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Tampa Bay Sets the Table with a Delightful, Delicious Cookbook

It isn’t every day you see a dolphin swirling around in a cocktail but those are the surprises you can expect in Tampa’s Table: A Culinary Journey through Tampa Bay.

Well written and beautifully photographed, Tampa’s Table ($22.95 USD) features articles and recipes from the most iconic chefs and distinguished restaurants in the city. Armani’s (Clam Linguini), Cru Cellars (Spicy & Sweet Crab Claws), Oyster Catchers (Smoked Maple Manhattan), Donatello Italian Restaurant (Scampi Alla Veneziana) and The Dessert Spot at Toffee to Go (Gooey Toffee Bars) are just a few outstanding restaurants in the book.

Jeff Houck says Tampa’s Table does an excellent job of showcasing not only the exceptional food of Tampa Bay, but also the history.

“A book celebrating the new, exciting restaurants Tampa birthed mostly in the past decade makes for a great read, but it wouldn’t have the impact without tracing the path to how we got here.“Tampa’s Table” not only showcases the new stars of Tampa’s dining, brewing, cocktail and baking galaxy, it provides context with historical information that shows you how far the city has come in such a short time,” says Houck. “Tampa’s current culinary greatness, one that is still rising day by day, is built on the bedrock established by Ybor City’s restaurant culture in the early 1900s and the melting pot of flavors of its diverse founders.”

Tampa’s Table Video

I love how Tampa’s Table showcases new restaurants and upcoming trends while recognizing their rich history. One way the book does this is by highlighting classics like the famous Cuban Sandwich. During my visit I had the privilege of enjoying a Cuban at Columbia Restaurant with owner Andrea Gonzmart Williams, a fifth generation restaurateur. Feeling adventurous? Tampa’s Table even shows readers how to build one the traditional way.

Santiago C. Corrada, President & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay is thrilled with the book and wasn’t shy to point out the restaurant he thinks visitors should check out first.

“My favorite stop on this particular culinary journey has to be the chorizo octopus from Rooster & the Till,” says  Santiago C. Corrada, President & CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “Chef Farrell Alvarez is a rising star on Tampa Bay’s booming food scene, and the recipe reaches the right level of challenge for a home cook who wants to step up their game. The way the flavors blend on your tongue makes the work worth every minute.”

Tampa’s Table Cookbook

Tampa Bay with Tampa’s Table: A Culinary Journey Through Tampa Bay features 60 recipes and 50 culinary masters. Tampa’s Table is available online at TampasTable.com, at the Unlock Tampa Bay Visitors Center in downtown Tampa and select local retailers.  (Photo Courtesy Visit Tampa Bay)

Columbia Restaurant

Andrea Gonzmart Williams, a fifth-generation owner of legendary Columbia Restaurant (2025 E. 7th Avenue, page 7), has been carrying on the Gonzmart family’s Original Cuban Sandwich tradition since she was old enough to make one. It’s fair to say most people flock to Florida’s oldest restaurant for this iconic treat but readers will also love the Chicken and Yellow Rice Valenciana, a recipe from Andrea’s grandmother Adela which is featured prominently in the “Tampa’s Table” cookbook. (Rod Charles for VacayNetwork.com)

Fried Avocado Wedges from Oxford Exchange

Oxford Exchange (420 W. Kennedy Blvd, page 49) is famous for its breakfast brunch and lunch offerings. (Photo Courtesy Visit Tampa Bay)

Charbroiled Oysters from Ulele Restaurant

The cookbook features The Charbroiled Oysters, a very popular dish at Ulele (1810 N Highland Ave, page 9). Other entrees you can find at Ulele are the Gouda Grouper, Water Works Meatloaf and for vegetarians the Three Sisters Stuffed Portobello. (Photo Courtesy Visit Tampa Bay)

Featured Photograph: Daiquiri from Edge Rooftop Cocktail Lounge (1207 S Howard Ave), part of the Epicurean Hotel.  Epicurean’s rooftop bar is an edgy, social drinkery where guests can enjoy unique handcrafted cocktails while sharing small, savory plates and cheese boards. (Photo Courtesy Amy Pezzicara)


Tourism Info: For more details on visiting the city, check out the Visit Tampa Bay website

Where to Stay: Click here for suggestions on where to stay at the Visit Tampa Bay website.  

Purchase Tampa’s Table Cookbook: Click here

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