plays in the movement to stop Asian hate. Related episodes: Chef Allen Susser Brings Good Mango Mojo Chef Joe Isidori Wants You to Explore Florida's Ethnic Food Markets

Chef Greg Baker on Mental Health: "It's Okay to Not Be Okay"

Over his career, Greg Baker worked his way up from teenage dishwasher to a six-time James Beard Award nominated chef. Greg is perhaps best known as the chef behind The Refinery, a popular farm-to-table restaurant in Tampa's Seminole Heights neighborhood that he owned from 2010 to 2019 with his wife, Michelle Baker. He loves how a plate of food can make someone happy. But for Greg and countless others in the restaurant industry, the work often has the opposite effect. Greg says it's no coincidence that his industry is a breeding ground for serious issues, like mental health struggles, substance abuse and even suicide. In our conversation, Greg opens up about his own struggles and suggests ways to make things a little better, whether you're a restaurant worker or customer. If you enjoyed this conversation with Greg, then you may also enjoy these episodes: Taco Bus Founder Rene Valenzuela on Cinco de Mayo, His Life-Changing Accident & What's Next Beer Kulture Raises the Bar for Diversity in Craft Beverage Industry Chef Judi Gallagher on the Lost Art of Hand-Written Recipes

How Gatorade Went from Gainesville to Global Brand

Dalia chats with Stephanie Bailes, president and executive director of Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention in Gainesville. The museum is named for the late Dr. James Robert Cade, a nephrologist (a.k.a. kidney doctor) at the University of Florida and the lead inventor of Gatorade. Dr. Cade and his team developed Gatorade in 1965 as a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage designed to keep Gator football players hydrated in the Florida heat. Today, Gatorade is a multibillion-dollar division of PepsiCo whose impact extends far beyond the world of sports. ESPN even documented Gatorade's history in its 30 for 30 series. Related episodes: Nutrition Tips for Young Athletes: And the Rest of Us Super Bowl Chef to Showcase Florida Flavors Take Me In to the Ballgame: How to Make Stadium-Quality Hot Dogs at Home

No Recipe? No Problem: How to Cook Using Your Intuition

With COVID variants looming large, many of us are back to cooking at home. Some of us never stopped. And while we're all for supporting local restaurants, ordering takeout everyday isn't always in the best interest of our wallets—or our waistlines. So friend of the pod Wendy Wesley is here with some guidelines for stress-free cooking. We're talking no-recipes, use-whatever-you-have-on-hand cooking. Wendy is a registered and licensed dietitian and nutritionist based in St. Petersburg. She believes anyone can cook a great meal, with just a few guiding principles and intuition. And yes, she knows that sounds kinda woo-woo. But whenever Wendy's on the podcast, she brings such practical advice to help us eat healthier and actually enjoy the process. So we're in good hands, y'all. Here's Dalia's conversation with Wendy, which we recorded in the spring. Related episodes: 14 Tips for Cooking Faster at Home Hacks to Help You Eat More Veggies How to Snack Smarter Chef Richard Anderson's Tips on Fall Comfort Foods

Alfresco Dining Tips from "Outdoorsy Diva" Lauren Gay

And she always looks fabulous. Her Instagram account, @OutdoorsyDiva, is worth a follow for the outfits alone. We figured someone so glam probably enjoys some pretty amazing meals, even while she's roughing it. So we recently spoke with Lauren about how she got into adventure blogging and how we can all eat better in the great outdoors. Related episodes: Fresh Florida Oysters The Ultimate Beach House Menu Summertime Grilling Tips for Your Best Barbecue Season Yet

Zak the Baker Keeps It Kosher

In Miami's artsy Wynwood neighborhood, there's a colorfully painted building that has people lining up around the block. Customers wait patiently for bagels, guava-cheese pastries and other treats. But not on Saturdays. The bake shop known as Zak the Baker is a kosher bakery that closes every week for the Jewish Sabbath. But the owner, 36-year-old Zak Stern, is not as religious as you might think. So why would a self-described "non-religious Jew" open a kosher bakery in the first place? Zak explained during our recent conversation. He also shared why he trimmed his trademark beard and why he has no plans to expand Zak the Baker to other cities. Hungry for more? Check out these related episodes from our house of carbs: Is Bread Life? It is at Born and Bread Bakehouse! Michelle Bernstein's Jewish-Latin 'Mishmosh' of a Life Sourdough 101

Bonus Episode: The Zest on Florida Matters

The Zest and Florida Matters podcasts are produced by WUSF Public Media.

Season 4 Premiere: Disney Food Blog's AJ Wolfe

You might call it the most magical food blog on earth. Disney Food Blog, along with its accompanying YouTube and social media channels, is the uber-popular destination for Disney food news. Want to know the best Disney World restaurant for vegetarians, or how to get a birthday cake delivered to your room at a Disney hotel? DFB's got you covered. In fact, the blog offers news, reviews and photos of anything food-related at Disney's parks, resorts, events, cruise ships and even movies. Dalia recently spoke with Disney Food Blog's owner and executive editor, AJ Wolfe, for her best Dis ney World dining tips. AJ's blog has no official affiliation with the Disney company, so she's not afraid to tell you which dining experiences are beauties and which are beasts. Related episodes: Chef Art Smith Talks Politics: "Fried Chicken Takes No Sides" Season 2 Finale: Disney Dining Tips and an Announcement from Robin Vegan Food Boom at Florida's Theme Parks

Coming Soon... Season 4!

New episodes drop every Thursday, beginning Aug. 5. Listen in your favorite podcast app or at

Season 3 Finale: Dining with Salvador Dalí

It's our season 3 finale, and unlike most of this season's conversations, today's episode was not recorded from Dalia's bedroom closet. We bring you a fascinating look into the role food played in Salvador Dalí's life and work. We're sharing a recording of a presentation by Peter Tush, who is curator of education of the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg. Peter gave the talk in April via Zoom as part of the Epicurean Delights series presented by Florida CraftArt. Peter's talk covers: eating, how food became symbolic for Dalí, cannibalism, edible architecture, digestion/excretion and the Dalí cookbook/dining. The Dalí cookbook Les dîners de Gala is available for purchase in the Dalí Museum store. Related episodes: Zora Neale Hurston's Foodie Life A Feast for the Eyes at Café Gala