Lucky Peach is a new, hybrid food journal being published by McSweeney’s.
It’s also an iPad app, created by award-winning chef, the avid tweeter David Chang, of Momofuku restaurant fame in New York, in partnership with writer Peter Meehan, and Zero Point Zero Production, the Emmy winners for Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations series on Travel Channel.
Chang’s next step, on trend for chef entrepreneurs, might have been a eponymous TV show, but instead, Lucky Peach, with the first issue on ramen, marks his choice in a move that bridges old media and new.
For McSweeney's fans, the niche publisher of literary magazines, imprints, and websites founded by writer Dave Eggers, it's also a tasty offering.
"I'm assuming McSweeney's audience is the very people that would be electronic consumers of media—they'd be young and literate. On the other hand, they also create artifacts so this is very much that," said Jane Goldman, editor-in-chief of Chow.com, to the Wall Street Journal.
The Lucky Peach iPad app launches next month with interactive articles, recipes, interviews and videos, preceded by the quarterly magazine’s release on newsstands on June 22.
With more than two hours of video and 20 plus recipes, all flowing from a bowl of noodles, the iPad menu includes:
NOODLING - Chang's jumping-off point for a running riff ranging from sports to history to bacon;
ROAD TRIPPING - Chang eating, learning, and hanging-out in Japan, Spain, and Boston;
INSTANT-RAMEN CACIO E PEPE DEMO (FOR REAL) - "The cooking videos are the glue that binds all the wack-ass ideas together," Chang’s version of dump-and-stir shows;
BLAME TONY BOURDAIN - "I am slightly proprietary about the venture, as I feel I got Dave into this when he could have been doing multimillion-dollar competitive reality shows on a network."
Chang was inspired by the iPad platform as it lets him take an idea and "express it in a very experiential way, a deconstructed, non-linear television show," said Zero Point Zero executive producer Chris Collins. "Food is the entry point to a bigger story. It's much richer than just the stand-and-stir. It's about people, it's about place and it's about food," according to the WSJ.
Lucky Peach stands out in the culinary mélange, serving two mistresses according to their inherent strengths, consistent with David Chang’s personal, eclectic brand.
After the 2004 opening of Momofuku Noodle Bar in the East Village, Chang opened four more restaurants, including two Milk Bar bakeries, created a test kitchen, co-authored a 2009 cookbook with former dining critic Peter Meehan, and appeared on Anthony Bourdain's Travel Channel show No Reservations and last night on HBO’s Treme.
Chang says the next iteration of the Lucky Peach app, PEACH 2.0, will be "a journey about finding, losing, and trying to preserve your sweet spot."
Lucky Peach is a natural for this versatile chef with a non-linear app…etite. Now all he needs is to come up with iPad Thai for his restaurant menu.