NYC chef's smoked watermelon looks like a glazed ham

Ducks Eatery chef and co-founder Will Horowitz recently updated his menu of mostly meats to one also offering some plant-based options, including a $75 smoked watermelon.

"It's salty, it's smoky, it's extremely juicy," he said. "We called it originally 'watermelon ham' a little bit just for fun."

Food blogger videos of the slicing of Will's watermelon ham garnered more than 100 million views. A search of "Ducks Eatery" on Instagram yields mostly smoked watermelon content.

And now this cured-for-a-week delicacy that feeds five is sold out into November, leading Will to direct the culinary curious to another smoked fruit dish — Ducks Eatery's smoked cantaloupe burger.

"Unlike most of the other veggie burgers out there, it's juicy," he said. "It's full of flavor. It's exciting."

And for Will, so is smoking and fermenting foods others might not think to smoke and ferment.

"Last year, we convinced a lot of really smart people at a charcuterie contest that a piece of a fermented, smoked and three-month-aged watermelon radish was a piece of a beef braciole," he said. "So almost like a prosciutto texture."

As watermelon season nears completion and the colder months approach, Will plans to apply his smoking skills to a new crop of fruits and veggies to complement Ducks Eatery's offering of meats.

"For us, it's just opening a door to kind of Pandora's box with this one," he said.

Ducks Eatery | 351 E. 12th St., New York, NY 10003 | 212-432-3825 |