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Andy Lynes

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About Andy Lynes

  • Birthday 01/25/1965

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    http://andylynes.com

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    Brighton, UK

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  1. (I haven't posted here in a while so I hope that starting a new topic about my own work will be acceptable but I really think the book will be of interest to eGullet.org members). I spent part of 2014 travelling the UK talking to chefs and eating in their restaurants. I feel strongly that now is the most exciting time in British cuisine since the modern British movement of the late 80's and I wanted to document the moment somehow. The result is Kingdom of Cooks, an eBook of extended, in depth interviews with some of Britain's most talented and interesting cooks including Mary-Ellen McTague (Aumbry, Manchester), Neil Rankin (The Smokehouse, London) and Gary Usher (Sticky Walnut, Chester). They are not household names but all have received recognition in the shape of positive reviews or guide book awards, some have appeared on television or written magazine columns or even had a cookbook published in the case of the Pennington brothers at The Ethicurean in Bristol. The book also includes an interview with the far more established Simon Rogan of L'Enclume and Fera restaurants as a 'godfather' figure, someone whose name came up again and again in conversation as an inspirational figure and whose naturalistic style and use of organic and wild produce was reflected in the cooking of many of the chefs included in the book. The criteria for inclusion in the book was that the chef would either be in their first head chef position or have opened their first restaurant. I tried to cover as wide a geographical spread as possible and limited the London based chefs to just two out of the 14 interviewed. The idea was to identify a new generation of chefs who had worked for established figures like Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay but had gone on to do their own thing. Although there are a wide variety of establishments and styles represented in the book from neighbourhood bistro (Sticky Walnut) to smart city centre restaurant (Timberyard in Edinburgh), themes began to emerge from the interviews, partly to do with shared techniques like pickling and fermenting and the use of home grown or foraged ingredients, but also what amounts to the search for a national culinary identity, undoubtedly inspired by new Nordic food but not a slavish imitation of it. I chose the long form interview format for the book because I wanted to allow the chefs to speak for themselves as much as possible with as little editorial interruption from me (although the many recorded hours of conversation took laborious transcribing and then very careful and extensive editing to render them readable - excising repetitions, sentence fragments and the like and organising the questions and answers into a flowing narrative in contrast to the interviews themselves that leaped from subject to subject and fired off on countless tangents). I also wanted to give the reader the impression they were eavesdropping in on a conversation they might not otherwise have access to. I hope if you read the book that you enjoy it and I'd love to hear any feedback you may have.
  2. A Toast to Steven Shaw

    Surely it has to be a Flaming Orange Gully? egullet's very own cocktail created by the legendary Dale DeGroff http://web.archive.org/web/20030204031522/http://egullet.com/?pg=ARTICLE-flaminggully This was even served to UK members at a special event at London's Player Club.
  3. Steven Shaw

    The last time I saw Steven was on a sunny and very hot day in Manhattan in June 2003. He was giving me instructions about which buses to catch to get across town. Before he left me to get back to his apartment on the Upper East Side, he said 'You owe it to yourself and to us to write more'. Less than a year later I'd quit my job and started my career as a freelance food and drink writer. I first 'met' Steven back in 2001 when he and Jason Perlow, under the guise of Andre Broujon (I never did discover why they used that alias, or if in fact Andre was a real person) invited me via email to become one of the founding affiliates of egullet.com as it was then. For the next two years I had a great deal of contact with Steven, and Jason, via email, the egullet management forums and most importantly Instant Messenger. Much of it was about the nuts and bolts of egullet, but there was also plenty of fun and outrageous gossip too (no, I'm not going to repeat any of it here). I recall how delighted I was when I'd type in 'Hi Steven' to IM at almost any time of the night or day and he'd reply. I remember on time he sent me a link to a photo and simply said 'look at this'. It turned out to be his face plastered over a billboard on the side of a highway in Canada during his Fat Guy Eats Canada tour (Steven was big in Canada). I also recall how disappointed I'd be when I typed 'Hi Steven' to IM and there was no reply. Had I upset him? Had I done something wrong? I don't think I even stopped to consider he might not actually be at his computer or he might be doing something as mundane as sleeping. Steven was a prodigious talent with an almost superhuman work ethic, surely sleep was for mere mortals? So it was bizarre to find myself on that trip to New York in 2003, sitting next to him in his tiny office, emailing home from Ellen's computer while he attended to some egullet matters at his own computer. I even got to meet Momo, Steven's beloved English Bulldog. Steven was incredibly generous with his time on that trip (as were Jason and Rachel Perlow who put me up in their spare room in New Jersey). We spent an entire day walking around Manhattan under the beating sun, eating. We met at Eleven Madison Park where Danny Meyer swung by and showed us around the then recently opened Blue Smoke ('You've got enough material for a feature' hinted Steven, although I never wrote it) then headed to Chinatown for a snack at his favourite dumpling shop and then beers at McSorley's. 'You've been very lucky,' Ellen told me later that day. 'Usually in this weather all he wants to do is lay on the couch.' I can't pretend that things always went smoothly between us. I had strong disagreements with Steven on strategic issues about eGullet which eventually led to my resignation in 2006. Looking back, it was a battle I was never going to win. I wish that I'd kept my council and retained his friendship which I now see I failed to value highly enough. We emailed from time to time and he even sent me a review copy of his book Asian Dining Rules (it was, as you might expect an excellent book) but it was never the same as those thrilling early days. Being involved with egullet changed my life in a profound way. Steven's patronage and encouragement gave me the confidence and the courage to change my career. I went from being a miserable wage slave to living my dream overnight because of him and I never thanked him adequately enough for that. Maybe I'll just fire up instant messenger one last time. 'Hi Steven...' (Love you Fat Guy. My sincere condolences to Ellen and PJ)
  4. Connaught Hotel

    I don't think its unreasonable to expect to be able to buy a half bottle of wine for under £20 (plus service) anywhere, even in the sodding Connaught. Regarding her judgement, Moir remains in my opinion as one of the best restaurants critics in the country. I now enjoy her writing a lot more since I've learnt to accept that I'll probably never come up with a line quite as elegant as "The accompaniments crowd the plate like a squabbling gang of ferals" which she seems to do with alarming regularity.
  5. Barcelona: Cinc Sentits

    If you can forgive the blatant self promotion, the profile I wrote of Jordi Artal for British trade publication Caterer and Hotelkeeper is now online click.
  6. So will the "new" (old) Racine be in new premises or is it going to rise like a Pheonix from the ashes of the old at the same address?
  7. Ramsaywatch UK

    "The existing contract with Gordon Ramsay Holdings expires on September 19 and a new contract with Marcus Wareing will then commence" Caterersearch
  8. Cha Cha Moon

    The degree of vitriol, coupled with the fact that he dubbed Alan Yau's last effort Sake No Hana "an insult to the city" and gave Yauatcha 5 out of 10 makes me wonder if Coren and Yau have had some sort of falling out.
  9. Cha Cha Moon

    My son and I arrived at 5.30pm on Saturday and were seated immeadiately in a room that was around half full. Its a great room, like Wagamama with a very stylish facelift. We ordered four main dishes plates and one side and would have ordered more but were advised against it by our waitress. Crispy duck lo mein was probably the best balanced dish in terms of other-ingredients-to-noodle-ratio; Seafood Ho Fun was excellent value and included 2 or three whole scallops, some prawns and pieces of squid (although I only got to taste one scallop as my son cherry picked all the other seafood before we swapped plates). The chicken wanton was OK but not my favourite - quite a weak flavoured stock, a few bits of spring onion, enough noodles to sink a battleship and four under powered chicken wantons. Curried prawns was delicious but only a couple of prawns, some spring onion, and a whole load of noodles. Guotie dumplings were the best thing we ordered and fantastic for all the reasons Jon Tseng says. With a beer, coke and service, we paid £25 and were out of the door 45 minutes after we arrived. Overall, enjoyable but I would have been far happier to pay a fiver a plate and have more protien and less starch on my plate .
  10. The Waterside Inn

    This sort of service always puts me in mind of Harry Enfield's Association Football sketch (fast forward to 2 minutes 4 seconds): click
  11. The Waterside Inn

    If I'd paid £440 for a meal that included a main course like that, I wouldn't be L.O f***ing L that's for sure. Three Michelin stars? More like staff canteen.
  12. Cha Cha Moon

    Can you tell us what they are?
  13. Cha Cha Moon

    Considering going to Cha Cha Moon on Saturday post Spamalot. I've just checked and they have re-opened following their fire and everything is still £3.50. Has anyone been recently - any good?
  14. Belfast

    My experience of the old upstairs restaurant was very formal with a hushed atmosphere and waiters standing to attention with their hands behind their backs waiting to refill you glass after everysip. Is that how it still is?
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