As a group, for the most part, I like food writers. And when I was a contributor at New Times, I met some of my favorite food writers of all, like John Linn, the restaurant critic there, and Ricki Altman, a contributor to Clean Plate Charlie.
And then there’s Jan Norris. Jan worked for the Palm Beach Post for ages, until the nuclear buyouts occurred a couple of years ago, and wrote a lot about a lot of food (she was the editor of Food & Dining). Her knowledge of the culinary scene is South Florida is encyclopedic.
Take a drive with Jan through any neighborhood from Miami to Jupiter and you’ll get a deep history lesson about almost every food and/or drink joint you pass, complete with the curriculum vitae of every chef and restaurateur involved. Considering I can rarely remember what my middle name is, it’s absurdly impressive. It’s also completely entertaining, particularly if you want to see Florida as something beyond strip malls and chain restaurants.
Jan has been a really good friend to me, giving me advice, tricks, and access to chefs I couldn’t track down, but even so I was surprised and flattered when she wrote an incredibly nice piece about me and the Meatist on her great South Florida food blog.
Do yourself (particularly if you’re from South Florida) and me a favor and hit her site. Not only is she a great writer, she’s a great person (with good taste in meat blogs), and she completely deserves all the accolades she’s received over the years.