THIS GUY SOUNDS LIKE A GENIUS. YOU SHOULD'VE HUNG ON TO HIM! Yeah, it was miserable, but I did learn about Star Wars. And then I quit fixing computers.
HOW DID FOOD WRITING COME ALONG? When I moved to New York, food became an interest. My girlfriend, who I've been with since I was 16, and I had just moved and were getting into it. Food had just started to appear on television with Emeril [Lagasse] and Mario [Batali], and so you were aware of it a little more, and all the girls she went to art school with were from all over East Asia. We'd go to each other's houses and cook dinner and eat, and I made meatloaf when it was my night to cook, because that's what I was raised on. But it would be like curry with fried spam and stuff like that. I had written a little bit for United Press International during my one-year stay in college, and I thought I wanted to write about food. Then I had a bunch of jobs leading up to that, like PR and event planning, and I was an assistant on a television show for Mark Bittman, and that was my way in.
KIND OF A RANDOM PATH. Totally. Going from being unpublished to having a column in the New York Times is an excellent path if you can find it! [laughs] It's totally unfair. The first food-writing job where I put my name on what I wrote was for the Times.
DO YOU HAVE PEOPLE BANGING DOWN YOUR DOOR NOW TO CONTRIBUTE? Yeah, definitely. With the first one, we had no contributors, and the second one we got a few, but we were still working from a lot of stuff that we had shot for the app thing we were trying to do. This current issue, it started to get a larger volume of submissions. I guess more people know about the magazine now and want to be involved? This should all be very obvious to me, but I still find it very surprising.
BUT THAT'S GOOD, THEN YOU CAN KIND OF REGARD IT WITH A SORT OF . . . INNOCENCE, IF YOU WILL. [laughs] Or incompetence, if you will!
SO TAKE ME OVER THE BEGINNINGS OFLUCKY PEACH. So, [David] Chang and I were making this video with Zero Point Zero, this production company that Tony Bourdain works with, and we were planning on putting it all in an app. Chris Ying, who was the publisher of McSweeney's, had worked with us before, and was in town, so we had a couple beers and I told him what we were doing. The fact that we were thinking of making quarterly apps was kind of the jumping off point. I think everyone else thought making a magazine was really silly, but I guess it's proven to at least hold water.