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Lucky Peach is a new journal of food writing, published on a quarterly basis by McSweeney’s. It is a creation of David Chang, the James Beard Award-winning chef behind the Momofuku restaurants in New York, Momofuku cookbook cowriter Peter Meehan, and Zero Point Zero Productions producers of the Travel Channel’s Emmy Award-winning Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
The result of this collaboration is a mélange of travelogue, essays, art, photography, and rants in a full-color, meticulously designed format. Recipes will defy the tired ingredients-and-numbered-steps formula. They’ll be laid out sensibly, inspired by the thought process that went into developing them. Each issue will focus on a theme (Issue One’s theme is "Ramen”), with contributions from Harold McGee, Ruth Reichl, John T. Edge, Todd Kliman and a cavalcade of other writers and artists. The reader will meander through arguments about the superiority of yellow alkaline noodles over Italian egg pasta; a taxonomy of ramen-package characters; an eating tour of Japan helmed by an over-stuffed and nauseated, but nevertheless intrepid, David Chang; and a booze-fueled rant on mediocrity in American cuisine with chefs Chang, Bourdain, and Wylie Dufresne set in the Spanish Basque country.The aim of Lucky Peach is to give a platform to a brand of food writing that began with unorthodox authors like Bourdain, resulting in a publication that appeals to diehard foodies as well as fans of good writing and art in general.
The Chefs and Cooks issue, the third installment of Lucky Peach, attempts to answer a few pressing questions: What does it mean to be a cook in today’s age of celebrity chefdom? Where is cooking headed? How did the molten chocolate cake make its way from Michel Bras’s restaurant in Laguiole, France to the Wal-Mart freezer case? What happens, exactly, when bartenders spank mint? The answers arrive from all over the place Mario Batali recalls the early days of Food Network; Meredith Erickson spends an afternoon with Fergus Henderson; Naomi Duguid visits street vendors in Chiang Mai. We talk to cooks from Fort Bragg to Paris to the South Pole. There are recipes for barbecue-chicken pizza and pasta primavera, and Christina Tosi’s upside-down pineapple cake, just in time for Mother’s Day.
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