Advertisement
  1. Food

We're excited to welcome our new food critic, Helen Freund

New 'Times' food critic Helen Freund started this week. (MICHELLE STARK | Times)
Published Jun. 24

You're going to start seeing a new face around the table: Our new food critic Helen Freund arrives this week.

We're excited to welcome Freund to a role that remains crucial as Tampa Bay's culinary scene continues to expand. She comes from New Orleans, so she's no stranger to warm climates and a strong food culture. Freund was the food and dining editor and restaurant critic for Gambit Weekly, New Orleans' alternative weekly newspaper, and a contributing writer for the New Orleans Advocate.

She has a background in both food and reporting. She attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and later worked as a chef in New York City for several years, then worked as a general assignment reporter for the New York Post and later on the criminal justice beat at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans.

As food critic, Freund will write restaurant reviews, which will become a weekly part of the Taste section again. She won't be anonymous, and you'll be getting to know her more in the coming weeks through photos, video and her writing.

Freund will also report and write in-depth stories about our food scene, like the one she wrote about wage disparities of New Orleans food service workers that in 2017 led to her being named a finalist by the Press Club of New Orleans' Excellence in Journalism awards.

She'll spend these first few weeks getting acquainted with her new home. We've put together a list of iconic Tampa Bay restaurants for Freund to check out, places that highlight different parts of our large and diverse food community. Bern's Steak House. The Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks. Our new collection of food halls. Frenchy's on the beach.

We want your input, too. Which places must a new Tampa Bay resident check out? What new and noteworthy spots should she add to her list of potential reviews? Send them to hfreund@tampabay.com.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Holmes Beach restaurant Eliza Ann’s Coastal Kitchen will serve a three-course, pre-fixe Turkey Day menu. Courtesy of Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club
    In search of a holiday spread you don’t have to cook? Here’s your go-to list in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Dunedin and more.
  2.            LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI  |  Special to the Times
    It’s a hearty one-pot meal for the season.
  3. Cipresso is the modern Italian-American trattoria that recently opened at Tampa's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
    Aloha to Go, Kobe and Apple Spice also expanded locally, plus St. Petersburg’s Burrito Boarder has closed and a food hall is coming to Sundial.
  4. Death By Pepperoni Pizza. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Get ready for some dinner theater at this pizzeria. | Restaurant review
  5. There will be numerous salutes to the military today and Monday for Veterans Day.
    Veterans Day, Julie Andrews talks about her practically perfect career and country stars line up for Q-105′s Guitar Pull.
  6. McDonald's is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Happy Meal by re-releasing some of its most popular toys from Nov. 7-11. McDonald's
    From Power Rangers and Space Jam to Cowboy McNugget and Furby, McDonald’s is re-releasing some of the most popular Happy Meal toys from the last 40 years for a limited time.
  7. Dishes made with edible insects like ants, crickets, by Joseph Yoon of Brooklyn Bugs. Courtesy of Joseph Yoon
    Joseph Yoon will present a bug-centric dinner at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.
  8. John C. Pelczynski of Massachusetts untangles the lines on his kite at the Veterans Day Fall Fly on TI. Tampa Bay Times (2014)
    Museums and aquariums are offering free admission, plus there are parades on land on sea in honor of Veterans Day
  9. Michelle Stark and Helen Freund Tampa Bay Times
    Our food writers will share what’s on their plates every Wednesday.
  10. The designs for Starbucks' 2019 holiday paper cup Starbucks
    There’s also a giveaway of its reusable red cups Thursday with the purchase of a holiday drink.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement