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Looking at food from a new perspective

July 21, 2011

Food magazines have traditionally followed a fairly predictable formula and target; lots of well-shot images, recipies and a few feature articles on a destination, all targeted and focused firmly and squarely at the female reader.

David Chang is one of America’s most innovative chefs and becoming something of a brand.

Chang’s unconventional approach has turned his Momofuku and family of restaurants into something of an empire. He’s taken Korean and Asian food by the scruff of its neck and transformed it into fresh and new.

It’s not surprising that Chang would seek to expand into media and his latest venture is a magazine published by McSweeney’s (the maverick SF publishing house), like Chang’s cooking, the magazine turns food publishing on its head.

The first issue, like other food mags has some recipies, but there mostly from his restaurant and tips on how to make things like instant ramen better.

In fact, the whole issue is dedicated to ramen and includes a short-story, profiles of the Tokyo’s leading ramen makers, the script of a drunken conversation with Anthony Bourdain, a visit to Kay and Ray’s potato chip factory and a bunch of other interesting pieces.

Lucky Peach is no Food and Wine and it’s clearly a response to the new cultural dialog on food from a younger generation seeking better and more thoughtful alternatives to the usual and it’s clear this isn’t just a female phenomenon.

It’s important for all the brands in the food business to get this; the younger generation aren’t looking for the the same foods as their parents- they are demanding different experiences and have higher demands on quality and ethics.

Of course, Lucky Peach will have an iPad version and it will be fascinating to see how the issues develop over time, but judging from the first, it appears to be off to a good start.



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