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A closer look at the revamped Taste section

Welcome to your new Taste section, now completely devoted to food, wine and spirits, and entertaining.

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If you've gotten to this space because you're looking for TV or movie times, you will find them in the new daily section called BayLink. Also in BayLink are the comics, horoscope, crossword and other puzzles. I hope, though, you'll find features in Taste to keep you here for one cup of coffee.

Regular Taste readers will find most of their favorite columns. 5:30 Challenge will run as space permits and What Can I Bring? has been discontinued.

One of my favorite new features is Signature Dish, a photo and brief story about Tampa Bay area home cooks and their best-loved dishes. Find the inaugural column about John Agnew of Dunedin and his Cheese Grits Casserole below, along with instructions on how to submit nominations.

Among other changes to the section:

• The weekly restaurant review returns after several years in Thursday's Weekend section. St. Petersburg Times food critic Laura Reiley will award stars — four being tops — for food, ambience and service, plus give an overall rating for each restaurant. Dining recommendations and a second restaurant review that will revisit an old favorite or send you to a fun new lunch spot remain in Weekend.

• You Asked For It, the reader-generated recipe exchange column that has been part of the section for more than 30 years, includes tested recipes and color photos. Taster's Choice, the weekly testing of grocery store products, becomes a clip-and-save chart.

• My daily blog, Stir Crazy, comes to the newspaper, to offer weeknight dinner ideas. Most of them won't require recipes. Read more at and join the conversation there.

• Chris Sherman's wine and spirits coverage continues and his wine (or beer) of the week recommendation runs weekly.

• Occasional features include Where I Cook, a photo of someone in the place where it all comes together. Read and Feed will provide book club selections each month plus suggestions for food themed to the book's plot. Weekend Warrior is the column to look for if you are like me and willing to spend all day in the kitchen for one challenging meal.

• Recipes will be labeled easy, moderate or difficult to help you determine if you've got the time, inclination or know-how to tackle the dish.

We've got lots of great stories planned for the summer. And mark your calendars: The seventh annual Christmas cookie issue is Dec. 3.

For questions about other sections

of the Times, send e-mail to To comment on Taste, Janet K. Keeler can be reached at or (727) 893-8586.

A closer look at the revamped Taste section 05/20/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 27, 2008 11:43am]
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