Food Lit: Lucky Peach

Food literature is something I can’t get enough of. I read all of the time: magazines, blogs and books you name it, I have read it or it’s on my list. I was incredibly excited when I heard about David Chang’s new quarterly food magazine adventure. I have never been to his restaurants but you can be sure as hell that I’m itching to try some of his food.

But for now I’m absolutely in love with the publication, Lucky Peach. While the magazine was impossible to find anywhere near where I live I had it shipped to my doorstep and it came pretty darn quick. This is the first of hopefully many editions from McSweeney’s, Editor-in-Chief Chris Yang and Editors Peter Meehan and Dave Chang. The entire issue is dedicated none other than the infamous ramen. Those that think they know everything there is to know (*cough* any college student *cough*) will be quickly immersed in the culture, history and flavors of what ramen inspires people to make. Some of the articles are incredibly long but everything is well written and creative. Through 175 pages you will get to know ramen noodle masters, understand how top ramen shops serve up their noodles, and read original cartoons and stories inspired by the chopstick loving dish. My favorite feature was the printed conversation between Chefs Anthony Bourdain, Wylie Dufresne and of course Dave Chang about the mediocrity and safeness that is ruining what it means to own a restaurant and cook for people. There is even a breakdown of WD~50’s signature dish, Eggs Benedict.

For anyone interested in food I would say you need to read this publication, and not just for the recipes. With the edgy hand drawn text, unedited language and comical cartooning the magazine is outspoken and visually pleasing but there is much more going on here. The magazine really puts decisions into perspective. Why would I add a bit of this over some of that? Why would I try to push my cooking while still admiring those who have “mastered” it? Those decisions matter and those are what propel the food industry, innovation rather than blatant reproduction. Communicated through a “take no prisoners” lens Lucky Peach is not just mere entertainment. It’s education.

For all information Lucky Peach: http://www.mcsweeneys.net/luckypeach

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