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Longboat Key Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009 5 years ago

Neighbors: Rita Barry

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

Rita Barry’s travel cookbook is still untitled. But she figures it will include the words “taste buds.” Rather than sticking to traditional recipes, Barry bases her recipes on tastes and textures.

The first chapter is set in England, where Barry spent much of her childhood. The five-chapter book continues on, to the Mediterranean, and, then, to the Middle East. Barry has traveled throughout both regions. The fourth chapter is set in India, where Barry’s parents were born. The book ends in America, which Barry now calls home.

“The book takes you on a journey,” Barry said.

But Barry’s story begins in Tanzania, where she was born. That’s where she got her start in the kitchen, baking cakes for her father, one of the country’s top bridge players, when he played his weekly game. She attended school in England, and her family later immigrated there in the 1970s. She earned bachelor’s degrees in science and education before becoming an accountant.

Then, approximately 17 years ago, she and her husband, Malcolm, discovered Longboat Key during a tour of Florida. They began spending winters on the Key, and, in 2007, became full-time residents at Tangerine Bay Club.

Barry got the idea for her travel cookbook late last year, after having people ask her for recipes over the years.

The 60 to 70 recipes that will be included in the book are vegetarian. Barry became a vegetarian approximately 20 years ago, initially to become healthier and, later, because of an increased consciousness of animal treatment. The recipes are also simple, each containing no more than five steps.

But Barry isn’t just helping people to simplify their lives in the kitchen. She recently founded a new business, The Paperwork Doctor,, which is affiliated with Eldercare Services Unlimited, and features services such as paperwork organizing, bookkeeping and insurance claims for both individuals and businesses.

“In today’s busy life, people have less time,” she said.

Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected]


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