I am a flavor maven. My specialties are Fermentation + Alchemy with a focus on terroir. I practice my unique process of Whole Utilization: maximizing the yield from each ingredient through the processes of fermentation, preservation, and extraction.
In 2013 I opened a James Beard Award Winning restaurant, Fish & Game in Hudson, NY, with my husband, Zakary Pelaccio, where I was co-Chef and responsible for creating and maintaining the fermentation larder utilizing food waste from menu prep. In 2013 I also started my brand, Lady Jayne’s Alchemy.
An Austin, Texas native, I completed an Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from Texas Culinary Academy in 2002 and then immediately moved to New York City. I promptly worked my way into the kitchen at Lupa Osteria, where I was the first woman ever to work the pasta station in any of the then Batali/Bastianich establishments. From Lupa, I transferred to another Batali/Bastianich property, Esca, where I honed my skills and passion for working with fresh fish.
In 2004 I left the Batali/Bastianich empire and started working with Zakary Pelaccio at 5 Ninth Restaurant. Working with Zak refined my palate and knowledge further, as I absorbed the techniques and flavors—heavily influenced by the Southeast Asian cuisines he mastered in Thailand and Malaysia—that propelled him to prominence when he opened Fatty Crab in 2005. I worked at Fatty Crab for years, both in the kitchen and administratively; I also designed the interior spaces for the much loved and lamented Fatty ‘Cue and Cabrito restaurants.
In 2006 I was spending much of my free time creating my “Fermentation Station” in my Chinatown apartment. I then left the Fatty Group to dedicate my time to learning and studying culinary history and fermentation. In 2011 Zak and I moved to the Hudson Valley and renovated an old barn into our home. At the same time we were renovating a 150 year old carriage house that, in 2013, became the widely acclaimed and award-winning restaurant Fish & Game. I was responsible for making all of the vinegar used in Fish & Game, made from spent wine from previous services and unused samples left for her by sympathetic importers. She was also responsible for the restaurant's impressive larder ferments and preserves, both sweet and savory.
In 2018 I was asked to present at Yale University for a Fermentation Intensive put on by The Yale Landscape Lab. In 2020 Fish & Game closed and Jori & Zak moved to Taos, NM and I launched my comprehensive online fermentation school called Lady Jayne's Alchemy School of Funk. I currently hold a certificate in Understanding Psilocybin: Effects, Neurobiology, and Therapeutic Approaches from Psychedelic Support. I have also completed a 6 month accredited program with Cornell University on Medicinal Plants and I hold many certificates of completion with Alchemy Guild.