(SPENCERTOWN, N.Y.) – Author Ruth Reichl and chef Zak Pelaccio will discuss trends in locavorism and farm-to-table in “Beyond Local: Taking Local Food to a New Level,” as part of the Conversations with Neighbors series at Spencertown Academy Arts Center on Saturday, December 14, 2013, at 4p.m. A reception featuring tasty illustrations of the subject matter will follow the discussion. Admission is $20.
Most ‘farm to table’ restaurants rely on local meat and seasonal produce. Zak Pelaccio has taken it another step with Fish & Game in Hudson. He buys whole animals and uses every part. He creates his own condiments; a year before the restaurant opened, he began making fish sauce from local shad. All summer, he put up produce to feed his winter guests. Even the plates, bowls, and tables were locally made. “Other people talk the talk; Zak’s walking the walk,” says Ruth Reichl.
Zakary Pelaccio is a celebrated chef and restaurateur, noted for influencing culinary trends from nose-to-tail cooking, gastro-pubs, Brooklyn cuisine, and bringing Southeast Asian cuisine to the mainstream. He is a founder of Fatty Crab and Fatty ‘Cue in New York City, for which he is now advisor and occasional collaborator.
Pelaccio also penned a critically acclaimed cookbook, Eat With Your Hands. In 2012, he left New York City for the rural environs of the Hudson Valley. Along with his wife, Jori Jayne Emde, and business partner, Patrick Milling Smith, he has developed Fish & Game, a new restaurant in a renovated 19th-century building in Hudson, which was restored by architect Michael Davis. The restaurant opened for business in May 2013. The Fish & Game project is truly a lifestyle business. Pelaccio, Emde, and Milling Smith grow produce and raise animals for the restaurant on their respective properties. Waylon, Pelaccio’s and Emde’s Australian Shepherd, protects the flock.
Ruth Reichl is a writer and editor and editor in chief of Gourmet Magazine for ten years until it folded in 2009. Before that she was the restaurant critic at the New York Times (1993 to1999) and both the restaurant critic and food editor of the Los Angeles Times (1984 to 1993).
As co-owner and cook of the collective restaurant The Swallow from 1974 to 1977, she played a part in the culinary revolution that took place in Berkeley, Calif. She is the author of the critically acclaimed, best-selling memoirs Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me with Apples, Garlic and Sapphires, and For You Mom, Finally. She is also the host and executive producer of the two-time James Beard Award-winning Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie on public television, and the editor of the Modern Library Food Series. She lectures frequently on food and culture.
Spencertown Academy Arts Center Conversations with Neighbors is an occasional series designed to spark neighbor-to-neighbor conversations and celebrate the richness and diversity of the Columbia County community. Housed in a restored 1840s Greek Revival schoolhouse, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is located at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, N.Y.