Veteran food writer Joseph Hayes in conversation with chefs, bakers, pastry makers, growers, preservers, farmers, producers, wine mavens, brewers and distillers, the mixologists, the charcuterists, the cuochi di carne and les chefs végétariens, exploring their unique stories.


food writing

  • Wine Quality Salt

    Table, Kosher, sea, pink, Mediterranean, Celtic … clues to an insidious crossword or the endless choices at your local (or online) market for salt.


    At the Courtesy Bar, music is low and conversation is encouraged.

  • Master of His Craft

    At Terralina, Tony Mantuano is drawing upon his grandmother’s culinary wisdom to create superb Italian dishes. And loving every minute of it.

  • If You Knew Sushi

    A prescient exploration of the environmental impact of sushi, decades before others were taking notice.

culinary journeys

Food Adventures

The first in a tripytch of culinary oddities, unique finds and hidden gems.


  • Between November 11, 2020 and January 19, 2021, seven sold-out events celebrating the powerful food legacy of ancient Italy took place. Pompeii’s Table: Sublime and Ancient Food That Survived Vesuvius’ Fury, was conceived by Joseph Hayes in support of the Orlando Science Center exhibition, Pompeii: The Immortal City. A baker’s dozen of Orlando’s most inventive chefs, culinarians and creative artists presented events in some of Central Florida's finest retaurants and popular neighborhood cafes, exploring the history and food of Pompeiian kitchens. Challenged to work solely with ingredients available at the time, chefs who operate in a world that equates Italian food with tomatoes, peppers, or eggplant, built menus without those new-world foods. But seafood, goat, quail, game, cheese, fermented fish sauce, olive oil, wines, and a world encyclopedia of spices—very much yes. Plus, the odd cheesecake, jelly donut, fried chicken, and hamburgers, all of which appeared on Pompeiian plates.

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I'm a food writer, travel and feature writer, theater and music critic and cultural explorer. Creator and host of the "No Crying In The Kitchen" interview series; the Pompeii's Table arts and dining project; former James Beard judge; co-founder of Greater Orlando Food Leaders Alliance and winner of five Florida Magazine Association "Charlie" Awards. My other hat is worn as an award-winning playwright and producer, jazz and event presenter and advocate for new, original creative work for in-house and online audiences.

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food writer

Five-time Florida Magazine Association Award winning food writer and restaurant critic for international publications and travel guides. Former James Beard Foundation judge, knowledgable champion of world cuisine and avid advocate of undiscovered chefs.


57 productions and readings of my work from coast to coast and in three countries. Creator of live-streaming pioneer House Theater Project, the year-long 13in13, and The Hayes Project series of interconnected plays.

freelance writer

As a writer on assignment, I've traveled to Italy, Scotland, England, New Orleans, California and New York City, with a specialty on all things Orlando. Whether it's a story about Arts & Crafts houses in Florida or new styles in computers, a Mounted Police squad or alien abduction insurance, I've written it. Environmental issues, music, movie and theater reviews and in-depth conversations with legends in jazz. Interviews and personality profiles are my specialty.

arts presenter

Producer of the Jazz On Edge series, spotlighting new and original jazz from Central Florida since 2008, giving creative hometown and nationally-known musicians a place to perform their own music, without boundaries, in person and online. Founder, "Word Play" series, former Alternative Programming Chair, Timucua Arts Foundation, presenting theater, spoken word, poetry, film, live-streaming video and word-based art in an alternative space.