Helen Freund, Food Critic

Helen Freund

Food Critic

I write about food and restaurants in the Tampa Bay area. I was never a picky eater, and never had a chance to be: Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, saying ‘no’ to things like geoduck sashimi or fiddlehead fern pesto just wasn’t cool. Instead, I tried everything, and have ever since. I studied journalism at the University of Washington and cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. I most recently was the restaurant critic and dining editor of Gambit Weekly in New Orleans. When I’m not eating, I’m probably scuba diving and tagging along with spearfishers, hoping they’ll spear some dinner for me.

What’s on our plate: seasonal lattes, noodle soups, gumbo, eggs Benedict

The gingerbread latte at Intermezzo Coffee. Michelle Stark  |  Tampa Bay Times
From a Thai temple to a French bistro, here are some of our favorite bites this month.

‘Top Chef’ alum Jeffrey Jew opening Lingr on 6th St. in St. Petersburg

Lingr on 6th St., coming to St. Petersburg in spring 2020, marks the first solo culinary project for local chef and 'Top Chef' alum Jeffrey Jew. Courtesy of Martin Communications
The former Stillwaters Tavern and BellaBrava chef will launch his first solo project in 2020.

Clearwater’s Soul Sicilian Fusion isn’t really fusion, but maybe that’s okay

Arugula with proscuitto and burrata is on the menu at Soul Sicilian Fusion located in downtown  Clearwater, Florida on Tuesday, November 26, 2019.  OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
The downtown Clearwater restaurant hews closely to simple Italian classics. | Restaurant review

Where to eat on Thanksgiving day if you don’t care about turkey

Diners at Yummy House in Tampa. Times (2018)
Escape the traditional holiday menus at these Tampa Bay restaurants.

Immigrant families in Tampa Bay share the dishes on their Thanksgiving table

USFSP International Club's vice president Maria Novoa Pinzon and international student adviser Angelica Rodriguez Jimenez put the finishing touches on the club's Friendsgiving potluck. Angelique Herring  |  Special to the Times
From pad Thai to lechon kawali, it’s a multicultural smorgasbord.