“The magazine isn’t the by-product of external pressure. I wasn’t all like, ‘F— Bon Appétit; I’m starting my own food magazine.’ I like Bon Appétit. It was an opportunity to work with friends at McSweeney’s, a chance to try my hand at a new format, and a chance to showcase and support some writers and artists we know. The first audience I think about is us: Can we make something we don’t hate? Then it’s my friends: Can I create something they will think is cool even though they have to listen to me bitch all the time? Then it’s people out in the world. And my secret hope is that a certain aspect of the magazine leads them down an unexpected alley—reading more Junichiro Tanizaki, or chasing down a Bill Orcutt record, or seeking out Kay & Ray’s potato chips.
I think Dave is incapable of stopping himself from following ideas that interest him. He doesn’t have a brand he’s worried about; he’s not worried about a message; he’s not interested in trying to create something that’s going to be a blockbuster. Failure is an option, but only when you’ve done something that says, ‘This is the most honest thing we can put out there.’ So that allows us to make it as weird as we want because we believe in what we’re doing.”
-Writer Peter Meehan on Lucky Peach, the quarterly journal he created with New York chef David Chang (Momofoku), in an interview with Charlotte Druckman that appears in this month’s issue of WSJ. magazine.