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

Ultimate Beach House Menu

What's the perfect beach house menu? Nothing fancy, nothing complicated. But you'd want it to be good enough to share with friends. For ideas, Robin talked to Mary Kay Andrews, a prolific novelist who grew up in St. Petersburg and whose more recent books have names like Summer Rental, Beach Town and Sunset Beach. Last year, she came out with The Beach House Cookbook: Easy, Breezy Recipes with a Southern Accent. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more. Available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

Take Me In to the Ballgame: How to Make Stadium-Quality Hot Dogs at Home

If you're prepping for a cookout or seeking to recreate stadium-quality hot dogs at home, Mel Lohn can help. He's the larger-than-life personality behind Mel's Hot Dogs. This month marks 47 years that Mel and his wife, Virginia, have been operating the restaurant, which has become a Tampa institution. The Zest's Dalia Colón spoke with Mel about the eatery's early days and how to make a better hot dog at home. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more. Available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

Take Me In to the Ballgame: How to Make Stadium-Quality Hot Dogs at Home

Cocktails for Hurricane Season

There's an official-looking decal on the fridge at work. It says: "Hurricane Evacuation Plan: Grab beer. Run like hell." It's true! Before a hurricane hits, people do tend to stock up on alcohol. (Also strawberry Pop-Tarts, according to Walmart.) So this hurricane season, while we're out picking up batteries and bottled water, let's plan ahead and gather supplies for some festive-feeling, stress-reducing, storm-themed cocktails. For recipes, Robin spoke to Jeannie Weaver, owner and chief mixologist at Revival, a craft cocktail bar in downtown Lakeland. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more. Available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

Tampa Bay's Black-Owned Restaurants; How to Read a Recipe

In 2019, Alexandria Jones set out on a mission: to interview owners of a handful of black-owned eateries across Tampa Bay. She turned those interviews into a half-hour documentary called A Soulful Taste: Exploring Tampa Bay's Black-Owned Food Scene. In February of this year, Alex uploaded the video to YouTube, where you can watch the film in its entirety. Alex often writes about food on her blog, The Frugalista Life. She's also a freelance food writer for Creative Loafing. Those connections came in handy when it came time to select restaurant owners to interview for the film, as Alex explained to The Zest's Dalia Colón. Plus, lots of us have rediscovered the art of home cooking lately. Along with that, we've been reading a lot of recipes. The Zest's correspondent Janet Keeler offers some advice. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more. Available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

Lamb, Baklava & Family: Going Greek in Tarpon Springs

Miami has Little Haiti and Little Havana. Orlando has Little Vietnam. And in Northern Pinellas County, you'll find an ethnic enclave like no other: Tarpon Springs. In the late 1800s, Greek immigrants established the town's sponge-diving industry. Today, visitors flock to Tarpon Springs not only to buy sponges but also to sample the authentic Greek food. Mykonos restaurant has been a Tarpon Springs institution since 1992. The Zest's Dalia Colón chats with the restaurant's founder, Andreas Salivaras, and his granddaughter, Nichole Pastis, about Greek food and being in business as a family. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more. Available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

From Disney to Downtown: Orlando's Best Restaurants

The Orlando area has been experiencing an explosion of great restaurants. When there are so many choices, the Orlando Sentinel's Foodie Awards can point you toward some interesting local places to try. Amy Drew Thompson is the Orlando Sentinel's multimedia food reporter, and 2020 was her first year of taking on the gargantuan task of singling out restaurants in 50 different categories. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more. Available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

Summertime Grilling Tips for Your Best Barbecue Season Yet

Avera Wynne spent 30 years as an urban planner—a good job that paid for his barbecue habit. This certified barbecue judge now has his own line of seasoning blends called Zest Coast. Avera talks about when to use gas and when to use charcoal, plus he gives us his number one tip for grilling like a pro. Robin also asked him where the name Avera comes from, and it turns out there's a connection to North Carolina and the Civil War. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more. Available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

Chef Michelle Bernstein's Latin-Jewish 'Mishmosh'

Michelle Bernstein started cooking fusion food dishes long before "fusion" was a buzzword. The Miami chef, restaurant owner and TV personality made a name for herself combining flavors and techniques from her Latin-Jewish heritage. And it works. In 2008, the James Beard Foundation recognized her as the best chef in the South. In this conversation with The Zest producer Dalia Colón, Bernstein discusses how her Latin-Jewish heritage influences how she cooks, her favorite South Florida food trends and the restaurant meals she's missing during the pandemic. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more ,available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

Extra Zest: Sweet Corn & Melons Are What's Ripe Now

It's time for melons and watermelons in Florida, which are in season right now. You'll find them in the stores, and farmers are selling from roadside stands. Sweet corn is also in season, and is grown all over the state before making its way further north. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more. Available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

Grits, Gravy and Pie: Florida Cracker Cooking

What comes to mind when you think about original Florida cracker cooking? If you're thinking biscuits and gravy, chess pie and dumplings, you're on the right track. Joy Harris's new cookbook, The Florida Cracker Cookbook: Recipes & Stories from Cabin to Condo, celebrates her ancestors' down home cooking — some of which was done in a Panhandle cabin with no electricity! The Zest contributor Janet Keeler spoke to Joy about the roots of Florida cooking. Support for The Zest Podcast comes from Seitenbacher Brand Natural Foods, like Muesli cereals, oils, oatmeal, energy bars, gluten free fruit gummies for the kids, organic coffee and more ,available in supermarkets, health food stores or online at Seitenbacher.com.

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