Lucky Peach’s Demise and it’s Garage Sale.
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The sound was heard round’ the world by all the foodies and epicureans of the land, Lucky Peach was shutting the fuck down. How could a periodical that had shook my core so hard in 2011 – a pivotal year for me while in culinary school – and then had given me my first ever writing gig be closing its doors?
It wasn’t hard to stand out in my culinary school program. While an impressive program, it calls a community college its home and because of that it receives a lot of…different people. People who are not serious about cooking, people who were corralled there by counselors to take its courses as an easy elective. And once, a student who was blind. A blind culinary student wielding knives. Some students read Bon Appetit, some read Saveur, some had no idea what either of those conglomerates were and only knew about Bobby Flay. And then there was the miscellaneous group, the ones that were a weird combination of thinkers, dreamers and doers. The ones who already worked in the industry, glorified Bourdain, demeaned Food Network and read books. Not only consumed books, loved books. Loved art. And all of those fuckers had a jovial, but mean spirited, sense of humor. Those few read the twisted, glossy, tangent filled pages of Lucky Peach. Those few weirdos became my best friends who I
fought fight with, laugh with, work with and who catered my wedding instead of just being at the wedding. They’re still pissed about that.
When I got the email from my former editor at LP asking if I’d like to contribute, I couldn’t get the words out fast enough, “Stop playing.” Whoever this scammer was, wasn’t going to rein me in. I’m from the streets, where we shoot from the hip and keep it real. But, it was true. My pitch had been accepted. Did I run and tell everyone to read my piece? Duh. Did I ever question how LP could sustain their glossy, thick ass, bizarro world extravaganza? Duh. Turns out, loads of others were asking themselves the same question.
But, on March 15, they released a notice. The notice read like a parental couple dropping the divorce speech onto their heathens.
“Until May 1, there’s still going to be the luckypeach.com that you love, publishing
all its wild and wily stories. Go click around and have fun. I know you always liked it
when you were younger. The magazine will finish out with a crazy double issue in the fall
after its last regular issue—themed “the Suburbs”—comes out in May.”
It was deafening and yet still left a lot to be questioned. Why are you shutting down? Will you stay in digital form? Will the website just shut down and cease to exist? Especially the one keyword at the bottom of the announcement, death.
LP was able to speak to a generation of epicureans in a way that most other food periodicals just couldn’t do. LP was treated like a piece of art. There’s a reason why Issue One is currently listed on Amazon for $250 – $1,800. Keep your issues, kids. I am. Or, you could sell it and take that vacay to Paris like you’ve always wanted. All of the staff were fired (they’re there until May). The last issue hits the stand in May.
The last Lucky Peach book, All About Eggs, comes out this Tuesday. They’ll also be selling back issues and more at their garage sale in Oakland.
Lucky Peach Garage Sale
TUE. 4/4 | 6PM – 8PM @ E.M. WOLFMAN GENERAL INTEREST SMALL BOOKSTORE
410 13th Street
Oakland, CA 94612