Maybe publishing isn’t over just quite yet …
There’s a new magazine out there that seems to getting lots of attention … and even subscribers. Printed — yes, “printed” — quarterly by McSweeneys, it’s called Lucky Peach and it’s creators are names every foodie will recognize, i.e. David Chang (James Beard Award–winning chef ; known for NY’s Momofuku restaurants), Peter Meehan (co-author of the Momofuku cookbook), and Zero Point Zero Production (producers of the Travel Channel’s Emmy Award–winning Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.)
To quote the website: “the result of this collaboration is a mélange of travelogue, essays, art, photography, and rants in a full-color, meticulously designed format. Recipes defy the tired ingredients-and-numbered-steps formula. They’re laid out sensibly, inspired by the thought process that went into developing them.” It’s written to appeal “to diehard foodies as well as fans of good writing and art in general.” Each issues focuses on a theme and you can check out the first issue by clicking Issue 1.
According to Daniel Fromson associate editor at The Atlantic: “Lucky Peach is good. It’s so good that if I hadn’t received a free press subscription, I would immediately pay the $28 annual rate to receive four issues of maybe the most original and best new food magazine that will debut this year.” Fromson’s story is entitied: 2011’2 Best New Food Magazine: David Chang’s ‘Lucky Peach’ and then he goes on to write a story that reads like an ad about it.
Maybe Fromson’s just wants to get a good table at a David Chang restaurant? What are others saying?
HuffPost: ” … It’s high-quality in the same way that the Momofuku restaurants are—it eschews quaintness in favor of bombastic irreverence. This means that Lucky Peach isn’t afraid to offend on occasion. In the 174 pages of the first issue, David Chang lambasts overcooked eggs, Ippudo ramen (“it’s just this massive chain”) and Kraft Parmesan cheese (“the epitome of mediocre”). But it also means the magazine doesn’t condescend. It includes recipes by culinary superstars from around the world without wrapping their names in the typical explanatory praise.”
Now, we all know Arianna can get a table anywhere she wants.
Well, there’s always The New York Times and the never effusive David Carr: “If magazines are to survive, they’ll have to become something special, offering heft and a kind of “thing-ness” that gives them value over other ways of consuming text. The writing in Lucky Peach is bright and unexpected, the graphics are remarkable, and the knitting of images and prose is done with élan… Lucky Peach delivers. It is a glorious, improbable artifact that sold out its first printing of 40,000 and second of 12,000. It is a pint-size hit among the food-obsessed.
Now, I would not know a good bowl of ramen if you prepared it in my mouth, but there I was, carrying this magazine around for a week — to the beach, to the restaurant, to the office. Mine is now decorated with bookmarks, food stains and beach sand because I could not put it down. Mr. Chang said Lucky Peach was less a business idea than something that sprang from the spaces between like-minded people …”
“At some point, publishers are going to have to seduce audiences into paying real money for the product. Lucky Peach is not only something to behold, it is also something to hold, a reminder of print’s true wingspan.”
Okay. Okay. We get it. Just get us a copy!