Jan Norris: Food and Florida

Food, Restaurants, Recipes and Pre-Disney Florida

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About Jan Norris

 Florida’s my home state – Fort Lauderdale is my hometown – actually, a burb called Wilton Manors. But as a multi-generational native, I’m very much a Southerner.

I’m a journalist, and worked at the now-defunct Hollywood Sun-Tattler before moving to West Palm Beach, where I spent 26 years at The Palm Beach Post — 21 of those as editor of the weekly Food & Dining section.

In August 2008, along with 250-plus employees, I took the Post’s buyout and went out on my own to freelance, and am now blogging my food section online.

My site is full of food, which branches into all else: chefs, restaurants, travel, Old Florida, the South, arts and curiosities, and a world of people with stories to tell.

Some of the topics you’ll read here:

  • The Eat Beat: Restaurant news and chef talk
  • Talking Tables: Places I’ve been and recommend
  • Off Road: Eats around Florida — and everywhere else
  • Two Forks Up!: Food products, cooking tools and other food-related things I recommend
  • What’s Cooking: All great recipes. Mine and others. Send me yours – we share here!
  • Old Florida: Talking about the Florida I know and love, when orange trees were as prevalent as theme park characters.
  • Ask Jan – I help you cook, find an ingredient, restaurant, or tool source – or whatever other food help you need.
  •  At Recipes: Lost and Found, we hunt down recipes older than dirt.
  • Travel Food posts offer up eats from elsewhere from my readers. Submit your best shots and a caption to be included.

…and much more. My site is fluid and changes frequently. I invite your critique and suggestions any time.

When I’m not writing or baking, I’m with family and friends or traveling, often around the state and sometimes, on my bicycle.

Till then, I’m blogging away, writing for The Coastal Star, Florida Weekly and the Sun-Sentinel newspapers; City and Shore, Florida Travel & Life, Go! magazines, and editing the Palm Beach County Zagat Survey.

From time to time, I freelance elsewhere, am always open for interesting work.

Check back often – and join in with all my readers: bakers and cooks from around the world, and from my neighbors here on the Intracoastal in Palm Beach County.

I look forward to hearing from you all — from wherever you’re reading me!

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I review products on this site as well as restaurants. Foods and tools are sometimes sent to me free for review, but are unsolicited. They may or may not find their way into my reviews and I do not accept payment in exchange for reviews. This is not a “Pay to Say” site.

I refer readers to places they can buy cooking equipment or books I recommend, and have an account with Amazon — which anyone with an internet connection can sign up for — that pays me if the reader clicks through purchases a product.

Google places content-related ads on my site for free. Again, I’m paid if readers click through to buy stuff.  I have the same relationship with several food product sites.

Over the past 12 months, I earned $116 and change for this – I’m obviously not getting rich on referral stuff and don’t do it for that reason – I simply want to provide help to readers to find products or restaurants that I recommend.


I accept paid advertising on my site, but my ad contract stipulates that advertisers get an ad only – not editorial content or any control over what I or my readers write here.


I attend media events where I get free food and/or beverages, though infrequently. These events are accepted with the caveat that I promise no coverage – good or bad – about the venue. I also attend chef’s tastings — chefs who are putting new items on a menu may try out these foods on family and friends and I will offer my input, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to write about them, nor am I paid to consult.


I am frequently tapped to judge cooking or other food-related contests. I get no payment for this. I do, however, charge a speaker’s fee of $50 to appear before clubs and at other venues where I’m asked to speak.


I can’t be bought for a plate of pasta or a bottle of Bordeux or a sleek stainless sink. I’ve turned down free food trips to India, to Paris, to Italy and the Bahamas. I’ve said no to leading cruises or tour groups in exchange for free hotel and airfare. I donate hundreds of dollars worth of wines, cookbooks and tools that come to me to charitable events in my community. I’ve sent back cases of wine, and sets of cookware and said no to a complete kitchen makeover.

I’ve been doing this for over 25 years, and have earned the respect and trust of those in the industry and more importantly, my readers.

And that’s worth more to me than the view from the Eiffel tower.