Joyce LaFray, The Florida Gourmet Rotating Header Image

Welcome to Tropic Cooking™

Feel free to e-mail me with your food questions, especially those about Florida Cuisine and Tropic Cooking.™ I’d love to hear from you. Honest!

Whether it’s about the most delectable Key lime pie, savory sour-orange marinated roast pork, Spicy Jerk Chicken, or the best plantain recipes on the planet, I’m pleased to share my recipes as well as my culinary can-do!!

Tropically Yours,
Joyce LaFray


Snail mail
Joyce LaFray
P.O. Box 14441
Saint Petersburg, FL 33733



Order Joyce’s Key Lime products and get more free recipes at




See You at New Smyrna Beach this Weekend

The New Smyrna Beach Cook and the Book Festival will take place May 17th and 18th beachside at the Coronado Civic Center on Flagler Avenue. The festival features cookbook author cooking demonstrations of a recipe from their books, meet and greets, cookbook sales and signings, door prizes, and the chance for audience members to eat the demo meals. Demonstrations begin at 11:30am on Saturday and 1:30pm on Sunday.

On Saturday evening, local restaurants will host each one of the cookbook authors and feature additional items from their cookbook for diners to enjoy. This evening portion of the Cook and the Book festival begins at 7pm and the authors will be on hand at their host restaurant to chat with diners, with their books available for purchase and signing at each location as well.

The New Smyrna Beach Cook and the Book Festival is part of Spring Beach Weeks in New Smyrna Beach – 40 days of festivals in eight weeks from May 5th through July 5th. For a cooking demonstration schedule to a smart phone device, text “COOK” to 71441 and for special Beach Weeks/Cook and the Book festival accommodations call the New Smyrna Beach Visitors Center at 1-800-541-9621.

New Smyrna Beach Cook and the Book Schedule:



11:30am – Jeffrey Spear

The First Coast Heritage Cookbook

Zesty Crab Cups and La Florida Stew

Paired with: Johnny’s Restaurant

414 Flagler Ave, NSB

(386) 402-8861


1:00pm – Joyce LaFray

Cuba Cocina!

Ropa Vieja

Paired with: Café Verde

301 Flagler Ave, NSB

(386) 957-3958


2:30pm – Barbara Scott-Goodman

The Beach House Cookbook

Smoked Salmon Tartare with Dill Sauce and

Shrimp Salad with Ginger-Soy Vinaigrette

Paired with: Barracuda’s Bar & Grille

203 S. Atlantic Ave, NSB

(386) 957-3931


4:00pm – Pam Brandon 

Field to Feast: Recipes Celebrating Florida’s Farmers, Chefs, and Artisans

Salad with Lime Vinaigrette, Zucchini Pappadelle,

and Watermelon-Rose Ice Pops

Paired with: Spanish River Grill

414 Flagler Ave, NSB

(386) 424-6991


SUNDAY MAY 18, 2014


1:30pm – Joyce LaFray

Key Lime Cookin’ 

Key Lime Baked Snapper


3:00pm – Chad Thilborger 

A Whole Heap of Goodness

A Whole Heap of Jack Bread Pudding

Paired with: PJ’s Sea Shack

491 E Third Ave, NSB

(386) 428-8850


Unique “Flavors of Ybor”” Celebration in Tampa, Florida


Known as Tampa’s Latin Quarter for more than a century, Ybor City is alive with an exotic blend of aromas, flavors, sights and sounds, but never more so than during the February celebration known as “Flavors of Ybor.””  Here, visitors and residents alike can explore historic Ybor City in an exciting line-up of major events and activities.

On February 8, enjoy the 7th Avenue for the Krew of Knights of Sant’Yago Knight Parade.  The huge two-hour parade includes illuminated floats, costumed participants, marching bands and a potpourri of dancers and entertainers.

Originally begun as a day of rest for immigrant cigar workers, Fiesta Day on 7th Avenue is celebratedFebruary 22 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with ethnic food, exhibits, entertainment and traditional arts and crafts.  Also on the same date Flan Fest features (11a.m to 4p.m.) more than 40 contestants competing for the title of Top Flan in Tampa Bay.The event takes place in the historic Centennial Park in the outdoor Ybor City Saturday Market where theirs a bevy of interesting booths.

At Gaspar’s Grotto, the annual Fat Tuesday Crawfish Boil begins at 4 p.m.  Spicy crawfish, potatoes, fresh corn and more culinary delights. This annual tradition marks the last night to eat richer before the Christian ritual of fasting for the start of the Lenten season.

For more information and events calendar, check out, or follow them on Facebook (Visit Tampa Bay) or Twitter.