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Dalia Colon

Podcast Producer

Dalia Colón is excited to return to WUSF as producer of the Zest podcast. From 2010 to 2014, Dalia covered health and features for WUSF. Before that, she was a staff reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and Cleveland Magazine.

Dalia's work has been recognized by the Suncoast Regional Emmys, Telly Awards, Florida Associated Press Broadcasters, Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists and others. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio University and a master's degree in Spanish education from Kent State University.

When Dalia isn't sipping mojitos in the name of podcast research, you can find her in one of her other roles—producer/co-host of WEDU Arts Plus and mom to Norah and Benji, who always have an appetite for fun.

Ways to Connect

Mel's Hot Dogs opened in July 1973.
Mel's Hot Dogs

If you’re prepping for a Fourth of July cookout or seeking to recreate stadium-quality hot dogs at home, Mel Lohn can help. Alongside his wife, Virginia, Lohn runs Mel’s Hot Dogs—a Tampa institution for nearly five decades. He told us his story on The Zest podcast.

Hall on Franklin
The Hall on Franklin

In 2019, Alexandria Jones set out on a mission: to interview owners of a handful of black-owned eateries across Tampa Bay. She turned those interviews into a half-hour documentary called A Soulful Taste: Exploring Tampa Bay's Black-Owned Food Scene.

Mykonos family photo
Dalia Colón

Miami has Little Haiti and Little Havana. Orlando has Little Vietnam. And in northern Pinellas County, you’ll find an ethnic enclave like no other: Tarpon Springs.

Chef Michelle Bernstein
Michael Pisarri

Social distancing has changed our everyday lives. For chefs, that means cooking and serving food differently. 

Toni Tipton-Martin at festival
Dalia Colón

Toni Tipton-Martin is on a crusade.

The food journalist and educator won a James Beard Award in 2016 for her book The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks. Her latest work, Jubilee, is a collection of recipes from those antique cookbooks.

Her goal? To change the way society thinks about African-American cooking.

Lauren Perez reading a book
Courtesy of Lauren Perez

The coronavirus has led to the closure of bay area schools. As students adjust to online learning, local educators are getting creative to keep their classes connected and in good spirits. 

moms and kids in kitchen
Braulio Colón

For anyone on a special diet or with a picky eater at home, these are especially trying times.

rum punch
Dalia Colón

Between Mardi Gras and Easter is Carnival, a season of street parties, parades, vibrant costumes and feasts celebrated by Catholic countries all over the world.

What to drink for the occasion? For many Caribbean nations, Carnival season is also rum punch season.

freakshake
Courtesy of Bake'n Babes

Here’s a philosophical question: If you order an over-the-top milkshake for a great cause, do the calories count?

Not according to Julie Curry.

Curry owns Bake’n Babes, the wildly popular bakery inside the Hall on Franklin food hall in Tampa Heights. In addition to cakes, cupcakes, cookies and pies, perhaps the bakery’s most buzzworthy menu item is its freakshake.

Dayanny De La Cruz
Matthew Noel for Centerplate

On the first Sunday in February, 50,000 football fans, members of the media and others will descend upon Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium for Super Bowl LIV. And they’re bringing their appetites with them—which makes Dayanny De La Cruz the true MVP in our book.

Chef Ed
Dalia Colón

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa is the largest performing arts venue in the southeastern U.S. With five theaters and a school for budding talent, the Straz is a hub for Broadway shows, concerts, dance performances and more.

That means lots of hungry ticket holders—not to mention catering for on-site weddings, meetings and other events.

 

Holiday traditions take shape in many forms, and this week on Florida Matters, we take a look at some of our WUSF staff's favorite family holiday traditions.  

Nora and Ariel
Dalia Colón

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. But how about the reindeer with pretzel antlers and a red M&M for its nose? This season, WUSF reporters are sharing their holiday food traditions. Today, Dalia Colón introduces us to her family and their custom of baking reindeer cookies.

Florida's early settlers used pig hooves to make jam for desserts.
Cracker Country

Before Instant Pots, Amazon wish lists and catered holiday dinners, there were community hog killings.

“They used every part except the squeal of a hog,” says Cindy Horton, director of museum operations at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa.

This program originally aired August 6, 2019

Many people may not realize that wine making in Florida is a billion-dollar industry. There are dozens of wineries across the state employing nearly 100,000 people, and university research departments dedicated to viticulture.

Chuck Bandel, chef of the Dalí Museum's Café Gala, shows off cuisine inspired by his travels to Spain.
Dalia Colón / The Zest Podcast

The Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg contains more than 2,400 works by the artist. And the museum’s restaurant, Café Gala, pays homage to Dalí’s native Spain with menu items like serrano ham salad, Spanish omelet and sangria.

When Natalia Lima went vegan eight years ago, she assumed she was destined for a lifetime of dull desserts. But soon, the St. Petersburg baker learned to whip up her favorite confections—minus the animal products. She now sells them at her Curious Cat Bakery. Natalia is even veganizing recipes featured on The Great British Baking Show and posting the delicious results on Instagram.

The Darkest Timeline in bottle
Green Bench Mead & Cider

For the next several weeks, WUSF News and The Zest podcast are collaborating on a special reporting project on honey bees. 

pastries
Dalia Colón

In a special collaboration between WUSF News and The Zest podcast, we're taking a closer look at honey bees.


Genius Desserts
Amazon

Let's talk meats and sweets: August is nearly over, but there’s still time to plan one last end-of-summer blowout bash. This week on The Zest podcast, get grilling guidance from Ray Lampe, a.k.a. Dr. BBQ. And what’s for dessert? Our contributor Janet Keeler offers ideas from the cookbook Genius Desserts. 

Helen Freund
Monica Herndon

This week on WUSF's food podcast, The Zest, we’re talking to some of Tampa Bay’s favorite food personalities.

Robert Is Here sign
Scott Keeler

WUSF's food podcast, The Zest, celebrates cuisine and community in the Sunshine State. Here's what's on the menu for this week's episode...

Danielle Rose

Spiny lobster season in Florida lasts from Aug. 6 to March 31, and the state's wildlife commission has rules in place to ensure that it's not a free-for-all. WUSF's food podcast, The Zest, spoke with Tampa blogger Danielle Rose about the "do's and don'ts" of lobster fishing.

Scott Keeler

Only in South Florida would someone ask, “What’s your favorite mango?” and get a response. Recently, thousands of visitors attended the International Mango Festival in Coral Gables to sample mangoes, listen to lectures and buy trees.

Cuban sandwich
Columbia Restaurant Group

  

How can a simple sandwich ignite such controversy? Well, when it's the Cuban sandwich, and we're in Florida, there is a bitter battle for the title of who had it first and who makes it the best.

Dough Nation
courtesy Dough Nation

Dough Nation is a cafe in downtown Tampa that specializes in edible cookie dough. It's owned and operated by Metropolitan Ministries, a nonprofit organization that helps poor and homeless families in Tampa Bay, and the proceeds from cookie dough sales help fund its mission. Dough Nation is also a culinary job training program for some of the people that are served by Metropolitan Ministries.

Orange You Glad It's Summer cocktail
Kelly Prieto

Bourbon is having a moment. Not only does the spirit pair well with summer barbecue, but a bottle of the good stuff makes a great gift idea. 


Podcast microphone.
Tumisu/Pixabay

Whether you’re interested in politics, music, crime, technology or just about anything, there is likely a podcast for you. But while millions of people enjoy listening to podcasts every day, others still don’t understand this relatively new form of media.

This week on Florida Matters: Podcasting 101.


St. Petersburg EcoVillage sign
Dalia Colón

What was once a vacant lot is now an urban oasis. WUSF's food podcast, The Zest, takes you behind the fence of the St. Petersburg EcoVillage. It's a community garden whose mission is to reconnect people with nature.

The Hall on Franklin
The Hall on Franklin

Before Armature Works and Sparkman Wharf, there was The Hall on Franklin. Its 2017 opening in Tampa Heights brought the food hall concept to Tampa, with items ranging from poké bowls, to fried chicken and waffles, to something called the Sleazy Sundae. 

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