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Florida Foodie

WKMG and Graham Media Group

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Food is part of our traditions and cultures, and it affects our health, our economy and all of our communities. So, Florida Foodie is giving you some food for thought, taking a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impacts on Florida and what it means for everyone, everywhere.
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Florida’s Fourth Estate

WKMG and Graham Media Group

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Florida’s Fourth Estate looks at everything from swampy politics to a fragile environment and even the crazy headlines that make Florida the craziest state in the Union. Ginger Gadsden and Matt Austin use decades of experience as journalists to dissect the headlines that impact Florida. Each week they have a guest host who helps give an irreverent look at the issues impacting the Sunshine State. Big influencers like Attorney John Morgan, renowned Florida journalists and the scientists protec ...
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Space Curious

WKMG and Graham Media Group

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Space Curious is a podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that answers your intergalactic questions. Each episode is designed to inspire everyone, from the space curious to the space fanatics.
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Pine & Oak Tavern sits inside the newly renovated Rio Pinar Golf course, but despite its new look, the walls are covered in history. “Arnold Palmer’s trophy is on the wall behind us and Lee Trevino is a champion here and Hal Irwin and a lot of the great old golfers. The history is just priceless. That’s one of the reasons why the property is purcha…
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Barnie’s Coffee has gone through a lot of changes over its 43 years in business. The name comes from one of the founders of the business, Phil Barnie Jones. “He was an inventor himself,” said Shannon Wolfgang, director of marketing for Barnie’s. “And he was like, ‘You know what, no one’s doing flavored coffee.’” According to Wolfgang, Barnie’s beca…
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Lou Holtz is famous for his incredible college coaching career, which included leading six different programs to bowl games, helping the Fighting Irish secure 100 wins, and then embarking on an enviable career as a sports analyst. When you get into a room with him, he is as humble, funny and sincere as they come. News 6 Insiders and other viewers w…
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News 6 anchors Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden debuted Florida’s Fourth Estate on Oct. 10, 2018. They said when they realized how good their chemistry was on the news set, they started thinking of a fun way to get stories to people outside of the traditional newscast. They sat down in a conference room, started talking about the headlines in our sta…
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Jake Wheeler is no stranger to the restaurant industry or Tex-Mex cuisine. Both have always been a part of his and his family’s livelihoods. “Back in 1995, (my dad) launched Tijuana Flats. In 2015, he sold it. So now we’re here and it’s my turn to take the reins and do something new,” Jake Wheeler said. The family also owns Tibby’s New Orleans Kitc…
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Whether it’s off-the-wall weird or business-related, anytime there is a question about the theme parks, especially Disney World, News 6 producer Ken Pilcher has the answer. He is not only a lifelong Floridian and Disney historian, but he also helped bring you all the special coverage News 6 had on Disney’s 50th anniversary. Add to that his mom was …
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Gerardo Bloise took the stand in the Casey Anthony murder trial to discuss evidence he processed from her car. He told Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden on the Florida’s Fourth Estate podcast that it smelled like something was decomposing in the vehicle. He said this case is something that has weighed heavy on him for years and by writing a book about…
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Curt and Jeannie Bartholomew’s jobs are anything but ordinary. They are both competitive skydivers with a combined 22,500 jumps and belong to a DeLand-based team with the most world titles in the history of the sport. So, what exactly is competitive skydiving? “It’s called canopy piloting and our slang term for that is called swooping,” Jeannie Bar…
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Bob Brown, the owner of Brown’s Taxidermy, started stuffing birds and other animals back in the 1970s, but he quickly realized mounting fish for people making big catches on chartered boats here in Florida was a more lucrative business. At first, he said he did taxidermy the old-school way. “A lot of times when they would bring us fish, we were jus…
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Aly Lalani has poured everything into making his restaurant, Build My Burgers, a success. Lalani and his wife started looking into purchasing a franchise of an established business in 2018, but they could not find any options in their budget. “The ones that were reasonably priced, they did not have a presence in Orlando,” Lalani said. “We’re big fo…
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Like many people, Lauren Irving first experienced the circus as a child. “I remember watching the trapeze act, and the smell of the popcorn and just the lights, you know, everything and how I felt. I felt so inspired,” Irving said. Little did she know, years later, that she would be helping to lead that show. She told Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden…
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It took Joe and Ginger Leigh more than two years to realize their dream of opening Orlando’s first meadery — a winery focused on making honey wines. The effort has seen the pair put in long hours. “It’s incredible. We’ve been doing 120-hour weeks for the past year,” Joe Leigh said. “It’s just the two of us. We have wonderful bartenders. But we do e…
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Walt Disney World is part of the fabric of Florida, but did you know the theme park almost ended up in St. Louis instead of Orlando? University of Central Florida History professor Dr. Jim Clark said Walt Disney had his eye on the “Show Me” state well before he began eyeing the “Sunshine State”. But a fight over beer changed everything. After succe…
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Kee Gainey spent 25 years as a stay-at-home mom before starting her culinary career. “I decided it was time for me to get back out there and I was like, ‘Well, what can you do? No one is going to hire you after this long You don’t have any experience,’” Gainey said. “And I was like, ‘Well, what can I do? You can cook? So I said, Well, I do need cre…
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If you still haven’t finished your Christmas shopping, you are not alone, but with just days left until the holiday, the clock is ticking. So, Florida’s Fourth Estate hosts Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsden are helping you identify some of the top gifts people are asking for this year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices…
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Sheriff Mike Chitwood gets real about his journey to becoming a law enforcement officer. He talks about how his relationship with his own Dad influenced his choice, why he is not afraid to take on controversial issues, and how his family has been impacted by his job. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices…
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A family’s shared love of anime has grown in three restaurants serving up ramen, pho and other pan-Asian delicacies. Soupa Saiyan first opened its doors in 2016 at 5689 Vineland Road, near Universal Studios in Orlando. “It all started with my (brother-in-law),” Jimmy Chhun, the manager at Soupa Saiyan, said.”He loves food. He’s always wanting to cr…
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Waterfalls, koi ponds, trails, cliffs and exotic plants are just some of the things you will see inside the epic backyard tucked away in the small Florida town of Williston. Dr. Raymond Webber said he initially wanted a fish pond, but, his vision for a backyard oasis kept expanding. Now, 32 years after discovering an abandoned lime rock quarry, he …
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Kim and Penn Holderness pulled on their Christmas Jammies 10 years ago and churned out a viral video many still remember a decade later. They teamed up with their two young kids, Lola and Penn Charles, to rap about all the things that made 2013 special for them. Today, they are still making videos, but they are also releasing books, games, and merc…
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If you have ever been to Disney World, you have probably been on the Jungle Cruise at Magic Kingdom. One of the highlights of the ride is the feeling of escaping to the jungle while laughing at a slew of “dad” jokes. Former Imagineer Brian Collins is responsible for some of those. “I was very lucky to be able to work on some very cool projects, lik…
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A trip to Denver led Andy Sheeter down a path that has him getting ready to move his business into a 40,000-square-foot brewery. I went on a ski trip with some friends. We were out in Breckenridge and then we were in Boulder, Colorado, and we went to a brewery,” Sheeter said. “And there were three of us and we thought ‘This is really cool. We shoul…
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If you are looking for a discount car, truck, sunglasses or even office equipment there is one place to find it all. A quick look at the George Gideon Auctioneers website reveals many of the local governments in Central Florida use them to sell their surplus items. Right now a 2012 Dodge Charger from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is going for…
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Rob Bair is no stranger to the restaurant industry having already built two successful Central Florida chains, Gringos Locos and Tin & Taco. Now he’s building a third chain, but this time he is stepping away from the Tex-Mex cuisine that brought him so much success and moving toward a flavor of his childhood — Detroit-style pizza. “I’m originally f…
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Mar-a-lago is one of the most famous homes in Florida, if not the country, but the property former President Donald Trump referred to as his “Winter White House” wasn’t always what it is today. It used to belong to all Americans. In her book “American Castle One Hundred Years of Mar-a-Lago,” Mary Shanklin talks about how the mansion and surrounding…
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People aren’t the only ones looking to avoid the cold this winter. Birds are also looking for a warmer spot to settle down, but their journey is proving to be difficult. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates up to 988 million crash into buildings every year and die. The Audubon Society said that’s because the majority of them migrate at night, a…
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Daniel Mercedes Jr. started the business that would become The Dancing Empanda by selling food out of the trunk of his car. “I was looking for a little side hustle to do and I just remember grandma making the empanadas,” Mercedes said. “So that’s what I decided to do. So we talked about it and she gave me the recipes and I started making empanadas …
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A boat, which experts believe is from the 1800s, has a new home after crews stumbled upon it during a road construction project. The Florida Department of Transportation was working on drainage improvement along King Street and State Road A1A in St. Augustine in October when they discovered the historic boat. Dr. James Delgado with SEARCH, a compan…
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Most jobs don’t come with a warning, but this one does. “A ghost will go home with you. You do these tours they are going to come home they are going to visit you,” Ghost tour guide Ting Rappa said. It is a warning she gives when hiring guides to take people around the Greenwood Cemetery in Orlando. Rappa said she doesn’t allow the spirits inside o…
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Vinnie Nguyen and his wife, Phi Phi Lam, started their food truck, Pho Wheels, so that they could have more time to spend with their children. “The hours and restaurants are just really long,” Nguyen said. “You go in — opening, you’ve done everything — by the time you go home, it’s almost midnight as well. I miss a lot of time with my children. I w…
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A.J. Haines — the chef and owner of The Hen & Hog in Winter Park — has been relatively open about his health struggles. “The first time it hit — as far as the diverticulitis attack — it was a Tuesday morning,” Haines said. “(I was) like, ‘I don’t feel good. This is really hurting me today.’ I woke up at like 11:30 at night drenched in sweat — took …
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The chefs at Universal Orlando are looking to raise the bar when it comes to the food guests can expect to find at a theme park. “We really want to reinvent the thought of what theme park food is,” Ron Cope, executive chef of Universal Studios Florida, said. “We’ve really tried to elevate everything we do here — from our simple little desserts, a s…
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Former Chief Judge Belvin Perry recently reflected on his decades-long career with the hosts of Florida’s Fourth Estate. Perry is well known for presiding over the Casey Anthony case, but long before that high-profile case he was the lead prosecutor in the Judy Buenoano murder trial. Perry says he was part of the team that transported Buenoano to j…
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Austin Blake started his business, Stackd Brownies, while playing around in the kitchen with his family. “COVID hit and that’s when everything kind of shut down,” Blake said. “Everything was not what was expected. So during that time, my parents were not doing much. I wasn’t doing much during that time and during that time we were in the kitchen. W…
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Over 12 years ago, Casey Anthony walked out of the Orange County jail a free woman. Much of the country watched her murder trial play out on live TV, including the moment the jury found her not guilty, but there were some things happening behind the scenes that you didn’t see. The judge at the center of it all, Belvin Perry, joined the hosts of Flo…
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Jamilyn Bailey and Lordfer “Lo” Lalicon, the owners of Kaya, know that Filipino food is not normally associated with “fine dining,” they are looking to change that perception. “I think everybody and not just our parents, even our friends are doubtful, like ‘You’re opening a Filipino restaurant? Casual fine-dining Filipino restaurant? Are you crazy?…
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Alex Pring was born with one arm. His other extends to his forearm and stops. As he started growing up and going to school, he had some questions about his limb difference. “I kinda asked the question, ‘Why can’t I have an arm? Everyone else has an arm, why don’t I,’” Pring said. He said his mom loves solving problems, so she reached out to the Uni…
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In June, the Florida Department of Health issued a statewide mosquito-borne illness advisory after four confirmed cases of malaria in Sarasota County. They were the first cases in the state in 20 years. Then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 159 new cases of leprosy in the U.S. in 2020, with Florida among the top reporting st…
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Brent Tucker, the owner of First Responder’s Coffee Company, dedicated much of his adult life to serving his country. “When 9/11 hit, I joined the military,” Tucker said. “I had no intention to join the military, but 9/11 hit, I was in the military on 9/27/01 — as fast as they’d let me in,” he said. This led to more than 20 years in the military, w…
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Jewish Family Services of Greater Orlando, 2100 Lee Road, has been giving food to those in need for 45 years. However, the organization has never given out as much food as it has in 2022. “The amount of food going out of our establishment is record-breaking for us,” JFS president Phil Flynn said. “May broke all our records. Then June broke May’s re…
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Norman Van Aken is not a native Floridian but his name is synonymous with the state’s cuisine. Van Aken lives in South Florida but has his restaurant, Norman’s, in Central Florida. Van Aken grew up in Northern Illinois. He knew from an early age that he loved cooking but did not realize that it could be a career. “I had no understanding (or) inklin…
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Even though theme park attendance is down this year, the companies are investing more than ever. According to the International Association of Amusement Park and Attractions, which is the global association for the theme park industry, American theme parks are expected to invest $1.5 billion in attractions this year alone. IAAPA’s CEO Jakob Wahl sp…
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From book bans to changing classes and educational requirements, what children are learning in the classroom will be different this year. “I think this is going to be a very strange year, simply because people do not know what’s happening,” University of Central Florida history professor and News 6 Political Analyst Jim Clark said. “Teachers are un…
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Alex Diaz is constantly pushing to make his restaurant, Alex’s Fresh Kitchen, a success. “It’s my baby. It’s my dream, you know, and I do anything for it. I’ve sacrificed for this place,” Diaz said. Diaz opened his restaurant in 2019 at 1015 State Road 436 in Suite 109 of a strip mall in Casselberry. The pandemic hit not long after, creating new ch…
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Instead of vacationing or partying, a group of students from the University of Central Florida set out for the U.S.-Mexico border this summer. They wanted to learn more about the people working to call America home and bring those stories back to students at UCF. Amy Diaz and Ian Rodriguez both said they brought a unique perspective to the trip. “E…
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A sense of fun is very important to Robert and Teresa Ly and that value is a big part of their business, Sus Hi Eatstation. The importance of fun and food helped the two hit it off, in both their romantic and business partnership. “Our core values also aligned. We love to have fun. We love eating,” Robert Ly said. “The concept (for Sus Hi Eatstatio…
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Amy Siewe goes out at night, sometimes alone, to hunt pythons. She said it’s a passion that started when she was a child, but it’s not without risk. The python huntress talked to Matt Austin and Ginger Gadsdenon Florida’s Fourth Estate about her mission to rid Florida’s Everglades of the invasive reptiles. Siewe has bagged several Burmese pythons a…
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Chef Art Smith is known across the country and around the world for his cooking, but he started out his life in the little-known, rural town of Jasper, Florida. “Seventh generation — and I’m the only family member on my father’s side that actually left the state and I’m the only chef among all the police officers and people within the prison system…
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It was a typical spring afternoon in southwest Florida’s Myakka River. Jeffrey Heim strapped on his mask, fins and head-mounted GoPro and eased into the murky water to begin his favorite hobby: hunting for massive megalodon shark teeth. The hobby would later become a career for Heim, who now owns a company called SHRKco which collects and sells the…
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Joel Dawson, owner of Brothers-N-Arms BBQ, has cooked meals in some of the most extreme situations a person can imagine. “I was in Afghanistan — was on the border of Pakistan,” Dawson said. “We’re in the chow hall and... an RPG went off, shook the whole building. It was so intense that it blew all the windows.” Dawson served as a cook with the Mari…
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On July 24, 2015, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen left on a fishing trip. The two 14-year-olds took off from Jupiter Inlet on a 19-foot fishing boat. When they didn’t return, the Coast Guard started a massive search but never found them. Both of their families were left devastated. Perry Cohen’s Dad, Phil Cohen, recently discussed how he has dealt…
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