The Alchemist: Jori Jayne Emde, Producer at Lady Jayne’s Alchemy
There is a long and storied folk tradition of women—witches, healers, midwives—who use time-honored practices and ancient herbal remedies to assuage everything from heartache to hives. Jori Jayne Emde has taken up this mantle and, through a combination of study, intuition and experimentation, crafts all manner of elixirs, tonics and bespoke potions in her barn in Old Chatham, NY.
Alongside her husband, award-winning chef Zakary Pelaccio, she decamped from New York City to open Fish & Game, the Hudson restaurant known for its sophisticated renderings of ingredients from local farms, forests and fields. Jori relies on a variety of fermentation and preservation techniques to turn the kitchen’s left over wines and vegetable scraps—as well as the unsightly produce neighboring farms can’t sell to conventional operations—into umami-rich vinegars, sauces and condiments.
“Getting the conversation moving about creative ways to repurpose waste is a big step,” she says, “but one that I see coming around the corner.” Her many wooden barrels filled with fermenting chilies, funky fish sauces and wild vinegars are a powerful example that Jori’s unique brand of practical magic is already well under way.
LADY JAYNES ALCHEMY | Old Chatham