The first issue of Lucky Peach finally turned up in our mailbox, and boy are we excited. The new quarterly magazine is the brainchild of Momofuku chef David Chang and New York Times food writer Peter Meehan, and fits perfectly into the Dave Eggers McSweeney’s oeuvre. Sound enticing? You bet it does.
With industry titans like David Chang, Anthony Bourdain, Wylie Dufresne, and Ruth Reichl behind the wheel, you can expect some pretty lofty endeavors beyond the reach of your average amateur home chef between these pages – right? Not as such. Lucky Peach so far reads not as a celebration of industry-centric kitchen wizardry, but simply a celebration of all that is awesome about food.
That means recipes fit for a range of talents, from an Instant Ramen Gnocchi Parisienne so simple we’re tempted to work into this week’s dinner menu (this quarter’s theme at large is Ramen) to a WD~50 ready molecular gastronomy take on Eggs Benedict from Wylie Dufresne and a handwritten chart for plastic-wrapped eggs from Juan Mari Arzak.
But Lucky Peach isn’t all about recipes – if anything, that’s a minor part. Stories take the main stage, running a gamut from slice of life to short fiction. Chang and Meehan chronicle a trip to Japan to shoot video for the corresponding Lucky Peach iPad app, Ruth Reichl gives her top picks for instant ramen, and Chang has a chat with Bourdain and Dufresne about mediocrity in cooking and documents the results. Karen Leibowitz takes readers through the history of instant ramen inventor Momofuku Ando, and there’s even a chart of the perfect temperatures at which to boil an egg for a mind-boggling range of effects.
We’re only about halfway through this dense tome so far, but that’s okay – we still have three months until the next Lucky Peach hits the shelves. In the meantime, we highly recommend you get on it yourself.