Andy Lynes

Biography

Andy Lynes is a food, drink and travel writer. His work appears regularly in the national press including the Times, Telegraph and Independent and he is a contributing editor to Seasoned by Chefs magazine. He has reviewed restaurants for the Metro and the Guardian and is the former editor of the Metro food and drink pages. He has contributed to a number of books including two editions of Where Chefs Eat and the Oxford Companion to Food and is the author of the ebook Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave Chefs and How to be a Chillihead: Inside the Red Hot World of the Chilli Cult, published by Portico in May 2015 .
He is a Masterchef semi-finalist and the only British competitor ever to participate in the prestigious Trophee des Amateurs Gourmands held in Lyon where he cooked in partnership with Michelin-starred chef Bruce Poole of Chez Bruce restaurant. The event was covered by the Independent and Le Figero in France.
He is a regular guest lecturer at Leith's School of Food and Wine and has run food writing workshops at the Bath Literary Festival and the Brighton Food and Drink Festival. He created and delivered the Food Media module of Brighton University's MA in Culinary Arts.
He is the co-founder of the Brighton Food Society, an affiliation of Brighton-based food and drink writers, bloggers and broadcasters which stages regular pop up events in the city including a popular food and drink quiz, cheese and beer matching and themed meals for up 50 people.
He was a judge on Channel 4's Iron Chef UK and UKFood TV's The People's Cookbook. and has appeared as a food expert on BBC Breakfast News. He has judged the World Cheese Awards, the British Pie Awarfs, Sommelier of the Year and has been a member of the Supreme Judging Panel of the Great Taste Awards alongside Alex James and Charles Campion. He has also been a member of the World's 50 Best Restaurants voting panel.
He is a former committee member of the Guild of Food Writers and edited the Guild’s magazine Savour. He was a founding affiliate of The eGullet Society for the Culinary Arts and Letters (egullet.org) and was nominated for a Glenfiddich award for his work on the site.
He has completed stages in numerous professional kitchens including Michelin-starred restaurants in London and once worked the cold appetiser section on a busy Saturday night at chef Tom Coohill’s acclaimed Ciboulette restaurant in Atlanta Georgia serving 100 customers.
He has interviewed many of the world's top chefs including Rene Redzepi, Heston Blumenthal, Jamie Oliver, Michel Roux Jr, Raymond Blanc, Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon among many others.
With a particular interest in North American cuisine, he has eaten his way around Atlanta, Chicago, Brooklyn, New York, Washington, New England, Las Vegas and Vancouver and from Los Angeles to San Francisco. He has visited many wine growing regions including Burgundy, Bordeaux, Alsace, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Douro, Napa Valley, Okanagen Valley and Tuscany.
His travel writing has taken him around the world with memorable trips including a whirlwind tour of Lima's restaurant scene with Martin Morales of London's Ceviche restaurant; a guided tour of Bangkok's Chinatown and Or Tor Kor market with chef and world renowned expert on Thai food David Thompson and a guided tour of the filming locations in Baltimore for the acclaimed TV series The Wire with the actor Robert F Chew who portrayed the character Prop Joe in the show.
The story of how Andy changed careers from BT auditor to food and drink writer is told in Sarah Wade and Carole Anne Rice’s bestselling book Find Your Dream Job.

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
I tend to write in my head quite a bit before I put anything on the page. I don't want to think about writing, I want to relax and watch the TV or read, but it's an involuntary part of the process. What I'm forcing myself to do is find the angle for the piece. Once I know how I'm going to approach it, the writing flows a lot easier and a structure becomes apparent.

Sometimes though I begin writing without an angle or a structure. As a writer of non-fiction, I can often write a paragraph that can slot into the middle of a piece, a bit of background or a description of a person, thing or place and that can get me going on the right track. I might then go back and write the piece from the beginning and end up re-writing or not even using that paragraph, but that doesn't matter, it's served its purpose as a starter motor and I'm away.

I tend to edit as I go, which is not ideal as it slows the process down and I can end up spending a lot of time fact checking when I should be getting words down on the page. Although it's work that has to be done at some point, I know it's a form of procrastination and gives me an excuse not to write. It's that terrible old cliche of the writer who is doing the thing he most wants to do in life but at the same time hates every second of it.

I don't have a particular time of day to write, it all depends on deadlines. I can write from early morning (it's a little after 7.00am as I'm writing this answer) to late at night if there's an editor or publisher breathing down my neck. I do most of my work in my garden office but I can write in hotel rooms and on trains. I often have music playing while I'm researching or writing, but I can't have the radio on as speech is extremely distracting, although the general hubbub of an office or public place isn't an issue unless there's some idiot yelling into their mobile of course.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm a food and drink writer with a particular interest in restaurants. My book Kingdom of Cooks is a series of extended interviews with some of the best up and coming chefs in the UK. It was designed as a series of articles which were published on the website of the highly regarded Food Arts magazine in America. Unfortunately the magazine ceased publication in autumn 2014 with only half a dozen of the 13 pieces published, so I decided to use the material to write a book. I wanted to include chefs that hadn't previously had huge amounts of exposure so that their stories would be fresh, and to go into details about their careers and creative process which there simply isn't room to do in magazine and newspaper articles.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Andy Lynes online


Where to buy in print


Books

Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave Chefs
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 71,550. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Gourmet
In-depth interviews with some of the most exciting, acclaimed and innovative UK chefs, including Simon Rogan (L'Enclume, Cartmel, and Fera at Claridge’s, London), Mary Ellen McTague (Aumbry, Manchester), Neil Rankin (The Smokehouse, London) and Gary Usher (Sticky Walnut, Chester) that detail the harsh realities of being a chef and the astonishing hard work it takes to make it to the top.

Andy Lynes' tag cloud

chefs    cooking    fine dining    restaurants