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Expanded food coverage is on the menu

This time next week, you will be holding a new Taste section in your hands. I hope you'll be as excited about it as we are.

The biggest news is that the entire section will be devoted to food, wine and spirits, and entertaining coverage. As part of a larger redesign of the St. Petersburg Times, movie listings, TV times, comics, the daily horoscope and puzzles will move to a section called BayLink (see details at tampabay.com) beginning Monday.

That leaves more room in Taste for our ongoing discussions about feeding the family and friends, be it by cooking up a storm or gathering takeout. We'll continue to report on a variety of topics such as home cooking, equipment, shopping, wine and spirits and dining out.

Popular columns You Asked For It and Taster's Choice will be joined by a slate of new features. Among them will be Signature Dish, a photo and brief story about home cooks and their best-loved dish. We'll be seeking nominations but be warned: You have to share the recipe.

Other exciting changes:

• Food critic Laura Reiley's weekly restaurant review returns to the food section after several years in Thursday's Weekend section. Reiley will award stars — four being tops — for food, ambience and service, plus give an overall rating for each restaurant. The star system provides a quick assessment of the review. Dining recommendations and a second restaurant review remain in Weekend.

• You Asked For It, the reader-generated recipe exchange column that has been running in the food section for more than 30 years, will now include 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. Get a preview at blogs.tampabay.com/food. Join the conversation there.

• Chris Sherman's savvy wine and spirits coverage continues with his Wine of the Week recommendation running weekly.

• Other occasional features will include Where I Cook, a photo of someone in the place where it all comes together. It might be aboard a Coast Guard cutter or under the stars in an elaborate outdoor kitchen. Read and Feed will provide book club selections each month plus suggestions for food to serve that is themed to the story. Weekend Warrior is the column to look for if you are willing to spend all day in the kitchen on a challenging dish. We know you're out there.

• As always, there will be lots of recipes to save for special occasions and everyday eating. And mark your calendars: The seventh annual Christmas Cookie issue is Dec. 3.

We are thrilled to be able to bring you more of a subject we love.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at jkeeler@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8586.

Expanded food coverage is on the menu 05/13/08 [Last modified: Thursday, May 15, 2008 10:58am]

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