Pekarna Opens With Vincentian Kamal Hoyte As Head Chef

For now, while the restaurant waits for gas for cooking, it’s more generally American and European.

Though the chef, Kamal Hoyte, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, is from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and has never been to Slovenia, the owner, Dean O’Neill, an experienced restaurateur and restaurant designer, has had business interests there since 2003.

The two have been working together on this project for more than a year. Mr. O’Neill has also recruited Alma Rekic, a pastry chef from Slovenia, to consult on the mostly traditional sweets and her baked apple rolls, a Slovene item already on the menu.

Mr. Kamal Hoyte’s food, described as Slovene-American, also reflects his background working in restaurants like Daniel: His Slovene fish stew will come with aioli, bouillabaisse-style.

The restaurant is on two floors, and the lower level will have four private party areas to open in coming months.

Street level is where the public dining is, in two rooms, one with exposed brick, a marble bar and assorted chandeliers. The name of the restaurant means bakery in Slovene; the space once housed a bakery.

594 Amsterdam Avenue (89th Street), 646-974-9070,


Chef Kamal Hoyte is from the Caribbean Island of St. Vincent and The Grenadines where he grew up eating fresh local seafood nearly everyday.

In 2010, he graduated from The Culinary Institute of America and cultivated his skills while working with some of the most renowned chefs in NYC at Oceana Restaurant and Restaurant Daniel in NYC. Today, he is the Executive Chef at Pekarna NYC.

During his spare time, he is experimenting with new ingredients and perfecting his skills, whether that is through cooking, tasting, or experiencing new cultures.

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