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.

Natural wine is having a moment in the Tampa Bay area

A natural wine (Bianco di Ampeleia, 2017, from Italy) is poured at Cru Cellars in Tampa. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
From pét-nats to skin-contact whites, natural wines are popping up at restaurants, coffee shops and wine bars across the bay.

Eight natural wines to try in the Tampa Bay area

Natural wines at Cru Cellars in Tampa. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
New to the growing trend? Start with these wines.

FarmTable Cucina still wows with new chef, revamped menu

Chicken cacciatore with a side of rainbow cauliflower at FarmTable Cucina. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
Chef James Kirby’s refined Italian dishes lean heavily on vegetables and seafood. | Restaurant review

Restaurant review: Can you handle the heat? King of the Coop brings Nashville-style hot chicken to Seminole Heights

A chicken tender platter at King of the Coop. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
Fiery chicken and Southern sides highlight the new Florida Avenue restaurant.

Here’s what you’ll be eating at the next Bucs game

The Land and Sea Burger, the Rope Vieja Grilled Cheese and the Pizza Box Nachos are some of the new food items debuting for the 2019 football season at Raymond James Stadium, Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 in Tampa.  MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
Ropa vieja tacos, prime rib-topped nachos and cannoli cupcakes are all on the menu at Raymond James Stadium this season.