Lucky Peach is the latest business venture of New York restauranteur David Chang. Based on the cover and Chang’s notorious personality, it’d be easy to dismiss this project as a simple exercise in brand extension (a la Skymag to Delta). A quick read of the first issue, however, proves that Lucky Peach is much deeper than that. The magazine will be released on a quarterly basis and is currently available in print form — with an iPad app waiting in the wings. Once you get past the expected dash of food celebrities like Anthony Bourdain and Ruth Reich, the first issue’s focus on Ramen is meticulous, informative and surprisingly entertaining. Articles such as “A Specifist’s Guide to the Regional Ramen of Japan” provide colorful anecdotes about the loved noodle, reminding less traveled readers that the dish is mostly done through complex vending machines in Japan instead of in person. We also enjoyed reading about the mid 90’s Japanese TV show “Ramen Oni” (Ramen Devil), whose host, Sano Minoru, broke down guests to tears on a regular basis. Syndication please?! Pick up a copy online via Amazon, or watch for it in trendy news stands shortly. Looking at the impeccable food photography with no chance in hell of eating it is the yuppie equivalent to waterboarding though — so read it on a full stomach.
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