For those starved for a journal of food writing infused with fresh design ideas, all prayers to the spirit of the stove have been answered in the form of the Lucky Peach, a new magazine from American publishing house McSweeney’s. The quarterly culinary publication is the brain child of Korean chef and restauranteur David Chang of Momofuku fame and writer Peter Meehan. Together, they present a seasoned medley of writing, art, and graphic recipes that delves into the study of a single subject in the culinary sphere. The premier issue, which is all about ramen, dishes out a heaping bowl of insight on that portion of Japanese cuisine. There is also a nice digression into Chang’s favorite egg preps, because a dissertation on ramen would not be complete without some discussion on the egg.
Pulling it all together is the art direction and design of Brian McMullen, Walter Green and editor-in-chief Chris Ying, who commissioned a number of talented contributing artists to create a visual presentation chock-full of illustration, photography and unique layouts that is more savory than a simmered kurobuta pork bone broth. A sure favorite is Mike Houston’s “Tokyo Ramen God” letterpress work printed at his New York collaborative Cannonball Press on a 1938 Model 24 Vandercook proofing press using vintage wood and lead type and hand-carved woodcuts. Also visually appealing is the colorful, comic book style art of Baltimorean Daniel Krall. Even a quick flip through the 174-page periodical is sure to satiate those with an appetite for a left-field, experimental approach to publication design.