Chef Shanna Pacifico Departs From Back Forty West


Longtime Back Forty and Back Forty West chef Shanna Pacifico has left her post at Back Forty West (70 Prince Street, 212-219-8570), says owner Peter Hoffman. “She left in mid-January,” he confirms. “She’s moved on to other projects.”

The chef helmed the kitchen at the Alphabet City outpost until Hoffman decided to reinvent Savoy, the acclaimed restaurant he’d run in Soho for two decades. Back Forty West opened in 2012 with Pacifico behind the burners; she left Michael Laarhoven in charge of Back Forty, where he was promoted from sous chef.

The departure leaves Back Forty West in a bit of a transition period, says Hoffman. “We’ve been interviewing,” he says. And though there have been some changes to the menu since Pacifico’s exit, he says that the board is very similar. “The food in both of my restaurants is under my direction,” he explains. “Chefs are able to express themselves, but that’s within the context of our kind of dining, and they’re purchasing ingredients within our parameters.”

Meanwhile, Laarhoven continues to press forward with an ambitious nose-to-tail program over at Back Forty. “We get the half animal in there every week,” says Hoffman. “It’s fun seeing where the menu is at. The waiters are cluing you in on something different every day.” He recommends stopping by on Tuesday, when Back Forty turns out bowls of pho: “The beef bones in the broth come from our steer, we’re making the noodles, we’re making the pickles, and we’re making the pastrami.”