Update! Tickets are still available for Play With Fire, happening this Saturday, August 11, in Hudson, NY. Besides chefs listed below, the lineup now includes many of the chefs from upstate New York’s hottest culinary spots, including Otto’s Market, Gaskins, Bonfiglio Bread, Rivertown Hudson, Bartlett House, Peck’s Arcade and Wm. Farmer & Sons, and Swyft’s (in Connecticut).
Given the chance, most professional chefs would gladly trek out to an open field for the chance to cook over open fire. This explains why Zak Pelaccio is able to lure well-known chef friends like Seamus Mullen, Jess Shadbolt and Clair de Boer (of King) and Ignacio Mattos two hours north of their Manhattan restaurants to join the lineup at the second Play With Fire, which takes place in Hudson, NY August 11.
It’s the long awaited follow-up to a 2014 event that featured Sean Brock, Matty Matheson and others, and which, if you had the good fortune to attend (as I did), was one of the standout food fests of the past few years. Tickets for the latest Play With Fire, presented by Resy and Ketel One Family-Made Vodka, are available now, and there’s still plenty of time to book a room or Airbnb nearby—it’ll be an all-day-and-into-the-night event in a setting you won’t want to leave.
The chefs will be cooking at stations spread around the farm and fields that comprise Fish & Game Farm—the bucolic place that gave Pelaccio’s Hudson restaurant its name. Each chef will cook on a specially designed grill by artist Kris Perry. Given Pelaccio and Fish & Game co-chef Kevin Pomplun’s predilection for natural wine and craft cocktails, the duo have also attracted top names in the biz world to pour at the event as well, with Yana Volfson of Cosme and ATLA and Elad Zvi of Broken Shaker running point on drinks.
And the chef lineup is outstanding. Besides Mullen, the chefs from King, Mattos, Pelaccio and Pomplun, those scheduled to cook over the fires include Victoria Blamey, Nick Curtola (Four Horsemen), Cortney Burns (of Tartine and now Tourists), Negro Piattoni (Metta) and Elise Kornack.
In a statement, Pelaccio says, “I look forward to spending the day collaborating with this stellar group of chefs, working with excellent local product in this very elemental way, and bringing together strangers, neighbors and friends to celebrate.”
Insider tip: If you’re looking to make a weekend of it, try to book an Airbnb or other service in nearby Hudson, Ghent, Hillsdale or Claverack (New York), or check out hotel options including Hudson’s cool Rivertown Lodge or new hotel The Wick.