The new Food Critic will be Jon Palmer Claridge, a former Dunedin resident who's recently returned to the area after many years working in Washington, D.C. Currently working on a book, Food As Theatre: Memorable Dinner Parties on an Artist's Budget, he has both an extensive knowledge of food and wine and a rich variety of experience in the arts, and writes in a style that's both authoritative and approachable. Claridge will succeed Brian Ries, a key part of CL's team for many years, including a stint as editor in chief of the former Sarasota edition of CL. Now an online editor at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Ries will be filing his final column as CL food critic on June 7.
Helping Claridge navigate the world of Tampa Bay food will be Arielle Stevenson, a longtime CL freelancer and dedicated foodie who has been promoted to Assistant Editor. The new full-time position includes reporting on food news and coordination of food and drink content in CL's print and online editions.
Earlier this spring, CL Editor in Chief David Warner announced that two staffers at Creative Loafing had received promotions.
Joe Bardi, formerly the Associate/Operations Editor, was promoted to Managing/Online Editor. He will oversee cltampa.com's edit content and act as a liaison between print, online and production departments.
Julie Garisto, formerly the editor of the Arts & Entertainment site, was promoted to Arts & Entertainment Editor, overseeing both print and online A&E coverage for CL.