Synopses & Reviews
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 co-writer 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 melange 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.
Issue One's theme is ramen and contains the following features:
- The over-stuffed and nauseated (but nevertheless intrepid) Peter Meehan and Dave Chang on the trials and tribulations of producing this first issue, including travels to Tennessee, Japan, and Spain.
- Anthony Bourdain discussing the career trajectory of David Chang in respect to classic films, including Ramen Girl and Tampopo.
- Exploring alkaline noodles, MSG, and the term "molecular gastronomy" with food scientist Harold McGee.
- Photography and art by Ben Jones, Gabriele Stabile, Mark Ibold, Pableaux Johnson, David Rees, Tony Millionaire, Mike Houston, Jeremy Earl, Matt Volz, and many others.
- Recipes galore from Chang, Wylie Dufresne, Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, Juan Mari Arzak, and others.