It was nearly a decade ago that Lynn Archer first appeared on 207, fresh off her victory over celebrity chef Bobby Flay in a lobster club sandwich throwdown on the Food Network. Her fame from that TV show still draws customers to the Brass Compass Café, her restaurant in Rockland. “We sell hundreds of [lobster club] sandwiches every summer,” she says. “Cruise ship people want to come.” More than a few visitors ask to have their picture taken with her.
As the oldest of seven children, she worked hard from an early age. “We went and picked shore greens, dug dandelion greens, mustard greens.” At age 11 she had her first paying job, cleaning trays and peeling potatoes at a home for the elderly in Thomaston. As soon as she’d finished high school, she headed to Florida to cook for the crew on a 165-foot cabin cruiser owned by the Morton salt company. The captain’s first request was to make Indian pudding, which—having grown up with old-school New England cooking—she certainly knew how to do. “From then on,” she says of her time on the boat, “I could do no wrong.”
All these years later, as the owner of two restaurants in Rockland (the other one is Archer’s on the Pier), Lynn still cooks six days a week. “I don’t know a lot of women my age who work as much as I do,” she says. “I’ve been doing it so long now I don’t know how not to.” Clearly she loves to share good food, to make people happy. “Because what else,” she asks, “am I going to do?”