Jori Jayne Emde is a Chef, Culinary Historian and Food Scientist. Her specialties are fermentation and alchemy with a focus on terroir. Jori practices her unique process of whole utilization: maximizing the yield from each ingredient through the processes of fermentation, preservation, and extraction.
In 2013, Jori opened a James Beard Award-winning restaurant, Fish & Game in Hudson, New York, with her husband, Zakary Pelaccio, where she was co-chef and dedicated food preservationist/fermentationist. That same year, Jori started her brand, Lady Jayne’s Alchemy.
An Austin native, Jori completed an associate degree in culinary arts from Texas Culinary Academy in 2002 before immediately moving to New York City. She promptly worked her way into the kitchen at Lupa Osteria Romana, where she was the first woman to ever work the pasta station in any of the then Batali/Bastianich establishments. From Lupa, Jori transferred to another Batali/Bastianich property, Esca, where she honed her skills and cultivated her passion for working with fresh fish.
In 2004, Jori left the Batali/Bastianich empire and started working with Zakary Pelaccio at 5 Ninth Restaurant. Working with Zak refined her palate and knowledge further, as she absorbed the techniques and flavors—heavily influenced by the Southeast Asian cuisines Zak mastered in Thailand and Malaysia—that propelled him to prominence when he opened Fatty Crab in 2005. Jori worked at Fatty Crab for years, both in the kitchen and administratively; she also designed the interior spaces for the much loved and lamented Fatty ‘Cue and Cabrito restaurants.
In 2006, Jori spent much of her free time creating her “Fermentation Station” in her Chinatown apartment. She then left the Fatty Group to dedicate her time to learning and studying culinary history and fermentation. In 2011, Jori and Zak moved to the Hudson Valley and renovated an old barn into their home. At the same time, they were renovating a 150-year-old carriage house that became the widely acclaimed and award-winning restaurant Fish & Game in 2013. Jori was responsible for making all the vinegar used in Fish & Game, fermented from spent wine from previous services and unused samples left for her by sympathetic importers. She was responsible for the restaurant's impressive larder of ferments and preserves, both sweet and savory.
In 2018, she was asked to present at Yale University for a Fermentation Intensive put on by Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking. Two years later, Fish & Game closed and Jori and Zak moved to Taos, New Mexico, where she launched her comprehensive online fermentation school, Lady Jayne's Alchemy School of Funk. Jori has a certificate in Understanding Psilocybin: Effects, Neurobiology, and Therapeutic Approaches from Psychedelic Support and a practitioners account with Real Mushrooms. She also has an accredited certification with Cornell University on medicinal plants and holds many certificates of completion with the Alchemy Guild.