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.

Weekly planner

The Best Dining Events in Sarasota This Week

On the menu: Spice Boys in the Rosemary District, Fruitville Grove's strawberry festival, Parrish Heritage Day, a bestie brunch at Mote and a beer podcast at Calusa.

03/04/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Homage to Catalonia

Michael's on East Food Truck Brings Spanish Cuisine to Selby Gardens

The truck is setting up throughout the gardens' "Salvador Dalí: Gardens of the Mind" exhibit, which concludes in June.

03/02/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

The Scoop

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams Coming to Sarasota This Summer

A Jeni's shop will open near the University Town Center mall later this year.

03/02/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Journey to the End of Florida

A Beginner's Guide to Exploring the Everglades

Four easy-to-access destinations to experience this majestic place of sawgrass and sky.

03/01/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Hot Buzz

Drink of the Month: El Melvin's Spicy Sweet Mezcal Cocktail

This spicy-sweet cocktail sets the bar at the new El Melvin Cocina Mexicana.

02/28/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Restaurant Review

Avlí Mess Hall Takes a Mix-and-Match Approach to Mediterranean Cuisine

The menu is rooted in Greek cuisine but also takes in influences from Turkey, Syria, Portugal and Italy.

02/28/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Wildlife Scavenger Hunt

12 Wild Animals You Might See in the Everglades

Keep your eyes peeled for alligators, crocodiles, otters, deer, birds and more.

02/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Swamp Outposts

The Best Places to Stay in the Everglades

There's an option for every kind of traveler.

02/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Face Off

Meet the Miccosukee Tribe’s First Female Alligator Wrestler

Looking back on those who doubted that women could wrestle gators, Jessie Cottone just laughs. “We sure as hell can do it,” she says.

02/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Rising Tide

How Climate Change Threatens the Everglades

According to experts, improving the flow of freshwater through the Everglades presents the best chance of staving off dramatic effects from climate change.

02/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Glades Grub

The Best Places to Eat in the Everglades

From gas station fare to authentic Cuban, these are our favorite spots to chow down around the swamp.

02/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Journey to the End of Florida

Four Must-See Everglades Destinations

It only takes about two hours to drive from Sarasota to the Everglades' entry point, but once there, you’re on the edge of a vast new world.

02/27/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Weekly planner

The Best Dining Events in Sarasota This Week

On the menu: the De Soto Food & Music Festival, an Englewood beer bash, a pizza-making lesson and the Cornhole & Cocktails Festival.

02/26/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

River view

Manatee River Restaurant Will Open Next Month

Whiskey Joe's Bar & Grill is opening its new Ellenton location in mid-March.

02/24/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Le Sunday Funday

Downtown C'est La Vie! Location Adds Sunday Brunch Service

From 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., the restaurant is serving eggs Benedict, avocado toast, croissant French toast and more, plus its regular menu.

02/20/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

It's official!

Local Farm Earns Organic Certification

Parrish's Honeyside Farms supplies produce to local restaurants, clubs and hotels and sells its goods at two area farmers' markets.

02/20/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Weekly planner

An Italian Carnival, a Pressure Cooking Class and More of This Week's Best Food and Drink Events

Also on the menu: yoga at a rooftop bar in Bradenton, a weekly grilling session and a Venice wine dinner.

02/19/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Best Restaurants

The Best Restaurants in Sarasota

Where to eat right now.

02/18/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker

Weekly planner

Nine Fun, Romantic Options for a Special Valentine's Day Meal

Restaurants, stores and breweries are offering everything from heart-shaped steaks to beer-infused cupcakes this Valentine's Day. Here are some great options for a fun time.

02/12/2020 By Rachel Suwak and Cooper Levey-Baker

Outward Bound

Rick Steves Says His Mission Is to Inspire Americans to 'Venture Beyond Orlando'

The popular guidebook author and travel TV host spoke in Sarasota on Tuesday as part of the Ringling College Library Association Town Hall lecture series.

02/11/2020 By Cooper Levey-Baker