Breaking: Zak Pelaccio and Robbie Richter to Collaborate on Asian Barbecue in Williamsburg

Zak Pelaccio and Robbie Richter

Robbie Richter, left, and Zak Pelaccio could reinvent barbecue.Photo: Josh Ozersky, Patrick McMullan


Former Hill Country pitmaster Robbie Richter has been lying low since his split with the restaurant, but that doesn’t mean the most decorated competition cooker in New York has been idle. Instead, he's been collaborating with Zak Pelaccio on a Southeast Asian barbecue restaurant in Williamsburg. Look for it in the fall on South 6th Street between Berry and Bedford.

Are you still conscious? (We practically passed out when we heard.) The combination of the city’s top pitmaster and the Asian-flavor wunderkind is not totally new: The duo presented a “Malaysian brisket” at Chefs and Champagne and the Starchefs Rising Stars Revue two years ago. Pelaccio says he’s already aflame with ideas: “I’m thinking about a duck lacquered with red-chile curry, goats, lamb, brisket…” Richter, for his part, feels like the cuffs are off. His masterful work at Hill Country limited him essentially to salt and pepper, but now a whole world of spices, herbs, and Asian techniques is before him. “Working with Zak is like a dream come true. I feel like together, we’re going to do things in barbecue that have never been dreamed of before.” As for Pelaccio, this may seem like one project too many, but we haven't seen him this fired up since he opened Fatty Crab.

Related: Pelaccio, Goldfarb to Open the Windsor