With the explosion of farm-to-table cuisine, more and more chefs are picking up stakes and going to the farm (rather than having it come to them). Zakary Pelaccio, once a city-dweller and now found in the Hudson Valley, is one such chef. As the culinary mind behind Brooklyn’s first gastropub, Fatty Crab, Zak made his mark in the culinary world by taking traditional Malaysian dishes and adding his own signature flair. One of the ways Zakary revolutionized the New York City culinary scene is by being the first to embrace the “nose-to-tail” movement, and his legacy lives on in his best-selling cookbook, “Eat With Your Hands.”
After leaving the Fatty Crew restaurant group, Zakary made his way to the Hudson Valley, opening his new space Fish & Game to overwhelmingly positive reviews. Fish & Game has been named one of “America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants” by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2015 and 2016; in addition, it was a 2014 James Beard Award semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant” and a 2015 James Beard Award finalist for “Outstanding Restaurant Design.” Zakary himself is also the recently-crowned winner of the James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: Northeast,” and he looks to continue to grow his legacy in his new home.
Specialties & Resources
Zakary gained notoriety for his wholehearted (and successful) embrace of Malaysian cuisine, but the menu at Fish & Game shows that he’s far more than a one-trick pony. With a varied menu that draws upon all the local and regional flora and fauna, Zakary is able to create dishes that can hardly be replicated elsewhere.
Menu items include wood-grilled shishitos with tuna bottarga; burrata with salted chilies, cultured cream and grilled bread; fluke crudo in smoked tomato water with coriander; prosciutto with butter-poached turnips and sumac; wood oven-roasted snails with seasoned brioche crumbs, lardo and chili; melon salad with kimchi and herbs; lamb tartare with chilies, chick pea panisse and husk cherries; olive oil-poached shrimp with okra puree and sambal; lamb ragu with rosemary and red wine; squid ink linguini with clams, garlic and white wine; wood oven-roasted duck with rice and tangerine mostarda; lobster-stuffed whole trout with wilted romaine and diavolo sauce; and smoked pig shoulder with naem sausage, loin & belly and condimenti.
And for those who miss Zakary’s Malaysian cooking, don’t fret- he opened a new restaurant on Hudson’s main street called Bakar at BackBar, signaling that he hasn’t forgotten his roots.