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 dedicated food preservationist/fermentationist. 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. I was responsible for the restaurant's impressive larder of 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 Zak & I 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.