Lee and Debby Hirschey

Lee and Debby Hirschey

John ‘Floyd’ Misek, the Watertown Daily Times’ former food writer and restaurant reviewer known as Dr. Lazaro, lived in Deer River for 26 years, moving to the Rochester area in 1998.

He last appeared on local television in 1996 on “Floyd’s Food Frontier,” as the 21/2-minute segments were called, which aired on the local CBS affiliate, WWNY-TV7 for several months. Later, his “Floyd the Food Guy” segments, which were produced in Rochester, were picked up by Cable TV and became available to the north country in 2003. He had a Web site of recipes called Floydthefoodguy.com, and another site, The Mobile Palate, documented his travels across the country and to New York City.

He began in the culinary arts field in the 1970s with food demonstrations for Cooperative Extensions in Middlesex County, Conn., and operated Floyd’s Lemonade during summers, selling freshly squeezed lemonade at venues in New York and Massachusetts. While in the north country, he taught courses about food at Jefferson Community College, Watertown, wrote about food for the Watertown Daily Times and Syracuse New Times, a weekly paper, and prepared, cooked and served food as a caterer and chef.

In 1984, Mr. Misek got his television start on WWNY with “Floyd’s TV Dinner.” The 90-second spots featured food tips on everything from how to make cream of tomato soup to preparing ice cream covered with an apple sauté. The segments aired for 26 weeks. After an eight-year absence from television, Mr. Misek developed “Floyd’s Food Frontier” in 1994. After he shopped the MTV-inspired spots, which were taped in the Lincoln Building on Watertown’s Public Square, Time Warner’s Syracuse channel and WWNY picked them up. That led to interest in 1995 from Time Warner’s Rochester channel.

The next year he went from being a contractual worker to a full-time employee at R News, Time Warner’s 24-hour news station in Rochester. Beginning in spring 2001, he was syndicated to Time Warner’s other 24-hour news stations and was seen in 12 markets in five states — New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida and Texas. In November 2003, News 10 Now, based in Syracuse, began to air the “Floyd the Food Guy” segments. His association with R News later ended.

Mr. Misek was a chef at nearly a dozen places in Jefferson and Lewis counties. These jobs ranged from working in the cafeteria at the Dulles State Office Building to food service at the former House of the Good Samaritan, and food and beverage manager at Snow Ridge Ski Area in Turin. During that time, he was an instructor in the hospitality and tourism department at JCC for 10 years.

For 15 years, he wrote more than 500 restaurant reviews for the Watertown Daily Times. He also wrote for 12 years about food, wine and spirits for the Syracuse New Times.

He spent 20 years running his own catering business, having started with a chicken barbecue wedding in Copenhagen, and expanded to parties on private islands in the St. Lawrence River.

Born Feb. 23, 1950, in Connecticut, he graduated from Suffield (Conn.) High School and in 1971 from the Culinary Institute of America, which was then in New Haven, Conn. The institute later moved to Hyde Park and recognized its former students with the degree of associate in occupational studies, culinary arts. He received a bachelor of arts degree in 1981 from Goddard College, Plainfield, Vt.


Lee and Debby Hirschey created the Floyd J. Misek Memorial Scholarship in memory of Floyd. It is awarded to a student pursuing a degree in the field of Hospitality and Tourism and demonstrates financial need.