Chef Zac Young on growth, Indian food, and the world’s best frozen pizza.

Chef Zac Young on growth, Indian food, and the world’s best frozen pizza.

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Chef Zac Young has been cooking professionally for over fifteen years in some of the Ohio River Valley’s most iconic restaurants. He began his career in Louisville, first as a line cook at Ramsi’s before climbing the ranks at Jack Fry’s, Ward426, and Marketplace. 

Chef Zac was hired by The Exchange Pub + Kitchen as a full time executive chef, and then the unthinkable happened – the outbreak of the corona epidemic shut down the restaurant industry only a matter of days before he was scheduled to start.

Rather than sit on his chef coat at home, Chef Zac took the time to build a new menu for the Exchange which pulled from his extensive culinary influences. From these inauspicious beginnings, Chef Zac has been challenged to lead a restaurant many see as an institution in Southern Indiana food, all while navigating the challenges of a post-epidemic world. 

The Exchange is proud to introduce Chef Zac Young to southern Indiana, and has been extremely grateful for his leadership and talent during a time when it was needed most. Here’s a fun Q & A to give you a glimpse at Chef Zac’s personality! We hope you welcome him with open arms!

What is your favorite food?

I really love lamb saag. Rich Indian food with fresh herbs and spices, loads of turmeric, mustard greens, tomatoes and fresh naan bread. But also Jack’s Frozen Pizza. It’s absolutely the best frozen pizza, period.

How has your love for Indian food influenced your menu at The Exchange?

We have a pretty interesting dish on the menu; the mussels tikka masala. Tikka masala is most peoples introduction to Indian food, so its nice and approachable but so delicious. We’re making garlic cilantro naan bread in house, now.  I’ve personally never seen mussels tikka masala but for me, the combination of seafood and tikka masala makes a lot of sense given India’s geographical relationship with the ocean.

What is your favorite word?

Am I allowed to say it? I better not.

What is your least favorite word?

Can’t. Won’t. Anything that spreads negativity. 

If you’re welcomed into the Pearly Gates by St. Peter, what do you hope the man upstairs says to you?

“Barely made it.”

What’s next?

I just want to continue to grow. I want to keep travelling, keep learning more about regional cuisines. I’m fascinated by Moracco, India, and South America – a lot of travelling and personal growth.

You can come see Chef Zac Young cooking at The Exchange Pub + Kitchen nightly. 
For a look at his summer lunch menu, click here.
For a look at his summer dinner menu, click here.
For reservations, click here.
To order online, click here.

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