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Lazarus Lynch, an African American entrepreneur, author, musician, multimedia host, and the author of “Son of a Southern Chef: Cook with Soul,” recently joined The Washington Post Food section staff in answering questions about all things edible. Here are edited excerpts from that chat.
Q: I’ve love fresh herb-inspired drinks and especially tarragon simple syrup in gin drinks. Am I crazy to wonder if any fresh herbs would work with a rosé cocktail? Maybe cilantro or basil?
A: Absolutely – lots of fresh herbs will work in rosé drinks. I can imagine basil or tarragon would play well. Cilantro makes me scratch my head a bit, but certainly worth playing with!
– M. Carrie Allan
Q: What are some of your favorite quick, easy desserts? This question came up from a friend who needs to bring something to a party. She has a chronic disease that means she doesn’t have a lot of energy to spend in the kitchen, and she doesn’t have an electric mixer. My go to quick dessert is to layer a cheese cake like mix (cream cheese, lemon juice, sweetened condense milk) with crushed crispy cookies, and a mix of chopped apples and strawberries. I’d love some other suggestions.
A: I love that easy cheesecake idea. I also love to melt some semi-sweet chocolate chips in a microwave, stir it up and dip fruit (patted dry with a paper-towel) like strawberries and orange slices for a fun, light, sweet treat.
– Lazarus Lynch
Q: I was recently diagnosed with a very serious disease and have been advised to follow a keto diet. Until now, I’ve been mostly vegetarian. I love grains and beans! I love fruit! Do you have any advice for transitioning to this very different way of eating?
A: I tried “ketotarian,” veg keto, for a couple of weeks after I turned in my bean book, just to see what I thought. I…

Emily Green