Make us your home page
Instagram

Former Tampa Bay Times staffer works on cookbook with Mario Batali

Mario Batali, left, takes a photograph of Rachael Ray, center, as she poses with Jim Webster during a tailgate event in Fort Worth, Texas. Webster, a former Tampa Bay Times staffer, was the winner of Batali’s Ultimate Grilling Challenge and is now working on a cookbook with the chef.

Associated Press (2008)

Mario Batali, left, takes a photograph of Rachael Ray, center, as she poses with Jim Webster during a tailgate event in Fort Worth, Texas. Webster, a former Tampa Bay Times staffer, was the winner of Batali’s Ultimate Grilling Challenge and is now working on a cookbook with the chef.

Jim Webster, a former copy editor and interim food critic at the Tampa Bay Times, is working on a cookbook with chef, restaurateur and TV personality Mario Batali to be published in fall 2014.

Webster, who now works at the Washington Post, met the famed chef in 2008 when his Pig-Wrapped Pig-Stuffed Pig won Batali's Ultimate Grilling Challenge. Part of his winnings was the opportunity to cook with Batali and Rachael Ray at a tailgate party in Fort Worth, Texas.

The as-of-yet untitled cookbook is one of two Batali projects acquired by Grand Central Life & Style, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Group.

Details about the cookbook are still a bit hush-hush, but Webster has been traveling around the country visiting with chefs and farmers, whose relationships form the basis of the book.

According to the publisher, the book will feature "farmers and their top products in 12 American states across the country — from Maine to Washington — and will include 70 recipes that utilize these local ingredients."

Webster says that the book will be organized by ingredients, and Batali will be contributing the recipes.

"We started with Mario and we knew we could find farmers that Mario's restaurants use," Webster said. "Then we hooked up with his chef friends around the country and found out who their farmers were. Mario has friends everywhere."

The second cookbook will be published in fall 2015 and will be Batali's look at American regional cuisine, featuring more than 250 recipes. The book will feature state fair favorites, plus regional classics including barbecue styles from Texas and the Carolinas, and the seafood soups of New England, the Gulf Coast and Pacific Northwest.

Former Tampa Bay Times staffer works on cookbook with Mario Batali 09/19/13 [Last modified: Monday, September 23, 2013 4:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 24

    Events

    Zac Brown Band: The country, folk and Southern rockers embark on the "Welcome Home" tour in support of the album. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $27.50-$77.50. (813) 740-2446.

    Handout photo of the Zac Brown Band, performing at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on 9/24/17. Credit: Shore Fire Media
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Sept. 23

    Events

    Smithsonian Museum Day Live: Museums across the nation partner with the Smithsonian to offer free admission for one day. Among them are Florida Holocaust Museum, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs.Cracker Country in Tampa, Ringling Museum of Art. Note: Dalí Museum is free for Pinellas County …

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others

    Stage

    TAMPA — Tampa Repertory Theatre has always insisted on putting on plays that mean something. Several shows over the last couple of years have zeroed in on the social and cultural baggage that comes with being female (The Children's Hour, Silent Sky and Grounded come to mind). None of those …

    The Southeastern premiere of Flying, Sheila Cowley's play at Tampa Repertory Theatre about veterans of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots, includes (from left) Holly Marie Weber, Rosemary Orlando, and Becca McCoy. Photo by Megan Lamasney.
  4. After 22 years, it's last call for beloved Ybor venue New World Brewery

    Music & Concerts

    YBOR CITY — Steve Bird spreads his tools across a patio table. He has awnings to unbolt and paraphernalia to unpry, from the busted Bop City neon by the stage to the Simpsons "El Duffo o Muerte" mural in the courtyard. He'll uproot a fountain and dismantle a roof and attempt to keep his bar intact. The …

    Various decor and memorabilia fill the walls and shelves at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Long time music venue and hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City will be closing it's doors and moving locations. Patrons enjoy one of the last events before New World Brewery changes its location to Busch Blvd in Tampa.  [Photo Luis Santana | Times]