Lucky Peach: Issue 1 Paperback – 28 Jul 2011
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Top customer reviews
if you're a fan of ramen noodles, but don't know that much about the history of it all, this is worth the investment.
the first issue is dedicated to all things ramen. and to vary the ramen history, science and recipe ideas, there are travel stories and cool illustrations which the young designer/advertiser who is also a foodie would appreciate. there are comics, conversations between chefs shooting the breeze and fun recipes and that insider look into how things work in the momofuku empire and how the top nyc chefs hang. content wise you can tell this was put together by a bunch of boys and funky sharp minded girls.
i had ramen for an entire week after i started reading this. purely from the bowl of ramen pictured on the back... gratuitous food porn of the tampopo school.
i think i may go make a bowl of ramen now.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
What I'm trying to say, is that the publisher behind this is quixotic, whimsical, driven, literary. And their products reflect that.
And then, to fully understand what you're getting into with Lucky Peach, you need to have some exposure to David Chang-- the foul-mouthed, caffeine-fueled food genius behind the Momofuku empire. It's best if you've perched on a stool and slurped a bowl of his ramen, but reading the Momofuku cookbook is a good runner-up.
This is not a staid food journal with perfectly-posed food. This quarterly is riddled with cartoons, expletives, recipes, fiction, history, photography, and dialogues. It's raw. It'll make you think. And even if it's not to your taste, well-- give it to someone. Consider it this way: the money you spend on this magazine is going to people who are trying to push the envelope. In art, in cooking, in literacy. Maybe they don't hit a homerun for you. But they're sure as heck *trying*.
And there aren't any annoying ads, or perfumed cards to fall out and attack everyone around you. Personally, I thought this issue was awesome, and I can't wait for the next one.
From the lucky peach website:
ISSUE ONE RECIPE CORRECTIONS
In the chicken soup recipe, we neglect to mention that you should cover the vegetable nage ingredients with water before simmering. Don't try to simmer without any water. Also, you only need 8 C of water for the broth, not 10.
And apologies to Harold McGee and to all of you who tried to make alkaline noodles with 4 tablespoons of baked soda. Please only use 4 teaspoons. [...]
Finally, as an act of contrition, we've written a new recipe for chicken soup for you. Just email us. No hard feelings, right?
The writing and artwork are straight out of the hipster 'zine genre. Just picture Robot -- only a lot more cynical and written by that gang of rogue NY chefs who are trying to be the new rock stars -- and you get the drift. You won't find the usual fare. No "30 Money Saving Recipes," no "Dinner at the Top of the World...the Glory of the Katmandu Four Seasons." And don't look to Lucky Peach for the traditional Food Porn. No stylists at work here. The chicken on the cover is one sad specimen. With those skinny splayed wings and saggy skin, it looks more like a warning from Vegan Times than anything that will ever appear in Every Day! With Rachel Raye.
Make no mistake, this is a serious food magazine. David Chang of Momofuku (which supposedly means 'lucky peach') is one of the creators. He is abetted by the team that produces Tony Bourdain's snarky "No Reservations" show. And you can hear that Bourdain-style hipper than thou (and still climbing) voice loud and clear on every page.
Even so, the writing is good, if a tad self-conscious. An in-depth, straight-faced and straightforward feature that tells you everything anyone could possibly want to know about Ramen is worth the price of admission. Sure they are working the cool angle, but mostly is works. It's hip. Uber Hip. Hipper Than Hip. But also compelling, interesting and fun. Issues 2 and 3 were even better. They didn't seem to be trying quite as hard and dumped a little of the adolescent bravado.
If you like food and enjoy reading about it, this is fun, new and different. If nothing else, the magazines are apparently becoming collector's items and the best investment you can make in a lousy economy. My 3 issues are now worth more than my IRA!
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