Paella and Plantains

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 2, 2009) – A food historian couldn’t ask for a better subject to study and write about than Florida’s oldest eating establishment, which also happens to be the world’s largest devoted to Spanish cuisine.  That job fell to Andy Huse who wrote about the iconic Tampa landmark in The Columbia Restaurant: Celebrating a Century of History, Culture and Cuisine.  He’ll provide a behind the scenes glimpse of his experience at the University of South Florida Nov. 4 from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Grace Allen Room at the USF Tampa Library.  Light refreshments and snacks will be served at 2 p.m. 


A USF alumnus who received master’s degrees in history (2000) and library and information science (2005), Huse works as assistant librarian of the special and digital collections department at the Tampa Library.  He co-authored The Seabreeze by the Bay Cookbook in 2000.  Huse was given the privilege of organizing the Columbia’s extensive archives and the resulting collection was donated to the Tampa Library by the Gonzmart family, owners of the Columbia Restaurant chain.  The centennial cookbook grew out of that project.  Huse’s next venture is a social history tentatively titled Tampa's Delicious History: Restaurants and Culture in the 20th Century and Beyond.  


Huse conducted the primary research for USF’s classic historical account, The University of South Florida: The First Fifty Years.  Working in conjunction with the Tampa Bay History Center, Huse serves as assistant editor of the revived Tampa Bay History journal


The USF Humanities Institute’s primary mission is to promote the presence of the humanities at USF.  In addition to supporting humanities-focused research, the Institute hosts a variety of lectures and discussions to encourage intellectual exchange in the USF community.  For more information visit  For more information about this and future events, contact Melanie Formentin at (813) 974-3567 or



The University of South Florida System is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engaged, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The system offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. It has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.