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Zak Pelaccio

Zakary Pelaccio is an itinerant being who occasionally resides in Taos, NM with his wife Jori Jayne Emde and dog Waylon. He is a founding partner in the Salt Lake City based restaurant design and development group Plowshare Partners ( In 2020 Zak & Jori sold their Hudson, NY restaurant, Fish & Game for which Zak received a James Beard Award for Best Chef. Esquire named Fish & Game one of the 40 Most Important Restaurants of the Decade. Wine Enthusiast awarded Fish & Game one of the top 100 Wine restaurants in the US for 5 years in a row. In 2020, Zak also sold his other Hudson, NY property, a bar/restaurant called BackBar, which was regularly on Thrillist’s top bars in NY and won one of the 24 Best Bars in America from Esquire. Prior to his decade spent in New York’s Hudson Valley, Zak built New York City’s internationally acclaimed restaurants Fatty Crab and Fatty ‘Cue, Southeast Asian inspired restaurants influenced by his time working as a cook in Malaysia and Thailand. In addition to the four NY locations, Zak and crew opened Fatty Crab in St. John, USVI, Hong Kong and, in 2006, Zak developed a spin-off of the brand for the Sanderson Hotel in London. Zak trained as a cook in both Malaysia and Thailand as well as under culinary luminaries Daniel Boulud (Daniel, Café Boulud) and Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per se). He is noted as one of the chefs who brought nose-to-tail cooking to the mainstream when he opened NY’s first true gastro-pub, The Chickenbone Café, in Williamsburg Brooklyn in 2002 and as a pioneer with live fire cooking, wood being the dominant fuel at the former Fish & Game and Fatty ‘Cue. The Fatty Crab decade and the Fish & Game decade have been documented in the two critically acclaimed, notably different, and almost profitable cookbooks written by Zak, Jori and friends: Eat With Your Hands, and Project No. 258 – Making Dinner at Fish & Game. Pelaccio produces two fiery & funktastic festivals: Peripheral Natural Wine and Fermentation Festival™ and Play With Fire™, a live-fire cooking event where he, along with fire-obsessed fellow chefs cook on custom steel sculptures in a farm in the Hudson Valley

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