Luncheon is not just a magazine: it’s a mammoth of deliciously curated images, articles and stories that feed your soul, open your immaginary taste buds and wash your inner palate, inebriating you with every turn of a page. Its size is substantial (27 by 38 centimeters), its paper (Fedrigoni off-white matt) heavy with pigment and inspiration: almost every image could turn into a painting, hanging lavishly on a welcoming wall. The London based style and culture magazine founded by Frances von Hofmannsthal and Thomas Persson in March 2016 is laid out like a restaurant menu, a recurring playful structure that guides you through its many angles.
It all starts with lunch: new friends, old friends, collaborators and strangers alike gather for lunch to discuss life, art, food and everything in between. It just so happens that these friends are some of the best artists, photographers, cooks, writers or critics one could find in this world and you, as a reader, get to have a seat at this rather exclusivist but strangely welcoming table.
Get served here – https://bit.ly/2UP13nE
Luncheon number 7 boasts four covers to feast your eyes: from Austrian artist Franz West (currently on show at Tate Modern), to Annie Collinge’s delightful works (custom made to match the menu titles), Ed Clark’s painting – the first of many African American artists to be included in the impressive collection (and story) of New Orleans’ darling chef Leah Chase, or the head of artist and baker Lexie Smith on a platter, photographed by Brianna Cappozzi, these are all collection items.
The insides are just as impressive: tales of Georgian taverns and local artistic scenes; cooking for Sir Peter Blake in his studio; talking with blazing French designer Marine Serre in a small restaurant in Paris; entering the world of the exhibition Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and other Treasures from Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (curated by Jasper Sharp in collaboration with filmmaker Wes Anderson and writer and illustrator Juman Malouf); Franz West, Ed Clark and Tamuna Sirbiladze are also well served. Truly heart warming pieces include legendary chef Leah Chase or food writer Claudia Roden, spicing up this already very moveable feast.
Some pieces you’ll slow taste, others you’ll devour, some you’ll sip through a glass of fine wine, others will eat you up: the spring-summer edition of Luncheon feels like a delightful get together of characters, situations and tastes you find both familiar and alien. What it does is putting together an unexpected selection of breath-taking images with striking conversations, all glued together by the cultural and ancestral act of eating. Read it for when you’re in need of companionship, browse it when you’re feeling hungry for more. It’s bound to nurture you in ways you’ll find ever more endearing.
My absolute personal favorite is the conversation Charlie Porter has with food writer and casual cultural anthropologist (even though she refrains from such titles) Claudia Roden: from the tone of voice to the actual stories being told, it’s one of the most humane, soothing and enriching pieces I have read in a long, long time. The lunch they have at Claudia Roden’s home truly comes through as “a few hours of how life should be”, with thoughtful insights and such warmth that it transpires through the entire written text, leaving you with the sole desire of eating, travelling the world and meeting this woman. Or at least learning to live more on the hearty, simple side of life.
At one point she says: “There’s always a story why. And for me, these stories become a matter of fascination. It’s meeting people, of being in other people’s lives, just even for a moment of their life. I’ll never see them again, they’ll never see me again, but we tell each other a whole lot of things, especially if I’m watching them cooking or if I’m sitting with them in the kitchen. Because the one thing I’ve found is, if you’re sitting with people in the living room, it’s formal. In the kitchen, it’s not. It’s casual, and you open up.”
And that’s just how the Luncheon magic works.
Listen to me
Smooth, all-encompassing, timeless and contemporary, a song you wish would go on forever, just like a relaxed lunch in the garden, with friends and buzzing bees on a late Sunday.