Is wintry weather arriving in your part of the world? Do you wish you could travel to Florida and enjoy its famous sunny climate? Or maybe you’re a newcomer to the Sunshine State and you’re ready to explore your new surroundings. Maybe you’ve even lived in Florida your whole life, but you want to find out more about what’s happening in other parts of the state—or to just spend more time getting to know your own town.

Join us today for a food tour of Florida! Different areas of the state have very different local ingredients and diverse food cultures that are tied to their communities. A food tour takes you beyond the tourist attractions to discover the real Florida.

The University Press of Florida has recently published several books that highlight the culinary riches that Florida offers, from the Panhandle to the Keys. Cookbooks from a university press, you ask? Don’t university presses publish scholarly books by professors? We do, but we also publish lots of books for a wide readership written by writers from a variety of backgrounds. One of UPF’s specialties is Florida’s unique history and culture, and food and drink is a big part of that. We produce books that celebrate the food scene of our state with loving care. Pick up any of our recent food books and you’ll be amazed at the high quality. Great writing, gorgeous design, glossy colorful photos. They are simply beautiful.

We want to surprise you with seven books that celebrate Florida’s many food and drink destinations. Travel with us!

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A journey of thousands of miles and diverse landscapes, of world-famous chefs, small farmers, and the freshest local ingredients, this delicious culinary adventure astonished the food world and prompted the Wall Street Journal to wonder, “Is Florida the next foodie hot spot?” Field to Feast puts Florida on the national map as a frontrunner in the local food movement. It highlights a thriving food scene that has often gone unnoticed amid the state’s highly-publicized beaches and theme parks. This award-winning book has changed how people view the Sunshine State and has cleared the way for more writers to share the stories of Florida chefs, artisans, restaurants, and unique regional ingredients.



In their seafood follow-up, Good Catch, the authors savor the bounty of Florida’s countless waterways. Surrounded by water on three sides with an inland maze of lakes, rivers, streams, and springs, Florida has a fishing culture unlike any other state and with it comes an abundance of delectable recipes. Together, Field to Feast and Good Catch are the winners of a Gourmand Cookbook Award, an Orlando Weekly “Best of Orlando” Award, an Award of Appreciation from the Agricultural Institute of Florida, a Society of American Travel Writers Award, and made the SIBA book award long list.



Pickled, Fried, and Fresh represents how Florida chefs are using local ingredients to create their own exciting niche in southern cuisine. Pimento cheese, clams with fennel and oranges, watermelon salad, and bourbon cocktails are signature items of Chef Bert Gill, who has established three acclaimed restaurants in the past 15 years. A pioneer in Florida’s local food movement, Gill inspires readers to connect deeply with their region and communities by relying on seasonal food from local farmers. The recipes and photos in this book showcase the unique personality of Gill’s local North Florida foodscape—a region with multiple harvests throughout the year and access to fresh catch from both coasts.



This book was inspired by a historic Miami Shores property known as Mango House. Built in the 1930s for mango pickers as part of a plantation that is now demolished, the cottage is a jungle-like property with a wrought iron fence, coral rock front steps, peaked green slate roof, and fourteen mango trees. Since MIAMI Magazine dining critic Jen Karetnick moved into Mango House, the fruit trees have become a part of daily life for her family, showering the house with mangos every year from May through October. In Mango, she introduces you to the Mango Gang, a group of world-renowned chefs including Allen Susser and Norman Van Aken. These chefs make frequent use of the bounty from Jen’s ninety-year-old trees in their Miami restaurants, and in Mango, they share some of their favorite recipes.



Featured on the Food Network, the Travel Channel, and CNN and named by Time as one of the top ten places to visit in Miami, Versailles Restaurant has been at the heart of the Cuban-American community for decades. For many it is a home away from home—a place where people from all backgrounds congregate to enjoy great food while discussing work, politics, and daily life. Presidents, politicians, and pop stars routinely stop in for a meal and a photo op. The Versailles Restaurant Cookbook features some of the most beloved recipes from this Miami institution, including fried yuca, vaca frita (shredded beef with onions), lechón asado (roast pork), ropa vieja (shredded beef in tomato sauce), guava pie, and, of course, the one, the only, the original Cuban sandwich.



Welcome to the many flavors of Florida’s booming new craft beer phenomenon! Throughout the state, enthusiasts are flocking to tasting rooms to meet friends for a pint or fill their growlers. The Great Florida Craft Beer Guide is the perfect way to find local, distinctive beer anywhere in the Sunshine State. Longtime craft beer columnist Mark DeNote takes you on a tour from Destin to Key West, from award-winning breweries to hidden tasting rooms, from hefeweizens and pale ales to saisons and stouts. Through exclusive interviews with brewers and owners, he shares the stories of their founding, their brewing philosophies and methods, and insider tips about each brewery’s staple and seasonal beers.



The last stop on our food tour is one of our all-time bestselling and best-loved books, The Columbia Restaurant Spanish Cookbook. Opened in Tampa in 1905, the Columbia Restaurant is the nation’s largest Spanish restaurant and a culinary cornerstone of Florida, with locations in Tampa, St. Augustine, Sarasota, Orlando, and Clearwater. The cookbook includes 178 recipes that have made the restaurant famous. We’ve also published a popular new book of recipe cards that highlights longtime favorites from the cookbook such as the Original “1905” Salad®, dressed with the restaurant’s special blend of oil and spices; arroz con pollo, a classic chicken and rice dish; paella, the national dish of Spain; and decadent white chocolate bread pudding.

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All of these fantastic food books are available at discount prices right now in our holiday sale! Visit and use code XM15 at checkout. Orders over $50 will receive a free University Press of Florida tote bag while supplies last.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram this week for sneak peeks inside these books. We’ll be highlighting recipes and ingredients from the books with the hashtag #FoodNovember.

Want to learn about more surprising books from university presses? It’s University Press Week and this post is part of a week-long university press blog tour. Today’s theme is “Surprise!” Check out these blog posts by University Press of New England, University Press of Mississippi, University Press of Kansas, University Press of Kentucky, University of Nebraska Press, University of California Press, and University of Wisconsin Press.

Find out more about university press publishing by following the Twitter hashtag #ReadUP.

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