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Michelle Stark, Times Food Editor

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.

Phone: (727) 893-8829

Email: mstark@tampabay.com

Twitter: @MStark17

  1. The dress: Blue and black or white and gold and other serious questions (w/video)


    Stephanie: Hey, Michelle.

    Michelle: Hmm?

    Stephanie: What color is this dress?

    Michelle: No.

    Stephanie: Come on, what color do you see?

    Michelle: I'm not doing this dress thing. I was up all night watching people talk about it on Facebook. I'll never get those years back.

    Stephanie: Blue and black? Or white and gold. It's so weird!...

    Screengrab from the Buzzfeed story of the Tumblr image that started it all.
  2. Ipsy: Is the makeup subscription service worth it?


    I've never been great with makeup: Where to buy it, what kind to buy, how to apply it. It wasn't until the past two years or so that I started to realize the benefits of spending more than $6 on powder or concealer (hello, better-looking skin!), of stocking up on quality essentials instead of another cheap purple eyeshadow. I splurged on Bare Minerals face products, which are ideal for my sensitive skin and contain SPF because we're not 19 years old anymore; I'm the proud owner (like, maybe too proud) of an Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palette that I apply daily....

    A recent Ipsy bag, including Probelle nail polish and Hikari eyeliner.
  3. 'Better Call Saul' roundtable: Thoughts on episode 4, 'Hero'


    Chris: So I've been more down on Better Call Saul than most for the first three episodes, but I feel like the show hit a bit of a stride with its fourth installment - "Hero." What's grabbing me the most is the relationship - both present and past - between Jimmy and his lawyer friend Kim, played by Rhea Seehorn. I loved how she smirked at Saul's efforts to undermine Hamlin; she is the most compelling supporting player in the show so far.
    Oh, and what about her invitation to go see - of all things - John Carpenter's 1982 remake The Thing? Some "Kurt Russell action," she said. How about some Wilford Brimley as a bad guy action? What's next week's feature, The Firm? (Really, Tisch? Michelle and Sean invite you to join them on this and you give them Wilford Brimley jokes?)...

  4. Text deal alerts, why can't I quit you?


    As a new Diva, I feel like I should get all my weaknesses out right up front: I’m addicted to signing up for text deal alerts. 

    I know, I know - texts? What is this, 2007? 

    Bear with me. In the past week alone, I’ve gotten alerts from the Limited, Kohl’s, and Bed Bath and Beyond. Here's a sampling, for perhaps your own personal use (get up on that Limited Scandal Collection) and for all of us to mock the terrible and unnecessary text speak. ...

    This photo from 2009 of an antiquated cell phone is an accurate representation of how un-hip I feel getting text alerts.
  5. 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, tampabay.com/food....

  6. 'Better Call Saul' roundtable: Thoughts on episode 3, 'Nacho'


    The Feed vets Michelle Stark (new Food Editor) and Sean Daly (biz whiz) couldn't stay away from TV forever. For the former Mad Men debaters, the allure of another AMC show proved too strong. And this time, they're bringing Business Editor Chris Tisch, a Breaking Bad fanboy who once paid homage to Walter White's love of tighty-whities at a Halloween party, along for the ride. After drooling over the first two episodes of could-have-been-terrible Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul, the trio take it to the Feed to discuss this week's third installment, "Nacho."...

  7. 5 ways to cook with strawberries: Jam, salsa, Brie and chocolate grilled cheese


    It's easy to get into a cooking rut, especially with a beloved ingredient or go-to dish. There are weeks where I have homemade sweet potato fries with nearly every dinner. And carrots always get the same treatment in my kitchen: sprinkled with salt, pepper and olive oil, and roasted in the oven.

    But those old standbys aren't as engaging the 10th time around. And, unless you're cooking for at least four, it can be tough to use up some foods (a carton of heavy cream, a package of zucchini) before they go bad....

    Strawberry crops in Florida start to take off around Christmas. Now is the perfect time to enjoy the season’s bounty.
  8. Re-create romance at home this Valentine's Day with food pairings


    Flickering tapered candles atop a white linen tablecloth, a sumptuous Valentine's Day dinner for two, you and your sweetie gazing peacefully into each other's eyes.

    At a restaurant? This Feb. 14? Good luck.

    For an intimate lovey-dovey experience, think twice before venturing out when the busy restaurant holiday falls on a Saturday. Two-hour waits, harried service and valet parking are instant romance zappers. ...

    Wind things down with Chocolate and Sriracha Cupcakes. They’re worth the wait.
  9. Five sparkling wines to heighten your Valentine's Day at home

    Bars & Spirits

    A champagne toast is an easy way to up the sophistication level during your night in. But you don't have to pay top-shelf prices to get the good times flowing. We got Mike Snowden, wine manager at Total Wine in Tampa, to dish on five sparkling wines that should help heighten the romance.

    UNDER $20

    If you're looking for an affordable champagne, Snowden says, go for the Spanish-made Cava. "Cava in general is just an awesome value," he said. It's made just like French champagne, except it doesn't cost Spain nearly as much to make it, so you get to pay less. Try the Marques de Monistrol. $14.99 ...

  10. Spice up chili with real chile peppers, just in time for Super Bowl


    Chili can be a contentious topic. Not everyone agrees on the essential ingredients, such as whether beans are a must or ground beef is forbidden. Or whether a good chili absolutely needs to be made with real chiles instead of commercial chili powder. The ensuing debate can get heated. • Kind of like sports. • On Sunday, when the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks face off in Super Bowl XLIX, a big bowl of steaming, hearty chili can bring together even the biggest rivals in your house. Chili, however you prefer it, is a perfect centerpiece for one of the biggest tailgates of the year. • Whether you're hosting a house full of football fans or a quiet night for two, this flavorful, low-fuss entree scores easily. Chili is a wonderful party dish because it's the kind of meal that doesn't take long to prepare but often tastes like it did. Plus, you can make it ahead of time. In fact, go ahead and plan on making it a day or two before kickoff: The flavors only get better with time. ...

  11. Tampa Bay Food and Dining Quiz: Where should you eat dinner tonight?


    If you are having trouble deciding where to eat dinner in the Tampa Bay area tonight, use our fun quiz to help you decide. For more suggestions, insider tips and reviews on the culinary delights of the Tampa Bay region, check out the Top 50 restaurants of Tampa Bay in 2015.


  12. How to season, use and love cast iron skillets (with recipes)


    The first time I asked for a cast iron skillet, I was a sophomore in college. Mom had asked me what was on my Christmas wish list that year and, burgeoning chef that I was (hey, mac and cheese counts!), I told her I wanted a cast iron skillet. She said no. At this point, I was still living with undergraduate roommates. I got the majority of my meals from the campus food hall. There may have been a silly kitchen incident in which my roommate and I used regular dish soap in the dishwasher, and a bubble mess ensued. I understand now why Mom didn't exactly trust me to care for a cast iron skillet. ...

    Salting the cast iron skillet helps the crust develop.
  13. Top TV week of Jan. 12: 'Broad City,' 'Saturday Night Live,' 'Parks and Recreation'

    The Feed


    SERIES PREMIERE Friends to Lovers?, 10 p.m., Bravo

    New show in which friends declare their love for each other and see what happens. First up, Marshana reveals to Stefan that she has deeper-than-friendship feelings for him, and Sydney goes after best friend Jin. So, one qualification for participating on this show is having an unusual name. Got it. ...

    Marry Me
  14. Follow along with us live during tonight's Golden Globes


    Watching the Golden Globes tonight? We are. Between the fashion, the fun, the drunk celebrity speeches and, oh yeah, seeing who wins, it's one of our favorite pop culture nights of the year.

    Follow along live with us at tbtim.es/goldenglobes starting at 8 p.m., where we'll be compiling our favorite tweets, fashion photos and commentary of the night. You can weigh in with your snark, too. (Bonus: Keep an eye out for Deal Diva Stephanie Hayes' fashion tweets during the red carpet festivities.)...

    Tina and Amy, back at it tonight.
  15. Big 'Fargo' season 2 casting news: Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson on board


    This is the week for FX casting news. Some of it's extremely bizarre, like yesterday's news about John Travolta (JOHN TRAVOLTA) coming to TV. And some of it is just feels so right you wonder how you ever lived in a world where it wasn't a thing, like today's news that Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson and Nick Offerman are coming to Fargo....

    Patrick Wilson