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Dalia Colon

Host, The Zest Podcast

"I host a food podcast" is a great icebreaker at parties.

People assume I get paid to eat. True, I do get to sample the occasional slice of pizza or bourbon cocktail — hey, somebody's gotta do it! But serving as host and executive producer of WUSF's food podcast, The Zest, is less about stuffing my face and more about digging into the stories behind Florida's unique foodways: the origins of Cuban sandwich, how a self-described "non-religious Jew" became the kosher king of Miami, and the role of food in the life and work of Florida author Zora Neale Hurston.

I've always enjoyed feasting on a good story, from weekly library visits with my mother, an elementary school teacher, to dissecting Motown song lyrics with my father, a professional musician.

My first "big girl" job was as assistant editor for Cleveland Magazine in my hometown. But after college, grad school and one too many Ohio winters, I moved to the Sunshine State and became a staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times (now called the Tampa Bay Times). I eventually made the leap from print journalism to broadcast when I signed on with WUSF, becoming a health reporter and later covering features.

In addition to working on The Zest Podcast, I'm associate producer and co-host of WEDU Arts Plus on Tampa Bay's PBS TV channel. I also do quite a bit of freelance writing, and I'm working on my first book — a vegetarian cookbook for the University Press of Florida.

"I'm writing a book" is a pretty good icebreaker at parties. But "I host a food podcast" tops them all.

I live in Riverview with my husband and kids.