On May 12, the seasonal bazaar will publish its official cookbook: “The World Eats Here - Amazing Food and the Inspiring People Who Make It at New York’s Queens Night Market.”
Co-authored by Queens Night Market founder John Wang and his wife Storm Garner, a filmmaker and oral historian, “The World Eats Here” is a collection of 88 distinct recipes by the market’s vendor-chefs, representing cuisines from more than 40 countries.
Since its inception in 2015, the Queens Night Market has produced a free, weekly event that brings culinary customs from across the world’s borough to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
The market emphasizes the deeply rooted power of food, especially when it comes to bridging cultural barriers and uniting people. The cookbook adds yet another dimension to the market’s mission.
Recipes in “The Word Eats Here,” many of which are being documented for the first time, are sentimental ones. They represent cultural staples, family traditions, cherished memories and tributes to loved ones.
Each entry is paired with a narrative that introduces its chef, drawn from long-form interviews Garner conducted with Queens Night Market vendors.
She is currently conducting a second round of interviews with the vendors remotely, documenting their experiences with the ongoing pandemic. She plans to contribute some of these stories to the Queens Memory Project’s recently launched COVID-19 archive.
“John and I are really grateful to be self-isolating with one advance copy of The World Eats Here right now,” said Garner. “We’re making some of the recipes for ourselves and remembering what it felt like to be out in New York City on Saturday nights, eating amazing international food with friends.”
The Queens Night Market was scheduled to open for its sixth season in mid-April, but due to the state’s coronavirus lockdown has been indefinitely postponed.
In the meantime, the operation has been busy providing meals to health care workers at hospitals and EMS stations through its “Fuel The Frontlines” initiative, facilitated in partnership with the Borough President’s Office and the Queens Economic Development Corporation.
Although a new opening date has yet to be announced, the Queens Night Market is continuing to review incoming applications from interested vendors.
“Hopefully the Queens Night Market can give New Yorkers something to look forward to when this situation is finally over,” said Wang.
“If ever our mission of being a uniquely affordable, accessible, and welcoming community space resonated with the public,” he continued, “it will probably be when we emerge from this crisis, economically and emotionally strained to our limits.”
“The World Eats Here” will be available wherever books are sold.