Thursday, September 20, 2018


Michelle Stark

Michelle Stark

Michelle Stark is the Food Editor for the Tampa Bay Times, overseeing the food content online and in print, including cooking and restaurants. She also manages social media accounts for the Entertainment department, including food. Previously, she was part of the Things to Do crew and co-host of Play Tampa Bay. She has designed and edited the Times' daily entertainment page, and wrote weekly about television at The Feed blog. Stark joined the Times after graduating from the University of South Florida in 2010 with degrees in mass communications and international relations.

Starbucks relased its Pumpkin Spice Latte on Aug. 28 this year. To that, we say

Pumpkin spice haters, back off: It’s okay to crave the seasonal flavor

All right, okay, enough, I get it: You all hate pumpkin spice.But I’ve got one request as we head into fall: Can you just let us have this?
Published: 09/18/18
Guests can help you assemble Pork Pot Stickers and Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw before the meal.

How to be a good host: 7 tips to follow for casual and fancy dinners alike

A couple of hours into my first time hosting a full-fledged family Thanksgiving, I completely lost it. Elbows deep in the oven, I was trying to rescue a sheet pan that had fallen off the back of the rack and threatened to ruin the entire meal.
Published: 09/13/18
Citrus Chopped Salad with Sesame Vinaigrette. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.

From the food editor: This citrus chopped salad needs a good, homemade vinaigrette

The emulsion was almost complete. Rice wine vinegar, check. A couple of glugs of nutty olive oil, check. Some honey, a dash of soy sauce, salt and pepper. Just one ingredient left to go, and it was a crucial one. Sesame oil. It would...
Published: 09/11/18
Orange Ricotta Bars with fresh mint. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.

From the food editor: These Orange Ricotta Bars make for a light, easy dessert

It was one of those serene kitchen days when everything just kind of works out. My husband and I were home on a Sunday, tending to our new puppy (!) as storm clouds gathered outside, and I set out to prep for dinner. Two of our friends were...
Updated one month ago
Corn and Jalapeno Salsa. (Photo by MICHELLE STARK   |   Times)

Cooking for Labor Day? Try this Corn and Jalapeno Salsa, and other sides

The past week or so, I have received multiple news releases that say some version of the same thing: "Well, it’s too bad that summer has almost come to an end."
Updated one month ago
A dish from the 2018 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival: the Impossible Burger, a new vegan option from the Earth Eats tent. Photo courtesy Walt Disney World.

What to expect at Epcotís International Food and Wine Festival this year

How soon until Epcot is just one big food festival? Weíre getting close. Once just a month long, the annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival is up to 75 days in its 23rd year, beginning Aug. 30 and running through the middle of...
Updated one month ago
Curry Chicken Meatballs with Quinoa. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.

Curry is a quick way to get something flavorful on the table for dinner

Curry dishes are one of my favorite go-tos for a quick and flavorful home-cooked meal. The spice combinations lend a depth thatís hard to come by in a 20-minute dinner, and the sauciness ties a dish of whatever-is-left-in-the-fridge components...
Updated one month ago
Peach and Mozzarella Panzanella Salad. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.

Put old bread to good use in a Peach and Mozzarella Panzanella Salad

It was a pilgrimage I had long wanted to make, but the timing was never right: Saturday mornings at Born and Bread Bakehouse in Lakeland. I had tried Born and Breadís bread once before, slathered in some house-made ricotta cheese that sent me...
Updated one month ago
Seared Steak and Roasted Goat Cheese Tomatoes. Photos by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.

Roasting tomatoes is a delicious way to use them at their summer peak, like in this steak recipe

Sometimes I spend hours in the kitchen working on new recipes, starting with a kernel of an idea and playing with it a bit, adding stuff here and tweaking stuff there. Other times, I shamelessly steal recipe ideas from my friends. My husband...
Updated: 2 months ago
Stuffed Peppers. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor.

Stuffed Peppers are easily adaptable, for carnivores and vegans alike

Cooking for friends or family members who do not share your tastes, or have special dietary restrictions, is one of my greatest challenges in the kitchen. My brother and his girlfriend are vegans (and I, pretty avowedly, am not). My husbandís still on...
Updated: 2 months ago