“Eddie Lin eats raw chicken,” sounds like the kind of insult you might find scrawled on a bathroom stall or passed around on a piece of scratch paper in a high school classroom. In Lin's case, it validates a Renaissance eater.
Eddie Lin, the blogger behind Deep End Dining, has risked his stomach on raw chicken and lived to tell about it on Evan Kleiman's Good Food. We fed Lin a few questions about his blogging career and his general attraction to exotic grub. As far as Lin's content, he told us: “I'm always open to reader suggestions. If anyone out there has any suggestions for unique or interesting food–it doesn't have to be weird–please let me know. But weird is always welcome.”
Squid Ink: How long have you been blogging about food?
Eddie Lin: I've been singing the virtues of verboten victuals since 2004.
SI: What's your real job?
EL: I used to be an executive assistant to a former late night talk show host who liked to pump his fist and bark a lot. Recently, I just wrapped up my first guide book about weird food for Lonely Planet Publications.
SI: What's your favorite little-known food blog?
EL: I'm not sure if it's obscure but I like Phnomenon because it is beautifully done and explores a part of the world that I know virtually nothing about – Cambodia.
SI: Do you cook?
EL: Yes. I do a bad ass peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich.
SI: What's unique about food blogging in Los Angeles?
EL: Food blogging is much grittier in LA. We love our street food as well as our high ends. We have to drive longer and farther for our food than other cities like New York or SF, so it's a bigger investment. LA food bloggers may be more fickle but you can probably blame it on the traffic. That's why food trucks are genius in LA. They come to you.
SI: What's your favorite food truck, if you have one?
EL: Kogi. They're not just food but a movement. I love the creativity of this operation. And they're having fun doing it.
SI: Are you from LA? If not, where?
EL: I was born in Taiwan but raised in Southern California. I lived in LA's Chinatown for a year when I was 5.
SI: On your blog, you describe yourself as a breakdancer turned food writer. Tell us more!
EL: Back in the mid-80s when b-boys (breakdancers) blew up, I immersed myself into rap music, graffiti and breakdancing. I was the popper who was usually the skinniest and tallest guy on the crew because the “popping” movements were more pronounced and exaggerated. I was over 6 feet tall, twiggy, owned white tuxedo gloves and a pair of Adidas. I retired the idea of breakdancing when I started gaining weight. Naturally food writing became an option.
EL: Hadley's boss claimed there was no plagiarism, but offered not a single word of explanation. However, she commented that it was bad form and he should've included a link back to my article. The “link back” raised more questions than it answered. Why would they link back to a piece that had nothing to do with Tomicki's article? The editor definitely didn't even want to admit any connection to my piece but in a way she did with the link back. Also, both the OC Weekly and LA Times food blog mentioned the controversy. Although Gustavo Arellano of the OC Weekly more than mentioned it, he skewered Tomicki as only Gustavo can.