Make us your home page

Meet new Tampa Bay Times food editor Michelle Stark (w/video)

My passion for food runs deep, whether it's my love for cooking nearly everything I eat from scratch or the fact that I always have a spare banana in my purse. Quite simply, I love food — making it, eating it, reading about it. As the new Tampa Bay Times food editor, I bring that passion to the Times' food content, in these pages of the Taste section and on our growing website,

I've had an active role in our food coverage for the past year, cooking and testing dishes, including Christmas cookies for the annual issue, writing cover stories like the one about cast iron skillets, and growing our audience online.

You will find our engaging food content on our website at; on Pinterest (, where we post recipes and cooking ideas; and on Instagram, at @tampabaytimesfood. The goal is to tell our stories on as many platforms as possible, and that extends to instructive food videos, whether it's two minutes on How to Boil a Perfect Egg or a 45-second short on Cutting a Butternut Squash.

In the next few weeks I will introduce some new features, particularly in the area of cooking. My goal is to make everything we do useful for you, whether it's helping home cooks put dinner on the table each night or keeping you up to date on what's happening at local restaurants.

The first new Taste feature starts this week as our cover story: 5 Ideas For ..., which every other week will highlight a trendy or seasonal ingredient and offer five suggestions for quick, easy ways to use it.

Also look for coverage on healthy, clean eating down the line; cooking food from scratch and utilizing unprocessed foods is important to me. Other new features will include Word of Mouth, which will suss out the culinary desires of notable Tampa Bay foodies; Food Fight, aimed at the debate over how we prepare certain foods; and Cook Hack, where we will share secrets for making your life easier in the kitchen.

I succeed Janet K. Keeler, who held the food editor position for 15 years and presided over the annual Christmas cookie section. She has joined the faculty of the Journalism and Media Studies Department at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. As a Times staff writer, she will continue her weekly weeknight dinner column Stir Crazy and #CookClub, the online cooking community she established in 2013.

I am easily reachable on many platforms, from Twitter (@mstark17) and Instagram (shelly1717) to email ( and phone ((727) 893-8829). Feel free to reach out and let me know what you think about the new features, what you'd like to see more of in the section, or just to dish on your foodie thoughts.

Meet new Tampa Bay Times food editor Michelle Stark (w/video) 02/18/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 18, 2015 1:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Repertory's 'Flying' soars in some places, sputters in others


    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.
  2. 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]
  3. Florida bought more Pasta Passes from Olive Garden than almost any other state

    Food & Dining

    Floridians would like their bowls of pasta to never, ever end.

    Florida was the No. 2 state with the largest number of Olive Garden Pasta Pass purchases, an unlimited pasta pass for $100. Photo courtesy Olive Garden.
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue


    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]