Andy Lynes
 food journalist and writer

New e-book Lifts the Lid on the Modern UK Restaurant Scene

Kingdom of CooksAndy Lynes, the well-known food, drink and travel writer, has published his first e-book, Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave Chefs. In a series of 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), the book details the harsh realities of being a chef, the astonishing hard work it takes to make it to the top, and reveals the secrets of creating delicious restaurant dishes.

Kingdom of Cooks is a must-read for foodies, professional chefs and anyone who has ever dined in a restaurant and wondered just what goes on behind the kitchen door. The interviews take the reader behind the scenes of some of the most famous kitchens in the country to show what it's really like paying your dues working for chefs such as Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and Jamie Oliver.

The book also documents an important moment in the history of British restaurant cooking where the eclecticism first mooted by the modern British movement of the late 80's meets the locavore imperative of the 21st century to create a truly distinctive style of British food for the mid-2010's.“I've been passionately interested in food and drink for more than 30 years and writing about it for a decade. In my experience, there has never been a more exciting time to eat out in this country,” says Lynes, who embarked on a journey of more than 2,000km and criss-crossed the UK in order to speak to 14 chefs in 13 restaurants, and consumed over 80 courses of restaurant food in the name of research. “Although London is the accepted capital of food in the UK, I've literally gone out of my way to prove there is something gastronomically exciting happening in every corner of the country.”

The chefs talk about their careers, their cooking styles and the techniques and ingredients that help set them apart from the crowd. Individual signature dishes, such as Chris Harrod of The Crown at Whitebrook's suckling pig with celeriac, pear and woodland sorrel, are discussed in detail, and you'll learn everything from how to make the perfect pork crackling to how to use every last scrap of a fish, literally down to the last scale.

Each chef has contributed a recipe – these include partridge, burnt heather, celeriac, watercress and chanterelles by Ben Radford of Timberyard in Edinburgh; Neil Rankin's Smokehouse short rib Bourguignon; and salt-baked beetroot, smoked eel, lettuce and chicken skin by Stepehen Toman of OX in Belfast.

Contact details for all 13 establishments are included in the book, covering England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, making the book a short restaurant guide for readers to follow in the author's footsteps. Numerous other chefs and restaurants, both in the UK and abroad, are mentioned in passing, making Kingdom of Cooks an instant primer to the current restaurant scene.

“There is nothing I like better than a good old chin wag about food and drink, and I realised that my work as a journalist afforded me privileged access to talented chefs,” added Lynes. “By documenting some of those unexpurgated conversations in print I've allowed readers in on some fascinating conversations they might otherwise not be party to.”

Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave Chefs by Andy Lynes is now available from Amazon's Kindle store, priced £2.99.

Andy Lynes is an author and freelance food, drink and travel writer. His work appears in The Times, The Telegraph and The Independent.  He has reviewed restaurants for the Metro and the Guardian, and is currently a member of the team. Andy is also a contributing editor to Seasoned by Chef's magazine, and food and drink editor of Zuri magazine. He writes regularly for Host, the pub and bar magazine, and The Caterer. As well, he has contributed to a number of books, including two editions of Where Chefs Eat and the Oxford Companion to Food. His second book, How to be a Chilli Head, will be published by Portico in May 2015. 

Chef/restaurateur Simon Rogan commented: “Andy is a true professional. He cares about food, and likes to dig deep into the creative side of the whole cooking process in order to understand chefs and restaurants.”

Andy Lynes is available for interviews, or to write articles related to the book. A PDF version of the book is available for review on request. His contact details are: Email -, or Mobile - 07838-299 589.

February 2015