Cooper Levey-Baker has written about food, politics, civic issues, the arts, and music in Southwest Florida for a decade. His work has won an honorable mention from the Julia Child Foundation and a Bronze Award for Best In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Magazine Association, and he was named a finalist for Best Public Service Reporting by the Florida Society of Professional Journalists. His fiction earned him a John Ringling Fund Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arts Council of Sarasota County and his rendition of "Drunk in Love" has left karaoke audiences throughout the region bewildered.

Data

USF Researchers Find Black and Hispanic Americans Much More Likely Than Whites to Fear Police Brutality

Two University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee researchers have found that Black Americans are nearly five times more likely than whites to worry "a lot" about police brutality.

06/22/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Day Drinking

First Watch Starts Serving Alcohol

It's the first time the restaurant chain has sold alcohol since its first location opened in 1986.

06/18/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Reality check

Siesta Key Star Fired for Alleged Racist Social Media Posts

Alex Kompothecras 'will not be in future seasons of Siesta Key,' according to an MTV spokesperson.

06/17/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Spring Cleaning

Clásico Has a New Look, a New Menu and a New Chef

It's the restaurant's first extensive refresh since it opened roughly eight years ago.

06/16/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Neighborhood guide

Where the Locals Eat in Palmer Ranch

Five restaurants where the folks in Palmer Ranch like to get together.

06/15/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Papa presents

Father's Day Gifts for Dads Who Love Wine

Remember: It's the thought that counts, not the price tag.

06/15/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

10 Bucks Or Less

Kürtós Serves Creative Sandwiches Out of a Tiny Downtown Storefront

The company makes Hungarian "chimney cakes," hollow spirals of dough that can be either sweet or savory.

06/15/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Video

Let’s Learn How to Make a Jalapeño Watermelon Margarita

Via Zoom, Loaded Cannon Distillery's Michelle Russell shows us how to whip up a summer-friendly cocktail.

06/12/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Recipe

Let's Learn How to Cook Tiger Prawns Like They Do at Avlí Mess Hall

Avlí chef de cuisine Johnny Zaki says it's vitally important to leave your prawn heads intact.

06/11/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

'This Is An Incredible Time in History'

Sarasota's Mayor Says the Time for Anti-Racist Action Is Now

Jen Ahearn-Koch discusses the protests that have rocked America, how Sarasota city government should respond and whether we need to 'defund the police.'

06/11/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Party Time

LGBTQ-Friendly Restaurants Celebrate 'Taste of Pride' Starting Today

Several restaurants and food businesses in Sarasota are offering special deals, dishes and drinks to celebrate Pride Month.

06/10/2020 Photography by Cooper Levey-Baker

Weather

Damage From Tropical Storm Shuts Down Casey Key Road

Heavy rain, high winds and tall waves cracked a portion of Casey Key roadway that runs along the Gulf of Mexico.

06/08/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Health scare

Fundraising Dinners Will Help Local Chef With Lung and Brain Cancer

To help Lila's Arthur Lopes recover, friends have organized a GoFundMe campaign and the restaurant is planning two special meals to raise money.

06/08/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Fins up

Gecko's Cocktail Raises $10,000 for Mote

In 2018, Gecko's pledged to donate $1 for every sale of a new cocktail named in honor of Mote founder and world-renowned scientist Eugenie Clark.

06/08/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Photos

Photos: People Take to the Streets to Protest the Killing of George Floyd

Chants of "Black lives matter," "No justice, no peace," and "I can't breathe" echoed through downtown Sarasota on Wednesday.

06/04/2020 Photography by Joe Lipstein With Cooper Levey-Baker

Troubled Times

Sarasota's Black Community Reacts to the Death of George Floyd

A chorus of voices speaks out about racism, justice and our future.

06/02/2020 By Susan Burns, Megan McDonald, Heather Dunhill, Kay Kipling, Jessika Ward, and Cooper Levey-Baker

Island time

A Server Laid Off Because of COVID-19 Has a New Project: A Puerto Rican Food Truck

After he lost his job, Antonio Pereira decided to open Savor 100x35.

06/01/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

It's a deal

Savor Sarasota Starts Today

The program runs through Sunday, June 14, with at least 50 restaurants offering multi-course meals for $16 at lunch and $32 at dinner.

06/01/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Data

Annual Survey Shows Drop in Area's Homeless Population

But there is rising concern about how the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to more homelessness.

05/29/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

The politics of the pandemic

Sarasota's Supervisor of Elections Explains Why Voting by Mail Remains 'Safe and Secure'

Ron Turner walks us through how voting by mail works in Sarasota County.

05/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker