Revival: From the Editor
It’s hard to escape the noise of yet another Trumpian blunder. And despite the fact of his presidency and what that means to the community we serve, we at Edible Queens feel an urgency to present the best Queens has to offer. Highlighting the diversity of ethnicities peacefully coexisting in this great borough is more than a mission; it is our mantra. In our second year, Edible Queens has decided to publish its five annual issues by theme rather than by season: Revival. Women. Hot. Obsessions. Travel.
With this our first 2018 issue, Revival, we explore the idea that, through food, we can be reconnected, reawakened and restored. As immigrants or children of immigrants, food anchors us to our heritage. Take Albert Teekasingh, the subject of Molly Bennett’s Food Spotting piece . The proprietor of the Guyanese restaurant Tropical Revival in Whitestone, he stirs vats of curry and stew chicken in the hope of “authentically re-creat[ing] the food of his childhood.” Or Jenna Matecki’s feature titled “Italia in Astoria” where Italian cuisine isn’t just about the food, but also about connecting to its people.
Then there is Joe Rong of Joe’s Steam Rice Roll who, as our editorial assistant Malia Guyer-Stevens writes on, journeyed back to Taishan, south of Hong Kong, to learn to make his favorite snack after tasting way too many flat ones in his adopted city. He hadn’t cooked before then and now turns out wickedly good rice roll after rice roll in this nondescript-super-hip storefront in Flushing. Our editor Abby Carney tracks down Rockaway’s “Pizza Nazi” Whitney Aycock, the eccentric chef with a hardcore following, for a humorous interview. Born in Atlanta with an early childhood spent in Jamaica, then coming back to Georgia for his formative years, when he finally arrived in New York Aycock knew that he wanted to play with fire. He first opened the now shuttered Whit’s End in an area with a similar vibe to his roots. Rockaway is “a small town in the city; you have that magnetism,” he says. Read on, visit his new places and let us know if he deserves his moniker.
Finally, journalist and writer Lizz Schumer openly shares her struggle with food. In her poignant essay on disordered eating, “Nourished by Connections” , Lizz writes frankly about how being away from home as a young adult triggered her complicated relationship with food and how she nonetheless allowed herself to be restored by its power.
As we put the finishing touches on this Revival issue, I think about my own relationship with food, not just the awesomeness of its physical nature—say, the infinite dimples of an orange or the satisfying snap of a celery stalk—but how it defines who I am. Whenever I feel the pull of nostalgia, I reach into my cupboard and prepare a New York version of ajiaco. To some it might seem to be a glorified chicken soup with lots of different potatoes. To me it is my parents; it is home; it is, in one word, hope.