I love David Chang’s profane, irreverent approach to cooking that turns out some kick ass cuisine. I loved his collaboration with Peter Meehan that produced the original issues of Lucky Peach, a quarterly publication which initially seemed dedicated to the virtues of eating the world’s best ramen in Tokyo and, since your stomach can only hold so much, barfing in the alley before going on to the next joint. However, after the first couple of issues the pub lost its way. Too much inside baseball, too much navel gazing. It has been a long time since I spent more than a few minutes on a new issue.
With the current “Versus” issue Lucky Peach seems to have got his groove back. Whether it’s permanent or not I won’t predict, but for under $10 for a copy on Amazon the barrier to entry is low. We have a great smackdown between Chang and John Besh on whether New Orleans or Maryland crab cookery is better, a New York vs San Francisco matchup which is brilliant on the NYC side then has the SF guy pretty much rolling over to expose his belly like a puppy, and an oddly abstract comparison of oysters. (East Coast are clearly better because, bluepoints.) There is also some kind of crazy graphic novel about Uruguayan spots in Queens, and even a few pie recipes. Check it out.