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Radio Guest List—Tampa Bay, Florida—July 29, 2017

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This week, the Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show broadcasts from the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa Bay, Florida. Tampa is a place to work, play, and unwind, with its mix of historic architecture and modern landmarks, Cuban and Spanish culture-infused flavor, vibrant business districts, and waterways. The Epicurean Hotel celebrates the culture and heritage of Florida. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn joins the show to talk about how he came to live in the city and expresses his optimism about its exploding growth. Curator of History at Tampa Bay History Center Rodney Kite introduces us to Florida’s history, which goes back to the 1500s, and discusses how Florida’s history is America’s history. Editor at Tampa Bay Times Ernest Hooper reveals what he loves about Tampa and recommends we go to The Bunker for amazing coffee and a Cuban tostada. There’s all of this and more as the Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show broadcasts from the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, Florida.

Click here to listen to the show streaming live from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 29, 2017.

Have a travel question? Ask Peter. Email him at, post on his Facebook page, or tweet your questions to @PeterSGreenberg.

Bob Buckhorn, Mayor of Tampa, talks about how he came to live in Tampa and eventually became mayor. He explains why the Tampa airport is so user-friendly and reveals that the airport is expanding. He also expresses optimism about the exploding growth happening in the urban core of the city, such as the new Riverwalk in Downtown Tampa.

Tom Haines, VP of Operations at Epicurean Hotel, discusses the hotel’s food entertainment, the working chef’s kitchen theater with two to three live programs a week. He also talks about the hotel’s involvement with Feeding Tampa Bay, including hosting a seven-week elimination competition “Epic Chef” that features eight of the best restaurants in Tampa Bay. The program is live-streamed on Feeding Tampa Bay’s website to help promote the charity.

Andrea Gonzmart, Fifth Generation Owner of Columbia Restaurant, expresses proudly that The Columbia Restaurant Group now has 13 restaurants. She recalls that Goody Goody, a restaurant they opened a year ago in Tampa’s Hyde Park Village, earned “Best New Restaurant” in Florida Trend annual listings. She shares that Columbia Restaurant has one of the largest and best collections of Spanish wine in the country, with its historic Ybor City location recently earning a best accolade from Wine Spectator.

Costas Christ, Writer and Editor-at-Large for National Geographic Traveler, talks about being halfway through The Year of Sustainable Tourism. He discloses that change is happening globally, but not quickly enough. He also reveals how travelers can incorporate pillars of sustainable tourism into their travels.

Thomas Forward, Tampa Fire Chief, shares the importance of educating the public about fire safety codes and teaching them how to be safe where they live, work, and play. He discloses that last year they sent paramedics out on 90,000 runs.

Paul Kita, Senior Editor at Men’s Health, speaks about a research study it did on the ten most adventurous cities in the United States. He discusses some of the more surprising cities that made the list, like Fargo, and some of the less surprising cities, like Boston and Seattle.

Ernest Hooper, Editor at Tampa Bay Times, reveals what he loves about Tampa. He describes Tampa as the biggest small town in America, explaining that it has a close-knit community with a small town vibe. He recommends visiting The Oaklawn Cemetery to learn about the history of Tampa and Jose Marti Park where you will find traces of Cuba in Tampa. He also suggests going to The Bunker for amazing coffee and a Cuban tostada.

Thomas Mantz, Executive Director at Feeding Tampa Bay, talks about Tampa’s food insecurity and how those in need do not always know when their next meal is coming. He remarks that even if they manage to get a meal, they often do not have access to healthy food. He explains that Feeding Tampa Bay works to get healthy food from grocery stores, farms, and hospitals—places where food is fresh and secure—to feed the hungry people of Tampa Bay.

Eric Hovland, Curator at the Aquarium of Florida, discusses his love of sharks and how he is known as The Shark Guy. He jokes that he has a passion for sharks because everybody already loves dolphins. He expresses that it is the aquarium’s duty to educate visitors about the diversity of the ocean habitats around them and teach them what they can do to protect the water and ocean wildlife.

Rodney Kite-Powell, Curator of History at Tampa Bay History Center, introduces us to Florida’s history—which goes back to the 1500s—and discusses how Florida’s history is America’s history. He expresses his happiness with the direction that Tampa is growing and how the History Center is benefitting from this growth. He shares that one of his favorite exhibits is the map exhibit, which positions Florida as the gateway to the Caribbean. He explains that old maps show us where we’ve been, and he details the deep connections between Florida and Cuba.

By Keefe Liu for