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Vote For Your Favorite Neighborhood Chef

Vote For Your Favorite Neighborhood Chef

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We’re pleased to announce the finalists for Best Neighborhood Chef category to our third-annual Trailblazing Chef Awards. The 2013 Awards, chosen by Cooking Light editors, will again recognize chefs who are setting the pace for important trends in American restaurants in such categories as authenticity, innovation, and more.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and tasty, healthy recipes.

This year’s Neighborhood Chef category gives YOU a voice in the awards process, allowing you to vote for one of 10 regional finalists as favorite local Chef. Cooking Light editors selected finalists from around the country that are truly IN and OF their neighborhoods, community hubs that celebrate their locales through outreach and great food. Now we’re opening it up for fans to select a winner. The winning Chef will be featured in the November 2013 issue of Cooking Light and on Our Site.

You can vote once daily starting today through July 1 to name this year’s Trailblazing Neighborhood Chef of the Year at

And the finalist are…

Meet the 2012 and 2011 classes of Cooking Light’s Trailblazing Chefs for more information about the program.

20 Leftover Ribs Recipes You’ll Truly Enjoy

These leftover ribs recipes are the perfect solution for the day after the big neighborhood cookout.

If you find yourself with extras, check out these ideas for a great leftover meal.

No one likes eating the same thing twice, so a good leftover recipe reinvents the first meal into something new and delicious. These rib recipes are just that!

From quesadillas and casseroles to cheesesteaks and tostadas, there&rsquos a second-day menu everyone is sure to love.

Don&rsquot serve boring, reheated ribs. Serve up something exciting with one of these scrumptious leftover ribs recipes.

Grab your oven mitts and let&rsquos get cooking! Luckily, the ribs have already been cooked for you!

What do Rutabagas taste like? I wanted to include these so badly because they are the best at mimicking potatoes when roasted but my whole neighborhood was out of them! They’re a delicious addition to a roasted root vegetable platter and you 100% should include them.

Fibrous vegetables like these root vegetables are going to be a great healthy addition to your meal, they’re higher in fiber and have great nutritional value.

Looking for more roasted side dishes?

Tools Used in the Making of these Oven Roasted Root Vegetables:
Sheet Pan: A good quality sheet pan, I keep a stack of these in my kitchen. And they don’t need to be expensive. Just make sure you keep the food from touching each other/in a single layer for optimal roasting.
My Favorite Knife: This is a funny one to mention but I will because there is so much chopping here. I have almost everything you’d imagine Williams-Sonoma would sell including a super expensive Shun Knife Set. Instead of using that, I use this knife every single time I cook. I bought it in 2005 and the whole set was 20$ The knife I love is the rock ‘n chop one with the ball on top and the curved blade. Never been sharpened and I can cut anything with it. Total knife love. Also, 1200 reviews on Amazon can’t be wrong. This knife is amazing.
Vegetable Peeler: On that note, this peeler has been in my kitchen since 2010 and is as sharp as ever. The peels are also super thin so you don’t trash a lot of your vegetables when peeling them.

Honey Pecan-Crusted Salmon


  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1 ⁄2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 ⁄4 cup coarse bread crumbs from rustic bread or you can sub panko, in a pinch
  • 1 ⁄4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 4-6 6 oz. pieces of salmon skin off


Tried this recipe? Rate it above to let us know how it was!

We are grateful to all our sponsors:

Soup Beans with Rabe and Cornbread Crumbs

“This is really three recipes plated up together,” says Chef Tandy Wilson of this hearty dish. “Beans and greens are obvious comfort foods, but the rabe is lighter than the traditional long-cooked greens. We get kale rabe, amongst other types, from Bells Bend Farms.”

Local farms have been hit hard by the quarantine, and Chef Tandy goes on to say they need help now more than ever. “There are CSA options as well as farm pickups in some instances. I picked up today, got a load of veggies, and I didn’t see or have contact with a single person.”

This comfort dish from City House chef and owner Tandy Wilson is both delicious and promotes the support of local farms. Image: Tandy Wilson

Episode Summary

It’s Part 2 of COME ON OVER’S Season 2 finale, and Jeff and Emily are continuing the celebration of their first year anniversary! Hear the historic origin story of how this humble podcast came to be along with boatloads of montages that showcase the nuttiest COME ON OVER moments with live commentary. Revisit all the funny voices, bad accents, and overuse of sound effects that accompanied the goofy holiday reenactments. Relive the fun with family visitors, when life interrupted the actual recordings, and the times they may have taken it a bit too far with potty humor. And of course, there’s a big helping of song interpretation showcasing their “blood harmonies,” (or lack thereof). Take a walk down memory lane and LISTEN TODAY!

Brunch Outside the Box

Clockwise from top left: bacon burger, Benedict (made with bacon or house-cured salmon), Bougatsa French toast, avocado toast, spanakopita

701 N. Howard Ave.
(813) 841-5555
Brunch served: Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. | Sunday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

With an array of Greek and Mediterranean choices, Psomi’s weekend brunch is a much needed change of pace after a hectic work week. The atmosphere: soothing and beautiful, the food: fresh and delicious, the staff: friendly and helpful. Start your day with a yogurt bowl, bagel special, or a Greek scramble — all top choices. Pastries like spanakopita and fresh bread are available from the bakery case daily, while the Bougatsa French toast is a weekend-only offering. Psomi also has a wide selection of salads and sandwiches. Side note: There is a salad that comes with fries. Be sure to make a reservation, as lines can be expected. Psomi’s bakery opens at 8 a.m.

Chicken tenders and strawberry Thai maple syrup over a pearl sugar waffle spinach cream cheese, sausage, Swiss cheese, over-easy egg and tomato on an everything bagel (back right) cookies-and-cream pancakes (back left)

Park & Rec
290 S. Meridian Ave.
(813) 563-4777
Brunch served: Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It’s all fun and games during Park & Rec’s brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Mimosas and bloody Marys are bottomless for $20, or enjoy a “Balanced Breakfast” of Cinnamon Toast Crunch donuts and a Chambong. Fuel up with favorites like chicken and waffles served with strawberry Thai maple syrup, an everything bagel breakfast sandwich, and cookies ‘n cream pancakes.

Perhaps no veggie burger in Tampa has been photographed more than the one at Ella’s Americana Folk Art Cafe. shown here with a Bloody Ella. Make sure not to miss this Seminole Heights original.

Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café
5119 N. Nebraska Ave.
Seminole Heights
(813) 234-1000
Brunch served: Sundays, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Every weekend, this Seminole Heights mainstay celebrates Soul Food Sunday with Kansas City-style barbecue plates (think ribs, brisket and chopped pork), smoked sausage, fried catfish, collard greens and fried chicken. Ella’s is known for being especially vegan friendly, and the brunch menu includes choices like plant-based barbecue, fried “chicken” and mac and “cheeze.” The notorious Bloody Ella (a bloody Mary topped with a hickory-smoked rib) makes an appearance at brunch. Mimosas, sangria and the “Breakfast of Champions” (whiskey, butterscotch schnapps and an orange juice chaser) are also on deck.

Miguel’s Eggs Benedict features grilled skirt steak

Miguel’s Mexican Seafood & Grill
3035 W. Kennedy Blvd.
South Tampa
(813) 876-2587
Brunch served: Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
One of the only Mexican brunches in Tampa, Miguel’s has been a favorite spot for more than 20 years thanks to the family recipes made with the freshest ingredients. Try Miguel’s eggs Benedict — a classic favorite with a Mexican twist, you’ll love the flavor combination of grilled steak, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, and avocado. Breakfast tacos and the mouthwatering huevos rancheros are also great choices. Everything on Miguel’s menu is delicious. Grab a seat in the gorgeous courtyard and enjoy a mimosa made with freshly squeezed cantaloupe, watermelon, or orange juice and your weekend will be off to a great start.

Another Broken Egg’s is located on South Dale Mabry Highway near the bustling Britton Plaza.

Another Broken Egg Cafe
4041 S. Dale Mabry Highway
(813) 769-9906
Brunch served: Monday through Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This Southern-Louisiana inspired breakfast cafe is perfect for casual brunch anytime of the week. Serving up specials like a Louisiana crawfish bowl, Shrimp ‘N Grits and Cinnamon Roll French Toast. It’s also pet-friendly with an outdoor patio deck and a full bar.

Bulla Gastrobar is one of the new editions to Tampa’s Original Restaurant Row – Howard Avenue.

Bulla Gastrobar
930 S. Howard Ave.
(813) 773-8626
Brunch served: Saturdays & Sundays,
Bulla Gastrobar offers much more than the usual brunch. Try their three course brunch Prix Fixe Menu which is $28 per person that features Huevos Rancheros and Hazelnut Waffles. Or just order from their tapas style menu and indulge in their $18 per person bottomless sangria and mimosas until 4 p.m.

The bar at Gaspar’s Grotto

Gaspar’s Grotto
1805 E. 7th Ave.
(813) 248-5900
Brunch served: Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

When you sit down at Gaspar’s Grotto for brunch, don’t expect a typical brunch menu. The Sunday Booze Cruize Brunch is an all-out brunch extravaganza. Normally featuring a 50 foot buffet, unlimited mimosas and a bloody Mary bar, it has been paused due to COVID, but Gaspar’s still features $3 mimosas, $4 Bloody Marys and an array of plated breakfast dishes.

Mr. B’s Southern Cuisine
3401 N. Nebraska Ave.
Tampa, FL 33603
Brunch served: Sat & Sun, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Serving up soul food with a twist, Mr. B’s Southern Cuisine is an ideal brunch spot for those who appreciate distinctive, Southern-style cooking. From fried fish and grits to the popular honey hot chicken and waffles, the restaurant is known for serving classic comfort foods prepared from scratch. It’s even got a shiny new look. Mr. B’s space recently received a $10,000 makeover courtesy of celebrity chef Robert Irvine, who will be featuring COVID-impacted restaurants on upcoming episodes of his hit show Restaurant Impossible.

The Boozy Pig
3255 W. Cypress St.
Tampa, FL 33607
Brunch served: Sat & Sun, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Meat-lovers rejoice! This family-run brunch spot functions as both butchery and café, so much of the meat it serves up is made in-house. The brunch menu includes selections like sweet potato pancakes, cheesy grits, tallow-fried potatoes and a breakfast burger (above, with pork sausage, bacon, egg and “boozy sauce”). The Boozy Pig also serves shareable options like fried doughnut holes drenched in maple syrup and charcuterie boards. The restaurant focuses on serving as many locally sourced ingredients as possible, so the menu rotates often depending on local farms’ harvests.

La Creperia Cafe
1729 E. 7th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
Brunch served: Sat & Sun, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

At La Creperia, a simple dessert is transformed into a delicious meal. Founded in 2005, the restaurant is in the historic Ybor City district and resembles a small, European bistro. The menu largely consists of variations of crepes, which are broken down into two categories: sweet and savory. Savory crepes are typically 16 inches in diameter and can be filled with a combination of lettuce, tomatoes and a variety of meats, such as shrimp, turkey, ham and chicken. Sweet crepe fillings include ricotta, fruit, nuts and jams. La Creperia also serves panini and baguette sandwiches as well as pasta and salads.

JOTORO Kitchen and Tequila Bar
615 Channelside Drive #114
Tampa, FL 33602
(855) 352-8676
Brunch served: Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

At JOTORO Kitchen and Tequila Bar, Michelin-star chef Joe Isidori extends his “Mexican mash-up” menu to Sunday Brunch. Oversized Bloody Marys and Micheladas land side by side with Steak and Eggs, “Hangover-Style” Chilaquiles and their signature Churro French Toast. Come join their Sunday Funday Brunch Party!

2. Visit a Cemetery for Day of the Dead

One of the oldest and most important Day of the Dead traditions is to visit a cemetery. It’s a ritual dating back to the early 1800s. Families decorated their loved ones graves with colorful flowers, candles, pictures, the deceased’s favorite foods, sweets, and even their favorite music.

The brightly colored flowers and candles are believed to help guide them back to earth for one night to enjoyed everything prepared for them. The night of November 2 in Mexico City is a festive atmosphere with live music, eating, drinking, street food, remembering old times, and brightly colored costumes.

Visiting a cemetery is one of the best ways to experience Day of the Dead in Mexico City.


  • 1 pkg ButcherBox Bacon
  • 5 ea ripe avocados
  • 2 ea limes juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


Share on Pinterest! Pin at @Butcher_Box!

Emilie Abijanac

Emilie Abijanac is the Culinary Director for ButcherBox. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute with over 20 years of catering experience in Boston. Emilie was the Sous Chef for East Meets West Catering and has worked with Kate’s Table and La Fête.

Seared Red Snapper with Spring Corn-Leek-Dill Succotash and Missimati Rice


  • 1 lb red snapper fillet
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of fresh corn
  • ½ cup diced sweet onion
  • ½ cup diced leek
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup diced Roma tomato
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped dill
  • Lemon to taste
  • 2 cups of avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic paste


Tried this recipe? Rate it above to let us know how it was!

Chef Bryan Stanfield’s Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Slower mornings means more time to experiment with delicious breakfast recipes! It is the most important meal of the day, after all. Chef Bryan Stanfield (and his very special sous-chef) of Trattoria ZaZa shares his lemon ricotta pancake recipe to spice up our breakfast routine.

Chef Bryan Stanfield cooking with his son. Image: Bryan Stanfield

A correct and definitive ranking of It's-It flavors

2 of 3 0201_pnitsit10_el.JPG Elias Husary packing cookies while the top cookie is put in place on the sandwich line. It's It is a Peninsula institution and it's ice cream sandwiches are very popular. We haven't looked at 'em for a long time, so now we do.This shoot is the CEO taking the reporter on a tour of the plant while they create the sandwiches, so this should be a fantastic.ting ceremony on Tuesday. Event on 5/17/05 in Burlingame. Eric Luse / The Chronicle Ran on: 07-09-2006 Born at San Francisco&aposs old Playland at the Beach, the It&aposs-It ice cream sandwich is now produced in Burlingame.--- Sent 03/29/12 16:24:11 as special09_its with caption: Elias Husary packing cookies while the top cookie is put in place on the sandwich line. It's It is a Peninsula institution and it's ice cream sandwiches are very popular. We haven't looked at 'em for a long time, so now we do.This shoot is the CEO taking the reporter on a tour of the plant while they create the sandwiches, so this should be a fantastic.ting ceremony on Tuesday. Eric Luse/SFC Show More Show Less

3 of 3 It's-It sign at pie shop at Playland-At-The-Beach, where the original ice cream sandwich of the company was sold. PHOTO COURTESY OF IT'S-IT ICE CREAM CO. Courtesy of It’s-It Show More Show Less

San Francisco has many hallowed food traditions, from sourdough and Dutch Crunch to Pink Popcorn and Rice-A-Roni. As my colleague Peter Hartlaub points out in his latest Big Event podcast, the It&rsquos-It &mdash a beautiful ice-cream sandwich composition of oatmeal cookies and chocolate coating &mdash has earned a particular kind of unofficial sainthood in San Francisco.

So, since we&rsquore all in need of an occasional distraction from the current news cycle, it only made sense to dedicate an entire podcast to the It&rsquos-It. As part of our ode to the It&rsquos-It, which includes Chronicle restaurant reporter Justin Phillips performing a live taste test, we also ranked the seven current flavors (the Cliff&rsquos Notes version is below). Even though this hierarchy is clearly unassailable and surely immaculate, please do share your thoughts on the best and worst It&rsquos-It flavors.

The act of consuming a Pumpkin It&rsquos-It is a perfect microcosm of the whole pumpkin spice situation we have going on in America during the autumnal months. It starts out fine, even good. You have your first taste and you&rsquore hit with a rich cornucopia of autumnal flavors. Fall is arrived! A rush of memories floods through your system &mdash new school supplies, turning of the leaves, Halloween.

But after that first taste, it&rsquos all diminishing returns. Just like the actual pumpkin spice experience, the overload hits and it then gets worse and much worse. The second taste is still OK, yet not as good, a bit tired. The third is a little too rich and cloying. By the fourth, you start to notice the artifice of it all. Let it be known: Pumpkin is objectively the worst It&rsquos-It flavor.

6. Green Tea

Green Tea is the relative newcomer to the It&rsquos-It lineup, the raison d&rsquoêtre of this totally meaningful exercise. To be sure, green tea ice cream is generally delicious and nothing new. However, the problem with the Green Tea It&rsquos-It is that it&rsquos too on-trend and feels forced, as if deigned from a corporate tower somewhere. Worse than that, though, is that matcha popularity is not only surging in the food world, but it&rsquos corporate-trending. It&rsquos been Starbucksified and infused into vodka.

Do you remember Poochie? On &ldquoThe Simpsons,&rdquo Poochie was a cartoon dog introduced on the &ldquoItchy & Scratchy Show&rdquo as part of an effort to appeal to a younger demographic however, the effort was so obviously engineered by suits that Poochie was quickly killed off. The Green Tea It&rsquos-It is the Poochie of our era it feels like we&rsquore one step away from Peppermint Mocha as the next flavor.

5. Cappuccino

The Cappuccino variation has a strong following, and I respect that so many people love this flavor. My issue is more with coffee ice cream in general. A quick detour to explain: Andrew Barnett is a very smart man. He is the coffee guru behind Linea Coffee, a very nice coffee shop and cafe in the Mission. He once pointed out that America loves Starbucks not because America likes the flavor of coffee, but because America loves the sugar and cream that mask Starbucks&rsquo subpar coffee. I drink coffee every morning. I drink it black because I like the bitter taste of coffee. I do not like most coffee ice creams because they are too sweet and do not taste like coffee. Would you drink a Frappuccino with some oatmeal cookies and chocolate bars?

It's It is a Peninsula institution, the ice cream sandwiches are popular. We take a tour. SHOWN: the famous It's It ice Cream Sandwich. Ran on: 07-30-2006 It&aposs-It ice cream sandwiches have become a local institution. Eric Luse

4. Chocolate

And thus we move into the contenders. The classics. The heavyweights. The ones that are actually good and can make valid claims to the throne. There is nothing bad to say about chocolate ice cream, and just how pizza and doughnuts are almost always good even when they&rsquore bad, there is almost no such thing as a crummy chocolate ice cream. And the It&rsquos-It version is perfectly delicious &mdash malty, sweet, milky, that classic chocolate flavor.