Cooper Levey-Baker has written about food, politics, civic issues, the arts, and music in Southwest Florida for 15 years. His work has won multiple awards from the Florida Magazine Association and the Florida Society of Professional Journalists, as well as an honorable mention from the Julia Child Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @LeveyBaker.

Entertainment

Siesta Key Reality TV Show Extended

MTV is shooting an additional eight episodes of the reality show Siesta Key, set in and around Sarasota.

10/03/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Hut check

10 Bucks or Less: Tacos - To Go

A newish Bee Ridge taco shack gets it right.

10/03/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Honk!

Five Migraine Inducing Intersections—and What to Do About Them

We've identified the region's most horrific traffic hot spots.

09/28/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Made in SRQ

Meet the Makers of Kombucha 221 BC

An ancient tea is made right here at home.

09/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Charting the Charters

Essential Info About Sarasota County's 11 Charter Schools

Educate yourself about Sarasota County’s 11 charter schools.

09/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Quiet Victory

A Small Mennonite Congregation Breaks LGBT Barriers

Eight years ago, Sarasota's Covenant Mennonite Fellowship was threatened with excommunication for having a gay pastor.

09/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Hurricane Babies

What it Was Like to Work the Mother-Baby Unit During the Hurricane

While Hurricane Irma raged outside, more than 20 women were giving birth at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

09/15/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

The Criminal Justice System

Road to Redemption

Formerly incarcerated residents struggle to rebuild their lives and overcome the stigma of serving time.

08/28/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Rock the Vote

How Safe is Your Vote?

Sarasota elections supervisor Ron Turner weighs in.

08/25/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Deal Plan

Sarasota's Best Budget Bites

Forget fine dining. Here's where to find incredible food that won't break the bank.

08/15/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

A View to a Chill

The Star of the New Westin Rooftop Bar? That View

Over the course of a couple hours, I must have uttered some variation of "Holy moly," "Wow" and "Golly" 12 dozen times.

08/09/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Shark Tank

Real Life Controversy Dogs MTV's Siesta Key

Just days before the show premiered, social media sleuths connected star Alex Kompothecras to a viral video that showed four young men, two from prominent Manatee County families, gleefully dragging a shark behind their boat at high speed until it died.

08/02/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Nitrogen Fixation

10 Bucks or Less: Krave n Joy

Tacos and ice cream? Deal me in.

08/02/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Team Sarasota

Meet the New Starting Five on the City Commission

The five power players who make up Team Sarasota.

07/26/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Oodles of Noodles

State Street's Newest Offering: Monday Night Ramen

Mondays just became a little less hellish.

07/25/2017 Photography by Cooper Levey-Baker

Super Smoker

10 Bucks or Less: Sea Smoke

A newish Cortez shop smokes its own fish and bacon, makes head cheese from scratch and serves up dope lunch grub.

07/24/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Diner Leagues

New Diner Opens at Westfield Siesta Key Mall

Metro Diner, a burgeoning chain born in Jacksonville in 1992, recently opened its first Sarasota location in a revamped space inside the Westfield Siesta Key mall.

07/06/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

SUP?

Everything You Need to Know About Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Explore Sarasota’s beautiful backwaters while torching calories.

06/30/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Best Burgers

The Best Burgers in Sarasota-Manatee

This list—our first-ever ranking of the region’s greatest hamburgers—is a tribute to an American icon.

06/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Best Burgers

The Best Burgers in Sarasota-Manatee

Plus chefs’ must-have condiments, a plant-based powerhouse, great burger lore—and more.

06/27/2017 By Cooper Levey-Baker