Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's English for Momofuku.

I always try to make my blogposts as single minded(note: short) as possible but it seems impossible for this one.
To talk about Lucky Peach I need to talk about Books for Cooks at Gertrude Street. I stumbled across it after brunch with a lovely future bride/client and it is what the name says: a bookshop full of cookbooks. I'm pretty sure I sound like an old lady but it's pretty awesome.
And that's when I noticed this Sagmeister inspired magazine cover. Even though the thought of another food magazine disgusted me for a while, the ramen theme sealed the deal for me. Issue 2 is also out, but it wasn't about ramen, so pfft.
The bonus, I realized later reading it in an Indian restaurant waiting for my Murtabak takeaway, is that the magazine is a collaboration between the McSweeney people and that chubby Asian chef from Masterchef. (Ok it's David Chang, but I think his exposure is now an overkill. Do we really need another celebrity chef?)

So the McSweeney people finally got to me.
I tried getting into their work. They're well known for their fantastic writing, the awesome insight, it's like The Economist for the hippies. But there's just too much to read, and my attention span is getting shorter by the year. (I read while I takeaway dinner, hint?) So I concluded I simply wasn't the McSweeney audience.
Until today.
They managed to get to me because they wrote about ramen. And they wrote like a mother fucker.

But that's not the only thing, Lucky Peach was also incredibly well designed. (And check this out, no ads!) Each section has different quirks to it. Illustrators were hired and credited. This is some serious shit. The magazine was designed with design in mind. Not sponsors or market reach or call to action bullshit.

Which brings me to question: why can't Australia do the same thing?
Why can't we have a well written/ commissioned/ illustrated/ researched food magazine for $10? Why do we have to settle for a $5 Coles sponsored magazines on another article about organic macarons?
I know Melbourne has good food. In fact, I'm pretty sure Melbourne food is one of the most overpriced in the whole world.
But compare this magazine cover to the one above:

Something is not getting through between our aesthetic standard on food and design, no?