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Food writer Janice Okun has enjoyed a long farewell from The Buffalo News. After 40 years of covering cooking in and dining out for readers in Western New York, she retired a few years ago from her daily beat while continuing as The News restaurant reviewer. In March, she turned that job over to our current food editor, Andrew Z. Galarneau, but she continued to write a column for the weekly Taste section, responding to reader questions and tossing out some tidbits based on her own dining experiences. She also spent time since her retirement writing “Buffalo Cooks with Janice Okun: Memories and Recipes from a Life in Food” (Western New York Wares), a book that is part memoir, part recipe collection, recalling reader favorites, and her own, from her time at the paper.

Now, Janice says, she will say her last goodbyes. “It’s time,” she said when explaining her decision. “I have no big plans. But I do want to say that I continue to be amazed at how many really good restaurants there are in Buffalo,” indicating that she and The Companion will still be out there enjoying them on a regular basis. Her last “Ask Janice” column appeared in the paper of Dec. 19.

– Melinda Miller, features editor