Lucky Peach’ magazine: a spoonful of awesome

David Chang’s new quarterly frappes the food magazine model

Note the movement lines shooting the eggs out of that raw chicken butt. Yum.

You won’t find generous expletives, cartoon pigs and praise of amazing Japanese toilets in most food magazines. Neither will you see a nine-page transcription of a drunken rant among top chefs and a feature that begins: “I have probably wrestled with questions of authenticity and food more than I have with the question of whether God exists.”

Welcome to the new world, foodies. This is Lucky Peach, a quarterly (and iPad app) dreamed up by chef Dave Chang and realized by a team that includes his Momofuku restaurant group, creative media company Zero Point Zero and ingenious publishing house McSweeney’s. What’s that spell? As Chang’s co-editor Peter Meehan says in the opening piece—awesomeness.


Published quarterly, $10 each or $28 for four issues.

The cover of the inaugural Ramen Issue (published in June) shows naked chickens and teases an adventure in “outré space,” love in soup form and a profile of Jewish noodle king Ivan Orkin. For $10, you get pages of cheeky-smart prose, photos and illustrations. There are recipes and how-to graphics, but unlike a lot of food magazines, this one makes you care about the preparation and tradition of the perfect boiled egg.

Those responsible for making you care have serious pedigrees. Contributing writers range from culinary typhoon Anthony Bourdain (chef, author, TV star, recovered junkie) to the so-called Herman Melville of food writing John T. Edge. They help tell the story of our tempestuous relationship with eating, unfettered by obligations to advertisers and word counts that don’t allow for spicy, tiny details. It’s slow food for thought, and we want seconds.


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