I have to give it up for McSweeney's. Just as the world was ready to say "Newspapers are dead," the publishers printed the one time only Panorama newspaper, reminding us all how exciting it can be to read newsprint with the wingspan of a vulture. And while we've been holding our hammer to put the final nail in the coffin for food magazines (R.I.P. Gourmet), McSweeney's has been readying to release Lucky Peach.
Lucky Peach is a new quarterly journal of food writing, created by David Chang, the James Beard Award–winning chef behind the Momofuku restaurants in New York (Momofuku means "lucky peach"), writer Peter Meehan, and Zero Point Zero Production—producers of the Emmy–winning Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. The magazine is aimed at "diehard foodies" (their words, not mine) and will be accompanied by an iPad app.
Not shocking, considering Chang is known as the king of ramen in New York, the first issue's topic is ramen. The cover celebrates the drunken rants of Chang and Bordain, who, along with Wylie Dufresne, takes on culinary school and takes the credit for all future graduates' unrealistic, starry-eyed expectations.
There's a little bit of the good ol' boy element to the lineup—and I'm including Ruth Reichl in this—but it's exciting to see a food magazine of any sort being put into the world. I also love John T. Edge and hometown boy Harold McGee, and the last thing I read by Peter Meehan made me laugh more than any food writing a long time. I always look forward to the art in McSweeney's publications too.
• Peter Meehan and David Chang report on their travels in Japan, Tennessee, and Spain
• Anthony Bourdain’s take on the classic Brittany Murphy film Ramen Girl
• An instant-ramen taste test with Ruth Reichl
• John T. Edge introduces the New Orleans specialty, ya ka mein
• "Debunking the Myth of Authenticity" with Todd Kliman
• Explanations of MSG headaches and alkaline noodles from Harold McGee
• Art from Tony Millionaire, Matt Volz, Richard Saja, Scott Teplin, and others
• Recipes from Chang, Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, and Wylie Dufresne