Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Boston Bibliophile Interviews: Andrea Lynn, author of QUEENS: A CULINARY PASSPORT

Today I have an interview with Andrea Lynn, food writer, guru of Queens food and author of Queens: A Culinary Passport. She has been a food writer, cook, recipe developer and food enthusiast for many years. Currently she is a freelance lifestyle writer and recipe developer. Her webpage can be found at and you can follow her on Twitter @andrealynn27.

I'm a huge fan of her new book and delighted to share some Q&As.

1. How long have you been interested in the Queens food scene? What first piqued your interest? 

I've lived in Astoria for 7 years; at some point, a few years ago, I was getting a little jealous/ annoyed at all the attention that the Brooklyn food scene gets. I thought, "Why not Queens?" While specific restaurants in Queens do get highlighted, I think the borough as a whole doesn't get much respect for its wonderfully diverses ethnic food scene. So I wanted to show-off Queens.

2. It can be a little intimidating for the newcomer to broach some of these communities and threshholds. How can New Yorkers, or anyone in a big city with diverse populations, get started? 

Start small. Spend half a day in a certain section of NYC (or another city) and just start exploring. Ask strangers for their food recs. It's surprising how happy people are to share that info, when asked. Also, I think if you're particularly interested in certain cuisines, go straight to the areas that have them: Polish food in Greenpoint, Greek in Astoria, etc.

3. Do you have a personal favorite cuisine? 

I do love Asian food (Thai, Chinese, Szechuan.. all of it). When other people get sick, they might crave chicken soup. For me, it's hot and sour soup. One of my favorite things to do (even since I was a kid) is go to dim sum on the weekends. And now I especially think that Flushing has the best dim sum there is.

4. Do you have a food guru? Where else can a hungry person find great information on ethnic foods?  
Joe DiStefano is pretty great and thorough as far as Queens food. I'm amazed how he constantly finds new, interesting food picks on a daily basis practically. We Heart Astoria and We Heart LIC is always on top of new restaurant opening in the area. Jeff Orlick knows everything going on in Jackson Heights.

Andrea, thank you so much for sharing your insights with us!

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