The world wide web fosters community between people who have similar interests. Over the last five years, the internet has EXPLODED with a vibrant food community. Food is teeming on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (don’t be the food Instagrammer). Some of these media are good, some are okay, some kind of stink. Actually, a lot kind of stink. If you are interested in food and drink, I am here to recommend a few positive sources for the consumption of food information. In my experience, information overload can be considerably easier to deal with when you have destinations for your information. From utilizing these destinations, online and in print, I have learned to appreciate the art of writing about food and drink, recipes and design.
If you are a foodie and drinkie, here a few ways to minimize the daily time-wasting across the internet and zoom in on a few high-quality discussions about food.
Lucky Peach: Lucky Peach is a quarterly journal of food and drink writing, and you should read it. Lucky Peach was created by David Chang in 2011, the chef and founder of the Momofuku line of restaurants in NYC. Lucky Peach is my favorite way to inhale food knowledge. The writers are given pages, not paragraphs, to work with. Additionally, photographers and artists have full reign to enhance pages in their own original ways. It only comes out four times a year and each issue has a theme. Themes range from “travel” to “gender” to “Before and After the Apocalypse.” I think of Lucky Peach as an ultimate New Yorker, but concentrated on food, how it tastes, the political nature of it, preparing it and showcasing folks who are obsessed with good food. Lucky Peach is partly exciting because you need to wait for it, like a Dickens chapter, and it’s not a constant stream of writing and pictures like the internet. It also takes hours to read it, perfect for breaks and cold nights with time to read. The delayed gratification of Lucky Peach makes it different than other content that produce daily literature on food.
FOOD LAB from Serious Eats: seriouseats.com is another site to check out. Like many sites, there is too much information on it, but they have a thought-proking, consistent column on it called “The Food Lab,” written by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. Lopez-Alt writes about simple ways to prepare sophisticated dishes at home using normal appliances. Some of his recent work includes a recipe for preparing a rich mushroom risotto in a pressure cooker. He debunks the idea that “it takes a long time to make risotto” as it only takes half an hour to make. Not only are the recipes fantastic, but Lopez-Alt is a wonderful teacher of what I am calling “food chemistry.” He explains why and how different ingredients cook and combine in accessible terms. The Food Lab will inspire you to want to cook more, even it’s just finding the most efficient way to prepare the perfect hard-boiled egg.
Food Republic: Food Republic is a website that really does it all. In fact, it tries to cover way too much. Unlike Lucky Peach, there is a definite lack of strong writing on the website. Food Republic creates lovely graphics. For example, they recently posted a graphic on how to pair different wines and different foods (see below). The chart is aesthetically simple with 8 different types of wine in a sequential line (Dry White to Dessert wine). The designer drew lines from the type of wine to 11 different types of food (i.e. soft cheese, cured meat, vegetables, white meat). Food Republic provides these basic descriptions without all of the frills that one might find in a wine connoisseur’s notes. If you choose to participate in constant food web searching, Food Republic will have what you want. The website caters to a younger crowd, those who want to looks at pictures and read softer stories.