In Conversation with Boston Food Crawls Author Jacqueline Neves
Jacqueline Neves has a knack for capturing all things beautiful when it comes to travel and food. She’s a celebrated social media food and travel influencer: her blog J.Q. Louise and Instagram feed have showcased the best food and drink of Boston and beyond for years. Now, she’s published her debut book, Boston Food Crawls. Jacqueline spoke with us about what it took to make it, her favorite memory while researching the book, and what it was like to visit 12o restaurants and take 80,000 photos in the process.
First, congratulations on Boston Food Crawls! You’ve covered food and travel around the world, but when did you know you wanted to write this book?
This book has been in the back of my mind for a while. As a Massachusetts native, I have grown up dining in Boston and the culinary scene is so rich right now, the time was just right. I wanted to celebrate all the fabulous chefs in the city who are creating some truly amazing dishes.
Last summer you visited 120 restaurants and took 80,000 photos for the book! That’s impressive. How did you decide which restaurants and bars you would include? Was it a hard decision?
I wanted to include about ten restaurants per neighborhood. And my goal was to show the diversity of offerings available in each. I included all of my tried-and-true favorites as well as the top newcomers. But yes, there were some tough decisions to be made because there are so many amazing choices in Boston right now.
What was one of the most memorable meals you had during the research and planning process for this book?
One of my favorite experiences that I had while I was writing and shooting this book was at Cultivar in downtown. Last year, Cultivar was one of the newer kids on the block and this was my first time into the restaurant. I was impressed from start to finish, everything from their huge patio, to their fresh raw bar options and tasty cocktails, to their immaculate desserts were just fantastic! The desserts really stand out in my mind, they are all works of art.
I’m sure it’s hard to pick a favorite, but if you could only choose one of the food crawls, which would it be?
Whenever someone asks me this, I tell them that one of the main reasons I wrote this book was to showcase that Boston has beautifully diverse neighborhoods and that the “perfect” dining experience can be found in each one. It just depends on what you are looking to eat and who you are with. The whole book is filled with my favorites!
This is a book that is great for both locals and visitors to the city. What’s something that you hope everyone –no matter their relationship to Boston – gets from this book?
I hope that visitors and longtime Bostonians realize that there are so many amazing nooks and crannies in our city. Try somewhere new this weekend, go to a new neighborhood, take the T somewhere you have never been. This book is about showing people all the possibilities.
Now, I want to ask about writing. In this book, you write about your hometown. Do you agree with the idea that the best place to write about is your own backyard? What sort of advantage does it give writers?
I think you write best about places that you know well and that you have a connection too. Whether that’s your hometown or somewhere you’ve been multiple times, I think you have to have a passion for that place to really connect with the reader.
In this article, you argue the road to success is in consistency and hard work. Besides that, what other advice do you have for Instagrammers and writers aspiring for the same?
Find your voice. Find your viewpoint. Think of your favorite Instagram account or your favorite writer, they probably have a distinct style or point of view that you love. Basically, just focus on what you are most passionate about.
Now that you’ve published a book, do you already have plans for another?
I have several big things in the works right now and I can’t wait to share them with all of you!