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SANTA FE ®· ALBUQUERQUE · TAOS The Story
Local Food, Season
ISSUE 39 · LATE SUMMER · AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015
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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 DEPARTMENTS 2
GRIST FOR THE MILL By Willy Carleton and Sarah Wentzel-Fisher
58 THE THIRD PLATE QUESTION Interviews with Jennifer James and Nelle Bauer, and with Joseph Wrede
63 EDIBLE NOTABLES
67 EAT LOCAL GUIDE
FRONT OF THE HOUSE
72 LAST BITE
Antidote for the Ordinary by Candolin Cook
COOKING FRESH Gathering New Mexico's Abundance, From Desert to Forest by Amy White
LIQUID ASSETS Foraged Cocktails by Ellen Zachos
EDIBLE 101 The Green Chile Cheeseburger by Stephanie Cameron
TOOLS OF THE TRADE Modern General by Stephanie Cameron
LOCAL HEROES Lynn Walters, Farm Shop at Los Poblanos, Second Street Brewery
AT THE CHEF'S TABLE Modern Wild Edibles by Katherine Mast
WILD THING Looking for Elk on the Divide by Rachel Shockley
Bang Bite Paletas by Enrique Guerrero
O N T H E C OV E R
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30 QUEEN OF BEES: GATHERING LIGHT By Melanie Kirby
34 AMONG THE SILENT BROTHERS By Darren A. Raspa
40 THE WILD, THE INTIMATE, AND THE RIO GRANDE CUISINE SHUFFLE
ISSUE 39 · LATE SUMMER · AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015
By Willy Carleton
44 GORDON’S GRAFTS By Mark DeRespinis
48 MEETING NEEDS WITH GLEANING AND SEEDS
Mushrooms: Foraged by Joshua Johnson. Oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, and porcini. Photo by Stephanie Cameron.
By Eric Payseur
52 SOTOL: A SPIRIT WITH THE TASTE AND SMELL OF THE DESERT By Tom Barry
grist for the mill As the clouds began to build above the distant mountains across the horizon in early July, we started to consider which days to take off from work. The rain patterns and temperatures suggested mushrooms would soon emerge from the forest floor in vibrant colonies, and we didn’t want to miss it. Not every summer bodes such fungal abundance. Days later, with a knife in hand and an eye to the ground, we found ourselves crisscrossing mountainsides, wading streams, lamenting acres of new deadfall, picnicking on slabs of pink granite, and wondering if the newly gathering clouds would soon drench us. We returned home late, far too exhausted to properly cook the bounty we had collected; our foraged meal would have to wait. In this issue, we examine the many unexpected opportunities wild and cultivated places offer for gathering sustenance, understanding of seasons and cycles, and coming together around food. While not all the stories in this issue address foraging food, they do speak to the myriad unforeseen places food presents itself in abundance. Gathering wild food connects us with our landscape in important ways. It reminds us of the resilience of our landscape, and its fragility. It calls us to head to the hills in search of treasure, it offers an opportunity to understand a terroir of our region that goes far beyond our irrigated valleys. A glass of sotol allows us to taste the Chihuahuan desert and porcini mushrooms allow us to taste high mountain meadows in a way no farmed food can; a side dish of quelites or milkweed pods can transform an otherwise undervalued fence line or patch of dirt beside your shed into a source of abundance. Seeking wild foods, whether it’s far off trail or down familiar routes, makes us pay new attention to the climatic conditions of their habitat and the health of surrounding indicator species. We gain an intimacy with our place that helps us better understand it and implores us to take better care of it. Last July, a few days after our initial mushroom hunt, we stood over paper bags still full of the smells of the forest floor. Carefully with brushes and breath, we dusted debris from delicate gills and knobby stocks in preparation for our supper. We made a simple meal: grass-fed beef steaks adorned with the mushrooms sauted in butter with a pinch of salt and garlic, complimented with a salad of steamed quelites and fresh parsley tossed with last season’s sweet potatoes. Wild food brings people together—we gather around it. Whether it’s for a llama trek in the mountains north of Taos, a mushroom excursion with a friend in a nameless high mountain meadow, or mulberry hunt with your kids in the bosque, gathering food together is one of our most primal acts. The oldest neolithic revolution—the cultivation of wheat—happened twelve thousand years ago, but as a species we have gathered our food for hundreds of millennia. As the summer wanes, we continue to head to the hills in search of many kinds of sustenance. Many more wild foods—from gooseberries to serviceberries, from hops to rose hips, from piñon nuts to spruce tips—call us to the hunt. We invite you to gather with us. This is not an invitation to harvest beyond the limits of what the wild produces, but rather to appreciate the abundance of your surroundings, explore its culinary potential, and to better understand the delicate balance of our greater landscape.
PUBLISHERS Bite Size Media, LLC Stephanie and Walt Cameron
EDITORS Willy Carleton and Sarah Wentzel-Fisher
ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Jodi L. Vevoda
COPY EDITORS Margaret Marti, Willy Carleton
DESIGN AND LAYOUT Stephanie Cameron
PHOTOGRAPHY Tom Barry, Stephanie Cameron, Leslie Davis, Jeremy Shockley, Margaret Yancey
WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA EDITORS Stephanie Cameron, Sarah Wentzel-Fisher
ONLINE CONTRIBUTORS Ashlie Hughes, Joseph Mora, Nissa Patterson, Amy White
VIDEO PRODUCER Walt Cameron
ADVERTISING Walt Cameron, Gina Riccobono, Jodi L. Vevoda
CONTACT US: 3301-R Coors Boulevard NW #152 Albuquerque, NM 87120 email@example.com www.ediblesantafe.com Phone/Fax: 505-212-0791
SUBSCRIBE ∙ BUY AN AD ∙ LETTERS 505-212-0791 WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM We welcome your letters. Write to us at the address above, or email us at INFO@EDIBLESANTAFE.COM Bite Size Media, LLC publishes edible Santa Fe six times a year. We distribute throughout Central and Northern New Mexico and nationally by subscription. Subscriptions are $32 annually. No part of this publication may be used without the written permission of the publisher. © 2015 All rights reserved.
Willy Carleton and Sarah Wentzel-Fisher, Editor
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edible Santa Fe | EARLY SUMMER 2015
contributors TOM BARRY Tom Barry, a senior analyst at the Center for International Policy specializing in US-Mexico relations, lives outside Silver City in Pinos Altos, New Mexico. Barry is the author of more than a dozen books about Latin America and US foreign policy and is currently working on a book about the transborder water crisis. WILLY CARLETON Willy Carleton, an avid vegetable grower, forager, and editor, is writing a dissertation on the agricultural history of New Mexico in the twentieth century. CANDOLIN COOK Candolin Cook is a PhD student at the University of New Mexico specializing in the history of the American West, and an associate editor for the New Mexico Historical Review. Also, she works on her partner’s produce farm in Albuquerque's North Valley and sells their vegetables each weekend at the Downtown Growers Market. MARK DERESPINIS Mark DeRespinis is a farmer, photographic artist, foodie, and new father. He encourages everyone to celebrate seasonal and local abundance every day in a new, or old, or really any old way. MELANIE KIRBY Melanie Kirby writes about bees and sustainable agriculture from a field perspective for various publications including The American Bee Journal, Bee Culture Magazine, and Green Fire Times. She is the editor of Kelley Beekeeping, an online monthly newsletter. She has kept bees professionally for nineteen years, having learned from bees and farmers in four countries and five states. KATHERINE MAST Katherine Mast is a freelance science writer in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her first foraged food was the paw paw, an eastern US mango-shaped fruit filled with custard-like meat. She's experimented with recipes for wild invasive plants and over-abundant grasshoppers, and was delighted to taste agave petals for the first time in Silver City for this issue. ERIC PAYSEUR Eric Payseur lives in Guelph, Ontario, where he produces local sustainable food in the city, including from his Plymouth Barred Rock hens. He is currently working with local brewmasters and 4
edible Santa Fe | LATE SUMMER 2015
descendants of brewers on a brewing history project. In 2014 – 2015, he had the pleasure of exploring New Mexico’s food scene as a postdoctoral fellow at the UNM History Department. DARREN RASPA Darren Raspa is a writer, editor, and outdoor enthusiast from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Originally from Los Angeles, Darren has traveled extensively throughout the West while completing his doctoral dissertation on the history of community vigilantism and grassroots policing. RACHEL SHOCKLEY Rachel Shockley admits she is still learning to hunt. The hunt described in her story was the first step, and even though she didn’t harvest, she’s not discouraged. Life is about having new experiences and being challenged, and hunting elk definitely fits the bill. Bringing home meat from the field is only a matter of trying and time. Follow her travels on Instagram (@shockleyrach). MARJORY SWEET Marjory Sweet is native to coastal Maine and was drawn to the Southwest by its ancient history, desert wilderness, and the opportunity to work outside. She now manages Sterling Gardens, a four seasons farm in Albuquerque's South Valley. This winter promises heirloom French rabbit meat, winter greens, and experiments in raw goat’s milk. AMY WHITE Amy White teaches science classes for teachers at Central New Mexico Community College, and is the education coordinator for Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District. Over the past eight years, she has developed programs such as RiverXchange and the Arroyo Classroom Program to teach kids about New Mexico’s precious ecosystem, and water resources. She also writes about urban foraging, gardening, and cooking on her blog, Veggie Obsession (www.veggieobsession.com). ELLEN ZACHOS Ellen Zachos is the foraging expert at About.com (foraging.about.com) where she shares seasonal recipes and foraging tips. She also works with RemyUSA, teaching foraging mixology workshops across the US. She is a Harvard graduate and the author of six books, including Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat. A long-time instructor at the New York Botanic Garden, Ellen has recently moved to Santa Fe.
Explore Bradley’s powerful Native voice and evocative visual descriptions of Indian experience. His artwork depicts historical, social, and political truths, personal narrative, and cultural critique.
On exhibit through January 2016
The Art of David Bradley
505 476-1269 · IndianArtsAndCulture.org On Museum Hill in Santa Fe David Bradley, Pueblo Feast Day 1984/2014, Full Circle, 2015. Photo by Blair Clark. Collection of the artist.
front of the house
Antidote for the Ordinary DR. FIELD GOODS KITCHEN MIXES IT UP WITH ADDITION OF BUTCHERY AND BAKERY By Candolin Cook · Photos by Stephanie Cameron
Left: Josh Gerwin, owner/chef, Dr. Field Goods Kitchen. Right top: Pork Slider, photo courtesy of Dr. Field Goods. Right bottom: Meat counter at Dr. Field Goods Bakery and Butcher Shop.
In its simplest sense, farm-to-table dining should signify an establishment that supports and nourishes a community by using local foods. But these days, when we think of locally sourced cuisine, we sometimes associate it with upscale ambiance, high-end prices, and a clientele that's often more "import" than "locally grown." Luckily for New Mexicans, Santa Fe’s wildly popular Dr. Field Goods Kitchen (DFGK) is farmto-fork for the rest of us. Disinterested in putting on epicurean airs, DFGK serves up innovative gourmet fare in a casual and lively atmosphere. While funk-metal band Primus pumps out of the speakers and SportsCenter plays on the walls, 6
edible Santa Fe | LATE SUMMER 2015
patrons munch on house-made potato kaiser rolls stuffed with duck confit, arugula onion salad, cashew butter, orange marmalade, and Bosc pears. Local craft beers are enjoyed in full view of the bustling open kitchen and its horno-shaped wood-fired pizza oven. Owner/chef Josh Gerwin—donning a black chef ’s coat embroidered with the restaurant’s skull and cross-cutlery logo—clearly relishes the intimacy and lack of artifice at his restaurant. “The customers can feel the heat from the ovens, see the cooks hand-tossing their pizza dough in the air—it definitely gets loud and fun in here.” The eatery embodies a sincere commitment to all things local: from the customers,
to the art on the walls, to the farmers, ranchers, brewers, foragers, and dairymen from whom they source their ingredients. Beginning with the selection for the restaurant’s location, in the corner of an inconspicuous strip mall on Cerrillos Road, Gerwin knew who he wanted to cater to. “I didn’t want to open downtown. The cost, the parking. I wanted to make the place accessible [for Santa Feans]. Here we have a great view of the mountains, and regulars who are able to come eat twice or more a week.” The location even holds a greater full-circle significance for Gerwin: “My first restaurant job was working at a Blimpies in this exact spot when I was a sophomore in high school.”
After high school, Gerwin left Santa Fe and the sub shop to forge an impressive culinary résumé. He graduated from the New England Culinary Institute with honors, trained under renowned chefs in Napa Valley and Scottsdale, and opened the acclaimed—and much-missed—fine dining destination Casa Vieja in Corrales. By the time Gerwin returned to his hometown to open Dr. Field Goods in early 2013, he recognized that diners with more adventurous palates had become mainstream. “Five years ago I wouldn’t have put heart or chicken livers on my menu,” he says, “[but today] more people are willing to branch out.” Beyond taste, Gerwin says DFGK’s extensive use of local ingredients and products is motivated by the necessity for sustainable agriculture and ranching. New Mexico veggies are the hero of many of the menu’s impressive vegetarian options (e.g. deep-fried risotto balls stuffed with roasted veggies and house-made mozzarella; a burrito filled with sautéed cabbage, fennel, beets, onions, cilantro, carrots, quinoa, and green chile). But while demand for organic local produce has become more commonplace among the state’s top restaurants, few can match DGFK’s unique selection of New Mexico raised meats. Gerwin transforms lamb and goat from the Naturally New Mexico cooperative into chops, brats, sausage, gyros, or the beloved goat barbacoa torta—prepared with fresh apples, cabbage, refried beans, and spicy honey habanero goat cheese spread on house-made bread. Kyzer Farms pork appears several times on the menu, including in the form of wood-fired pork belly topped with a sunny-side up egg on a bed of kale and pickled red onions. Perhaps DFGK’s most interesting meat supplier is LaMont’s Wild West Buffalo ranch. This Santa Fe County buffalo and yak outfit raises free-range grass and barley-fed animals without the use of hormones and antibiotics. Not only can you find their meat in DFGK’s bison (and on occasion yak) burgers and enchiladas, but for those wanting to get even closer to their food source, you can book a private hunting excursion into LaMont’s five-thousand-acre property. On a 2012 episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre
Foods America, chef Gerwin joined the show’s intrepid host on one such hunt to help prepare bison heart and Rocky Mountain oysters. DFGK deliciously juxtaposes foraged ingredients—oyster mushrooms, arugula flowers, and locally harvested honey—with products his staff makes in-house: bread, cheese, sauces, sausage. To keep up with demand, Gerwin began renting another location just a few doors down to house a larger walk-in refrigerator and commissary kitchen. However, he quickly envisioned a more ambitious use for the space, and last March Dr. Field Goods Bakery and Butcher Shop opened its doors to delighted Santa Feans. DFGK butchers, grinds, cures, and dry ages their meat in-house. Gerwin says it is important for a chef to know how to butcher his own meat: “You get a better understanding of the animal and learn to work with all of its parts.” He admits the real master of meat processing at Dr. Field Goods is sous chef, and now head butcher, Gabe Archuleta. Archuleta largely helms the side project, churning out charcuterie, chorizo, ciderbrine pork chops, specialty sausages, and dry-aged beefsteaks, to name just a few offerings. The shop also makes a bevy of breads, pastries, and deli samiches, including a BLT spread with chicken mousse made from the aforementioned livers. Gerwin explains that there is a big difference between a real butchery and a meat cutter's. “Our meat comes in fresh and whole, never frozen, Cryovaced, or wet-aged.” They take special orders and don’t let anything go to waste—tallow, bones, and schmaltz included. Judging by the success of both Dr. Field Goods’ kitchen and shop, Gerwin’s unpretentious, locavore approach seems sustainable for the long haul. He says he attributes the increase in popularity for his style of farm-to-fork and snout-to-tail cooking partly as a rejection of the microwaves of our parents’ generation and a return to more earnest eating. Plus, he says, “it just tastes better.” 2860 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe 505-471-0043, www.drfieldgoods.com
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Gathering New Mexico's Abundance, From Desert to Forest By Amy White · Photos by Stephanie Cameron
Nopales and Tunas
GRILLED NOPALES TACOS WITH PRICKLY PEAR AGUA FRESCA
with tongs, use a sharp knife to scrape off the needles and glochids (little white polka dots of fuzzy-looking spines).
GRILLED NOPALES TACOS
Nopales have a little bit of slime, like okra, and the best way to minimize this is to use a dry heat to cook them, like grilling. Not in the mood for grilling? Make this recipe by frying sliced nopales until the slime disappears and they get nicely browned.
Serves 4 Nopales, the pads of the prickly pear cactus, offer a wealth of nutritional benefits. They are high in vitamin C, manganese, magnesium, calcium, and soluble and insoluble fiber. They also are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and may help regulate blood sugar. Their tangy green bean flavor is great with a little char in these tasty tacos. Early summer is the best time to harvest nopales, when the needles haven’t yet hardened and look like little green apostrophes. They are definitely still edible once the needles develop, but eventually the pads become fibrous with age. The easiest way to pick nopales is with tongs. Just grab the pads near the base and twist until they come free. While still holding the base 8
edible Santa Fe | LATE SUMMER 2015
1 medium onion 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 nopales (approximately hand-size) 8 to 12 corn tortillas 4 ounces queso fresco or cotija cheese 4 radishes, thinly sliced 1/2 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped 2 limes, quartered Salt Hot sauce
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Slice the onion vertically into 1/2-inch wedges and poke a toothpick through each wedge to hold it together. Preheat the grill and clean the grate with a wire brush, then use a paper towel to oil the grate. Lightly oil the nopales and onions, then set the nopales on the grate directly over the fire and the onion wedges over indirect heat. Cook until onions and nopales are very soft and a bit charred, turning frequently with tongs and moving between direct and indirect heat as necessary. Slice nopales crosswise into 1/2-inch strips and sprinkle with salt. Briefly warm tortillas on the grate, just until they puff slightly. Fill with nopales and onions, then top with cheese, radishes, and cilantro. Serve with hot sauce and lime.
PRICKLY PEAR AGUA FRESCA Makes 2 cups syrup, or serves 4 The fruits of the prickly pear cactus are sweet and juicy in late summer, with a delightful flavor similar to a cross between watermelon and bubble gum. The flowers can be orange or yellow, and the fruits, known in Mexico as tunas, come in all shades of green, yellow, and red. Many varieties grow around New Mexico, and they each taste a little different, so do a taste test to see which ones are best. The flavor is often better if they are picked while still a little firm. Prickly pears are easier to harvest than most people think. Yes, be very careful not to touch the fuzzy-looking spines with bare hands (but if you accidentally do, try using adhesive tape to pull them out.) But you really don’t need gloves, or a blowtorch to burn off the spines. Simply use a pair of tongs and a bucket of water. Grab the fruit with tongs near the base and twist until it comes off. Pick as many as you like, dropping them all into a bucket of water. Then use the tongs to vigorously swirl the fruits around in the water for several minutes. This softens and loosens the spines, and as they jostle against each other the spines get knocked loose and float to the top. Then reach in with the tongs, pick out each fruit, rinse it off a bit more, and the spines are gone. Oddly enough, the glochids actually won’t hurt your stomach if eaten. Prickly pears are very low in acid, so add lime juice or citric acid for balance. Lime juice adds its own nice flavor, but citric acid (often found where canning supplies are sold) lets the pure prickly pear flavor shine through. 1 pound prickly pears (makes 1 cup juice) 1/2 cup sugar Juice of two large limes or 1 – 2 teaspoons citric acid 4 cups water 2 cups ice Cut the fruits in half and put them into a juicer or food mill to extract the juice (blending the fruits, then squeezing through cheesecloth also works). Make prickly pear syrup by mixing the juice with sugar and citric acid or lime juice. Use this in all kinds of drinks, or on blue corn pancakes. For a delicious beverage, add water and lots of ice to make agua fresca, or add an ounce of tequila for an unusual margarita.
WILD ANTIPASTO: LIGHTLY FRIED DAYLILY BUDS AND MARINATED WILD MUSHROOMS LIGHTLY-FRIED DAYLILY BUDS Serves 2
Wild Antipasto 10
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Daylilies grow wild in almost every state, and though they are not invasive here, plenty of daylilies thrive in New Mexico gardens. The summer flower buds and spring stalks have a delicate green bean flavor. Fresh blossoms can be used in salads, or stuffed like squash blossoms. The dried flowers have a delightful mushroomy flavor. And the tubers look and taste similar to fingerling potatoes, with a little extra sweetness.
It’s very important not to confuse daylilies with true lilies, most of which are poisonous. Fortunately, they are easy to tell apart. Daylilies have long, strap-like leaves that grow from the base, while true lilies have much shorter, narrow leaves that grow from the sides of the stem all the way up to the flower. Daylilies are so named because the flowers only last a day, but true lilies bloom longer. Some people experience a mild allergic reaction to daylilies, so try just a few to start. They’re truly delicious! 1 tablespoon butter A handful of daylily buds A pinch of salt Melt butter over medium flame. Add daylily buds and cook until just tender, then sprinkle with salt. MARINATED WILD MUSHROOMS During wet summers such as this one, the forests of New Mexico offer a wealth of edible wild mushrooms such as oysters, porcini, and chanterelles. A good rule of thumb when foraging is to take only 10 – 20 percent of what’s growing in a given area. This helps ensure that the plants can repopulate and animals’ food supplies aren’t compromised. With mushrooms in particular, the method of harvest is important as an incorrectly picked fungus can damage the mycelial bed where it reproduces. For this reason, and because many poisonous mushrooms also grow in the woods, pick mushrooms with an experienced forager or consult an expert before eating. Some wild mushrooms like porcini dry well and can be re-hydrated for cooking. Chanterelles don’t dry well, so other preservation methods are recommended. This recipe is a delicious way to make mushrooms last. 6 ounces chanterelles 1 clove garlic, sliced 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns 1/2 teaspoon whole coriander seeds 1 small sprig rosemary 2 teaspoons sea salt 1/2 cup sherry vinegar 1/2 sherry cooking wine 1/2 cup water Sterilize 2 half-pint jars with canning lids by boiling all the parts for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, boil all ingredients except the mushrooms. Once boiling, add the mushrooms and allow to cook for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into the clean jars. Screw on lids until just tight, then refrigerate. Serve these mushrooms with hot daylily blossoms for a beautiful starter plate or finger food at a summer party. Pair with a favorite New Mexico white wine.
Wild Boar with foraged chutney
Alligator junipers often have the best-tasting berries, but try a few from several different trees to find the sweetest. Use them fresh or dry them for later. 1 1/2 pounds wild boar backstrap 10 juniper berries 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper Cut the backstrap crosswise into chops about 3/4-inch thick. Crush the juniper berries with a mortar and pestle with the salt and pepper. Rub this mixture all over the chops and let them marinate for up to 30 minutes on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator. Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high flame, and rub a little bit of oil on the chops. Set them in the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on the first side. By this time, they should have a nice brown crust that loosens from the pan. Flip and cook another 3 – 4 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 160º F. Transfer to a plate and allow the meat to rest at least 10 minutes. Serve with plum and crabapple chutney. PLUM AND CRABAPPLE CHUTNEY Makes 8 half-pint jars Red-leaved plum trees are common ornamentals that grow all over town, bearing showy pale pink flowers in early spring. Many varieties actually bear delicious little dark red plums that taste like a cross between a plum and a cherry. Crabapples are another very common ornamental tree, bearing showy dark pink flowers in early spring. Their small fruits may be dark red to yellow, and are usually tart even when fully ripe, which makes them perfect for jams, pies, or chutney. Use plums, crabapples, or a mixture of both in this recipe.
JUNIPER-RUBBED WILD BOAR WITH FORAGED CHUTNEY JUNIPER-RUBBED WILD BOAR BACKSTRAP CHOPS Serves 4 Wild boars are highly destructive and invasive over large areas of the US, so in many areas there are no restrictions on hunting them. The flavor depends entirely on the age and sex of the animal and what it has eaten, so sometimes it’s absolutely delicious, while other times it can be gamey. Backstrap is basically the equivalent of a loin roast. It’s pretty tender, so just cut it crosswise into nice little pork chops. A simple rub of crushed juniper berries smooths out any gaminess, and a spicy plum and crabapple chutney complements the rich flavor. Juniper berries can be gathered during the winter and early spring from any of our native species—Alligator, One-Seed, or Rocky Mountain. 12
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4 cups pitted plums or crabapples 3/4 cups packed brown sugar 3/4 cups white vinegar 1/2 cup raisins 1/4 cup chopped onion 1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1/4 teaspoon salt Combine all ingredients in a large pot, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until thick enough to mound on a spoon, about 30 minutes. Sterilize 8 half-pint jars with canning lids by boiling all the parts for 10 minutes. Ladle hot chutney into jars and screw on the lids until just tight, then boil the jars for 10 minutes to seal (20 minutes at 5000 feet elevation, 25 minutes at 7000 feet).
SPRUCE TIP PANNA COTTA WITH WILD BERRIES Serves 4 Spruce tips are the bright green new growth found at the tips of spruce branches. All evergreen needles are basically edible (including pine, fir, and spruce) but spruce tips are especially tender, with a
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delightful citrusy flavor. Try a taste of any bright green tips you see, and pick the ones you like best. In New Mexico, spruce only grows at high elevations such as the Sandia Crest. These trees are easily identified because they have very sharp, prickly needles compared to other conifers. The new growth emerges in May or June and begins to grow into more feathery fronds, which toughen up in the fall. Harvest in early summer and freeze for later use. If spruce tips are unavailable, just use the needles to infuse this delicious panna cotta. C
Many kinds of edible berries thrive in the mountains of New Mexico. Spring brings mulberries all over town, and wild strawberries at higher elevations. Using a good field guide, identify thimbleberries, salmonberries, gooseberries, and blackberries along mountain trails in late summer. M
1/4 cup spruce tips, roughly chopped 2 cups cream 4 tablespoons sugar 1 packet powdered gelatin 1/4 cup hot water
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, sugar, and spruce tips. Chop the spruce tips finely and add them to the cream in a small saucepan. Heat until the mixture just begins to bubble, then remove from heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, dissolve the gelatin in hot water. Whisk dissolved gelatin into the cream mixture, then allow to cool to room temperature. Stir again gently to remove any bubbles and redistribute gelatin. Pour into 4 ramekins and chill until set. Serve with any kind of wild berries.
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Spruce Tip Panna Cotta THE DAYLILY IS A LOVELY EDIBLE ADDITION TO YOUR GARDEN. Use the buds and flowers for your salads and stir frys, and use the roots like water chestnuts! See us for lots of edible options and perhaps sample some at The Kitchen at our Santa Fe location.
Foraged Cocktails By Ellen Zachos ∙ Photos by Stephanie Cameron
One For the Roadrunner
It’s late summer in the southwest and all sorts of wild flavors are out there, ready to be foraged and turned into delicious cocktails. Creating an adult beverage with wild edible plants brings the appreciation of local, seasonal ingredients into the world of craft cocktails, and lets you serve a drink that tastes like the place and time where it was made. Would you like to capture northern New Mexico in a glass? Here are three recipes that let you do just that.
ONE FOR THE ROADRUNNER Crabapples are common fruit in late summer and fall, and their tart taste combines wonderfully with the warm, sweet flavor of bourbon. Use any crabapples, which may be red, yellow, or orange, as long as they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides. They’re ripe and fully flavored when no longer green. 14
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Sangre de Tunas
THE BOURBON 1 750-milliliter bottle of 100 proof Kentucky bourbon 3 cups crabapples 1 tablespoon black pepper, coarsely ground 1 tablespoon allspice, coarsely ground To make the bourbon, first soften the crabapples; breaking down the structure of the fruit makes it easier for the alcohol to extract flavor. Soften the fruit by freezing overnight, then thawing the crabapples, or by cooking the crabapples in a microwave for a few minutes until they’re soft. Time will vary, depending on the microwave. Start with 2 minutes and add time in 30-second increments if necessary. Put the crabapples in a large glass container with a tight-fitting lid. Add the bourbon and save the bottle for later. Stir in the pepper and allspice, then seal the container. Let
Santa Fe Sundowner
this sit for three weeks, shaking the mixture each day. Strain through cheesecloth or a jelly bag, and return the strained liquid to its original bottle. It won't be full, because the crabapples will have absorbed some of the bourbon. THE COCKTAIL 2 ounces crabapple bourbon 2 ounces double strength ginger ale* Pour the crabapple bourbon into a shaker full of ice and stir for a full minute. Strain into a champagne coupe and top with the ginger ale. Garnish with a crabapple. * To make double strength ginger ale, use a carbonated drink maker and add twice the amount of ginger ale syrup recommended.
SANGRE DE TUNAS Cachaça is a spirit made from distilled sugarcane juice. Unlike rum, which is usually distilled from molasses (a by-product
of sugarcane production), cachaça is distilled from fresh sugarcane juice. It’s the national spirit of Brazil and is most commonly used in caipirinhas, which combine lime juice, sugar, and cachaça. Prickly pear margaritas frequently appear on menus, but cachaça brings an earthy, almost hay-scented flavor to the sweet/ tart taste of prickly pear fruit (tunas). Made with crushed ice, this cocktail is a tiki drink with attitude. THE SYRUP 3 large tunas, juiced 3/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon citric acid or lemon juice
SANTA FE SUNDOWNER Juniper and lavender love our climate and you don’t have to go far to forage for either. Lavender’s flavor is strongest when the buds haven’t quite opened, so you’ll have to sacrifice a little beauty in your garden to create some magic behind the bar. Juniper berries are tastiest when they’re dark blue or purple. If you’d like to preserve your harvest for year-round use, dry the flowers buds and berries in a dehydrator at about 95OF. THE GIN 1 750-milliliter bottle gin 1 tablespoon dried (or 2 tablespoons fresh) lavender buds
To make the prickly pear syrup, wear gloves; you’ll want to protect yourself from the glochids, the small, hair-like barbs that surround each cactus spine. Slice off the ends of each fruit, then peel it. Cut the peeled fruit into rough chunks, and purée in a food processor or blender.
In a quart jar combine the gin and lavender buds. Lavender has a strong scent and flavor and you don’t want to over-infuse. Start tasting the gin after four hours and when you like the taste, strain the lavender and re-bottle the gin. You won’t need to infuse the gin for more than eight hours.
Run the processed fruit through a food mill to remove the seeds and smooth out the fruit. Prickly pear flesh tends to be kind of blobby, like tapioca pudding, and an extra run through the food mill improves the texture.
THE SYRUP 1 1/2 tablespoons dried (or 3 tablespoons fresh) juniper berries 1 cup water 1 cup sugar
Measure the fruit pulp and pour into a saucepan. Add an equal amount of sugar and heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Cook the fruit as briefly as possible, then remove from the heat and add one teaspoon of citric acid for every 1 1/2 cups of syrup. You may use lemon juice instead of citric acid, but the lemon adds a flavor of its own. It’s a pleasant combination, but to experience pure prickly pear flavor, try the citric acid. Pour the cooled syrup into bottles or jars and refrigerate. It will thicken slightly as it cools and keeps well in the refrigerator for months. THE COCKTAIL 2 ounces cachaça 1 ounce prickly pear syrup 1 ounce fresh lime juice 1 cup crushed ice 1 slice of lime In a blender, combine the first four ingredients and pulverize. Pour into an old-fashioned glass and garnish with the slice of lime.
Lightly crush the juniper berries and combine with the water and sugar. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar, then simmer on low for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to steep overnight. Strain the liquid into a jar, seal, and refrigerate. THE ICE CUBES Lavender flowers Water Boil enough water to fill your ice cube tray and let it cool. (Boiling ensures a clear ice cube, which doesn’t taste better but is prettier.) Fill the tray with water, place a lavender flower spike in each cube, cover the tray with plastic wrap, and freeze. THE COCKTAIL 2 ounces lavender infused gin 1/2 ounce juniper syrup 2 ounces seltzer 1 lavender ice cube Combine the gin and juniper syrup in a shaker full of ice and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a martini glass, add the seltzer, and finish with a lavender ice cube. WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
The Green Chile Cheeseburger Green Tractor Farm lettuce
Fano Bakery brioche bun
Red Tractor Farm tomato
Skarsgard Farms green chile
Tucumcari Mo Cheese Factor untain cheddar cheesey
h Ranney Ranc ground beef
edible Santa Fe | LATE SUMMER 2015
tools of E the
By Stephanie Cameron
rin Wade is a farmer, a restaurateur, and now a shopkeeper who has sought out cookware, shovels, and utensils to bring us the finest tools available for our kitchens, gardens, and sheds. Wade’s many years of experience as a farmer and chef have enabled her to vet the finest tools of the trade for her customers. From dealing with the challenging soils of New Mexico to flipping a fish cooked to perfection, patrons of Modern General will find quality tools that will last a lifetime. Wade wants us to rethink value and tidy up our lives with just the essentials and that is just what Modern General offers. For Wade it is all about nothing-you-don't-need and providing elevated basics—this goes for the food she serves as well. She endeavors to make it easy for consumers to upgrade their morning routine—grab a smoothie with farm fresh ingredients or fresh baked bread using in-house milled flour. “Flour is supposed to be a living thing. It comes from a plant that grows in the earth, one that, for millennia, has been cultivated, harvested, and ground by stones,” says Wade. “I believe the problems that so many of us think we have with flour or gluten actually stem from the industrial milling and farming of wheat. This type of milling is a relatively recent development, especially when you consider our species’ lengthy ties to the plant and the milling of its seed. You really feel amazing eating fresh stone-milled flour—it’s a totally different thing than what so many of us are used to!” Soon Modern General will launch What's for Dinner, where you can come in and grab all the ingredients you need to go home and cook a simple meal. And when Wade has excess from her farm not needed at her sister restaurants, Vinaigrette in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, she will make the produce available at the store's counter. Modern General's philosophy is enlightened, pared-down simplicity, and it shines through.
Ladbrooke Soil Blocker Hard to find specialty tool that organic farmers like Eliot Coleman love. Used for molding soil into blocks in which vegetable starts can be grown directly, then easily transplanted into the next block size up. Prevents root binding, better utilizes soil volume, and eases transplant shock, making super happy warm season starts. Can be used for herbs and lettuce as well.
$17 — $81
Hori Hori Harvesting Knife
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The original all-purpose Japanese harvesting knife—perfect for harvesting head lettuces, brassicas, melons, cukes and squash, asparagus and whole bunches of cherry tomatoes. $36
Victorinox Fish Spatula Designed for handling fish without marring the delicate flesh, this sleek tool is actually the best spatula for all your flipping needs. Pancakes, burgers, sautéed chicken, you name it, are better treated with the thin, cambered metal and sturdy wooden base. Built to last a lifetime by the maker of Swiss Army Knives. $45
Modern General 637 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, 505-930-5462 www.moderngeneralnm.com
Dewit Dibbler Proper seed depth is important for uniform germination—and this beautiful, chic dibbler makes sowing to exact depth easy and precise. $44
Atlas Peppermill The secret best pepper grinder out there, with a hand crank and a precise mill that actually grinds the pepper rather than just smashing it, for maximum flavor and aroma extraction. $85
Ohio Stoneware Fermentation Crock Large pickling crock with happy blue stripes, domestically made by a historic company. Comes with weights and big enough to hold large batches of fermented delights. $130
Andrea Brugi Wooden Spoons Handmade, each one a little different with a distinct character (Mom, Dad, Girl, Boy), with honed edges perfect for scraping up brown bits. As the workhorse of your kitchen, the ubiquitous wooden spoon should be a delight to hold. Light, delicate, sturdy, and precise; made of velvety ancient olive wood soaked in olive oil.
$38 — $48
Lynn Walters LOCAL HERO - OLLA AWARD
An Interview with Lynn Walters, Executive Director and Cofounder of Cooking with Kids On January 14, edible Santa Fe recognized as Local Heroes a group of amazing individuals and organizations for their work to create a healthy, sustainable food system in New Mexico. We determine these awards through reader nomination and a reader poll. The Local Food Movement is a grassroots effort, and often involves late nights, backbreaking work, getting your hands dirty, checking your ego at the door, and generally being a good sport. In an effort to showcase these individuals, organizations, and businesses for their work to build a stronger local economy and a robust local food system, each issue this year will spotlight several of the winners with interviews about the work they do. The Olla Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in the realm of good food work in Northern New Mexico, and who are creating a more robust local food system.
What inspired you to start Cooking with Kids? When my children were very young, I was startled to see that many of their friends had little idea of where food comes from—how it grows and the magic of transformation of food by fire. At that point in my life, I was a restaurateur and owned The Natural Café here in Santa Fe. I was inspired to start Cooking with Kids after a group of school nurses and dietitians asked me to host breakfast meetings about school meals. Soon after, I understood that children need positive, hands-on experience with a variety of foods to expand their culinary horizons, and to learn about and enjoy healthy eating.
What do you love most about your work? I love the delight and surprise in children’s eyes when they taste a sweet carrot or spicy radish, or seeing the juice of late-summer New Mexico melons dripping down happy chins. I love when children say, after a cooking class or a fruit-and-vegetable tasting, “I didn’t think that I was going to like it, but I did!” whether about a locally grown tomato, pea, or beet. And it is heartening when children discover that green beans fresh from the garden or the farmers market are sweet and crunchy, and when they come to understand how hard farmers work. I love that Santa Fe Public Schools are committed to buying locally grown produce for school meals, and that there is growing support for such initiatives. 20
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Lynn Walters, executive director and cofounder of Cooking with Kids. Photo by Stephanie Cameron.
Who inspires you? So many people inspire me—from my own children, who were very young when Cooking with Kids came into being, and who are now both creative and competent cooks, to the thousands of children and families with whom we work every year, to the amazing Cooking with Kids staff. It is moving to see people from many walks of life and cultures gathering together around food, being curious and committed to children’s health and well-being. Cooking with Kids alumni— some who are now parents—inspire me with their stories. I love to hear what they remember about CWK from their elementary school years, and how those experiences opened up their perceptions about food, changed their family cooking traditions, and even, in some cases, inspired a culinary career.
Where do you like to eat? What are your favorite foods? I like to eat in my own kitchen, to cook for friends, and to explore the amazingly talented CWK Super Chefs’ restaurants in Santa Fe (cookingwithkids.org/super-chefs-and-culinary-community). My favorite foods vary a lot. In early summer cherries were a sweet treat, and now the yellow, orange, pink, and striped tomatoes are ripening. This year, my daughter planted tomatoes from seeds that we had saved, and I’m looking forward to eating and drying lots of tomatoes on our old window screens.
Why do you do what you do at CWK? I do what I do because I believe that a small effort in the world like CWK can make a positive difference in the lives of children, now and throughout their lives.
Why is cooking education important? Cooking is a way to share experience and joy with others, to show love, and to be able to be self-reliant. A wise man once said to me, “Someone has to cook my food—it might as well be me.” Children embrace cooking as they do most action, with enthusiasm and curiosity. They value being responsible and capable—and, as one boy said after cooking, “And then we get to eat it!”
Do you have any specific stories about CWK that reflect the heart of your work? There are so many stories that illustrate the heart of this work, from a family shopping at the grocery store to find the ingredients for CWK Ethiopian lentils when the daughter insisted they make it for dinner, to the boy who, after tasting three types of peas and pea shoots in a CWK tasting class, asked his mother to buy peas. Surprised, she said, “You do not like peas!” The boy picked up a pea and ate it to show how much he liked peas. Now this boy comes to school with pears and peas in his lunch, where before it was cookies and chips.
Do you have anything else you'd like to share? Over seventeen thousand Santa Fe children have enjoyed and benefited from Cooking with Kids, but thousands more can learn from the magic of hands-on cooking with real food. At the same time, the funding landscape is changing dramatically. Federal dollars have been our main source of funding, but now we have a greater need for substantial individual and community support. Throughout our upcoming twentieth anniversary year, we’ll both celebrate our success and step up local fundraising—from Cooking with Kids at the Santa Fe Fiestas Pet Parade to fun events with CWK Super Chefs around town. 505-438-0098, www.cookingwithkids.org WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
The Farm Shop at Los Poblanos BEST SPECIALTY RETAIL
An Interview with Matt Rembe, Executive Director at the Los Poblanos Historic Inn
What inspired you to open the Farm Shop? The shop is now located in the old 1934 dairy building that really tells the agricultural history of Los Poblanos. As our mission here is preservation driven, our goal was to find an exciting use for the space and it just happened to coincide with us beginning to brand and sell our lavender products. I was also trying to create a dynamic job for Stephen Humphry, the then boyfriend and now husband of our inn manager Nancy Kinyanjui. Humphry is a talented guy with a great eye and strong passion for authentic products—he really believes in the products we sell. We worked together closely to create the vision for the shop and he deserves a lot of the credit for its success.
How is the Farm Shop informed by local food? Being located on an organic farm, we’re fortunate enough to have the backdrop to engage people on the importance of local food. If we’re not creating the food we sell ourselves, we’re sourcing products from farmers, ranchers, and valued-added businesses with whom we have strong relationships. Our staff knows their processes, has visited their farms, and believes in what they do. In manager meetings, our accounting manager shows all the checks she’s cutting to all the local farmers to reinforce our mission and to make everyone feel good about supporting community.
Who inspires you? This sounds gratuitous, but honestly, my staff inspires me every day. Our dedicated management team, the cooks, the farmers, the innkeepers, the gardeners, the shopkeepers, the housekeepers, and everyone else on the farm. For example, we have a groundskeeper named Jesus Dominguez who has been here over thirty-five years. He pumps his fist every time he finishes even the smallest task and inspires everyone here about the value of hard work. Dominguez inspires me.
Left to right: Assistant Farm Shop Manager Treh Steffensen and Farm Shop Manager Stephen Humphry. Photo by Stephanie Cameron.
Why do you do what you do at Los Poblanos?
Where do you like to eat? What are your favorite foods?
I can give you the long mission-driven answer, but the truth is I love it. It’s my home.
I’m no different than any other New Mexican. I love New Mexico chile and love Pete Duran’s (the old name for Duran’s Central Pharmacy). But my wife is half Korean and I love the rustic simplicity and strange fermented flavors of Korean food. Ironically, many Koreans who make the best kimchi you can get are using Chimayó red chile. Koreans are the New Mexicans of Asia.
Why are local food and farms important?
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Being a sustainable farmer is the best way to be a good steward of the land, but I also think it keeps people grounded in their community and culture. If we’re doing it right, food, culture, and community are all inseparable.
Do you have any specific stories about the Farm Shop that reflect the heart of your work at Los Poblanos? Well, I think the thing that resonates the most with our guests is having this really pure agritourism experience, where they wake up and shower using our lavender products, eat breakfast with ingredients harvested that very morning, and then head to the Farm Shop, where Humphry and our staff can tell all these wonderful stories about the people and food of New Mexico. They are sort blown away and fall in love with New Mexico. That’s the ultimate reward for us!
Nearly a half a century of providing the ultimate Santa Fe dining experience...
Do you have anything else you'd like to share? We have some exciting future plans for the Farm Shop which might include a larger shop, a small bakery, and offering a larger selection of local foods. We plan to renovate the entire dairy barn complex, which will include expanding the production space for our lavender products and potentially a space for making small-batch food products. We’re essentially returning this historic dairy building back to its original intended use of agricultural production! 4803 Rio Grande Boulevard NW, Albuquerque 505-344-9297 www.lospoblanos.com
LUNCH • DINNER • BAR
Reservations: 505.982.4353 653 Canyon Road compoundrestaurant.com
photo: Kitty Leaken
Top: Lavender fields at Los Poblanos. Bottom: Farm Shop lavender display. Photos by Stephanie Cameron. WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
Second Street Brewery
BEST PUB An interview with brewmaster Rod Tweet and front of house manager Colleen Sager
What inspired you to open the brewery? Rod: When we started the brewery in 1996, the intention was, in addition to brewing our own beer and opening a restaurant, to create a place that locals would feel was their own. We opened in what was then a pretty obscure and off-beat location, so we knew we had to get it right. In the beginning we made mistakes and we were pretty naïve about lots of things, but in hindsight, I have to say that whatever we did, it worked. We are fortunate to have developed so much local support.
What do you love most about your work, as it relates to local food? Rod: With the locations we’re at in Santa Fe, we’re exposed to quite a few people who care about what they consume, and who grow or make food. As a business that makes food and makes beer, that is good for us. Colleen: I love the relationships we create by working with local farmers and other local businesses. I am related to the family who has provided us buffalo and yak meat since 2008. The woman who we buy tomatoes from brings us all extra fruit and veggies to enjoy personally, or as a special for the restaurant the next day. The farmers who we work with know the kitchen staff by name and always ask about their families, which I think is really special. We work with farmers who not only care about the product they are selling us, but they care about the people within the restaurant as well.
Who inspires you? Rod: My fellow colleagues in the brewing industry who have done things right, worked hard, made good beer, and had success with it. Colleen: Wow! There are so many people who inspire me. It goes without question that everyday I am inspired by everyone I work with at Second Street, either by their work ethic, their relaxed nature, the number of beers they can carry at once without spilling a drop. Three people come to mind—our brewer Rod [Tweet], our bookkeeper Gaby [Loy], and our new chef Milton [Villarrubia]. They work so hard that they motivate others around them effortlessly. Rod has earned respect in the brewing world and he’s a smart business man. Gaby is a goddess. I think everyone at Second Street would agree that she is one of the best things about Second Street. I know I couldn’t do my job without her. Milton’s passion for cooking is contagious. He 24
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Colleen Sager, front of house manager and Rod Tweet, brewmaster. Photo by Stephanie Cameron.
makes me want to get in the kitchen and cook, and I hate cooking! Who doesn’t want to work with people like this?
Where do you like to eat? What are your favorite foods? Rod: I really love Indian food, and being a pretty enthusiastic carnivore, I’m always interested in any local meat that is produced in the area—really good lamb and the bison that we get from LaMont’s (who has been using the spent grain from our brewery and feeding it to their bison since 2008). I still get excited about New Mexican food, too.
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Colleen: I love vegetables. I could live off them. I am always happy with a good salad. I buy artichokes and cook them at home at least once a week. I’m constantly snacking on celery, carrots, cucumber, and olives at the restaurant. It makes my day when Milton has brussels sprouts on the special menu. My go-to places to eat are Upper Crust Pizza and Saigon Café. I really like Sweetwater, but I don’t get there as often as I’d like.
Why do you do what you do at your restaurant / brewery? Rod: I still really love coming up with new beers, making beer, and the whole process. As a business, we’re always coming up with new ideas and evolving things. We’re lucky to have a lot of freedom here. I don’t think my job personally has been exactly the same two years in a row since the beginning. Colleen: I have fun with my job. It’s a lot of work and a lot of hours, but I love the people I work with, both inside and outside of the restaurant. I told my coworkers about a year ago, which was my first summer as the general manager, that the day I left Second Street without laughing, will be the day I quit. We all do a good job to make sure everyone has fun and laughs throughout the day. We all work hard, and we all have to work, so we might as well have fun doing it.
Bring The Grove to your next social or corporate gathering. Options range from classic antipasto platters and custom hors d’ oeuvres to fresh salads, boxed lunches, house english muffins and our signature sweets by the dozen.
505.248.9800 See our extensive catering menu @ www.thegrovecafemarket.com
600 Central Avenue SE, just west of I-25 in Albuquerque
Do you have any specific stories about Second Street that get at the heart of your work? Colleen: Everyone at Second Street is family—employees and customers alike. We love to celebrate accomplishments with each other. We are a shoulder to cry on. Earlier this year we had an employee who was very ill and missed quite a bit of work. The amount of support financially, emotionally, spiritually from staff and customers alike was amazing. There have been times that certain regulars haven’t shown up for a few days, so someone will call or stop by their house to make sure they are OK. I really couldn’t imagine a better place to work. I think we have done a great job of creating a place that locals feel is their own.
Cassie’s Fitness Boutique www.cassiesboutiquesantafe.com
E’S BOUTI SI
1814 Second Street, Santa Fe, 505-982-3030 1607 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe, 505-989-3278 www.secondstreetbrewery.com
S S AT T
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505 Cerrillos Rd, Downtown Santa Fe • 505-983-0647 | Park at Cerillos & Manhattan
at the chef's table
Modern Wild Edibles
FORAGED FOODS: A DAILY TREAT AT THE CURIOUS KUMQUAT By Katherine Mast · Photos by Stephanie Cameron
On a warm Thursday evening in midJune, most of the twelve tables at the Curious Kumquat in downtown Silver City are full. A solo waitress, trailed by another in training, sets a new fork diagonally at each seat every time she brings out a new dish, which number six on tonight’s Chef ’s Modern Foraged Tasting Menu. In the kitchen of 26
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the small converted house, Rob Connoley, working alone with two commercial-grade electric ovens, puts the finishing touch on a second course plate. He arranges a single petal from a pickled agave blossom atop a round slice of leek flanked by three short asparagus spears that sit on a small disk-shaped quinoa cake resting in a shallow wild cherry
soup. None of this is for decoration. “I don’t garnish at all,” Connoley tells me the next morning as we set out on a foraging hike. He nearly grimaces at the thought of superfluously sprinkling or drizzling his dishes for show. On his plates, “everything is where it needs to be.”
Most mornings, the James Beard Award nominee starts his sixteen-hour work day with a hike through one of several foraging spots, gathering ripe fruits, pollen, leaves, stems, and nuts to feature on his menu. He always takes his dog Lexi, a blue healer/blue tick mix, who is a quick study in the field and has learned to point out a variety of wild edibles. “I’ve never gone foraging without her,” he says. “I teach her something new each season.” This year, she learned to sniff out wild currants, which are abundant in late June as we hike. The currants border a towering stand of cattail, where Connoley collects bright yellow pollen and a few cattail stalks—plump with water and the smell and taste of cucumber. Access to both private and state lands that border the Gila National Forest—the country’s first protected wilderness area— are essential to Connoley’s work. Restaurant patrons from LA and New York sometimes urge him to relocate to their cities, but his location is paramount. “I couldn’t do this anywhere else,” says Connoley, in part because of the his strict foraging principles. Any wild food within sight of a road is off limits, as are locations downhill from asphalt or significant runoff. He also carefully follows ethical guidelines for foraging, harvesting from plentiful locations and taking only a small percent of the harvest available. Mostly he harvests plants with one major exception: crawfish. These semi-aquatic arthropods were introduced to southern New Mexico and are a troublesome invasive species. Each spring, Connoley strings nets across the Gila River to catch the pincered crustaceans, gathering up to ten pounds of meat in a day. Then, inspired by the cuisine of New Orleans, where he lived as an undergraduate, Connoley makes gumbo. Throughout his adult life, Connoley has worn many professional hats. He worked with Olympic athletes while obtaining a PhD in sports psychology, managed a va-
riety of nonprofits, and operated the specialty grocery store that eventually morphed into the current-day restaurant. But prior to opening the Curious Kumquat with his spouse, Tyler, Connoley had never worked a day in a commercial kitchen. Though he has no formal culinary training, Connoley has long had a passion for food, and variety guided his home cooking. In all the time they’ve been together, the Connoleys have never cooked the same dish twice. Instead, they subscribed to food magazines, cooking their way through each edition and through fine pastry cookbooks. The process introduced Connoley to a variety of techniques and flavors, building up the reserve of knowledge, creativity, and intuition he relies on now. An early local-food advocate, Connoley’s perspective changed after he bit into a locally grown greenhouse tomato that was every bit as bland and mealy as conventional grocery store tomatoes. Local was great, he realized, but not if it still sacrificed taste. Foraging wild foods is one way Connoley can have both. Another is to purchase meat from some of the most dedicated livestock providers around: 4-H kids. Dinner entrees feature 4-H lamb chops, locally raised rabbit, and New Mexico pork. The only meat he can’t source nearby is duck. Heralded in national publications from the New York Times to Saveur and Gastronomica, the Curious Kumquat draws tourists from around the country. Still, it’s a struggle to keep afloat in a town of ten thousand that’s “on the way to nowhere,” as Connoley says, when your philosophy is: This is what I found, this is what you’ll eat, and you might be surprised that you enjoyed it. “People around the country know about us, but locals don’t know I’m here,” he says. “It’s my ultimate issue.” 111 East College Avenue, Silver City 575-534-0337, www.curiouskumquat.com
Opposite page from top left clockwise: Rob Connoley; early cattail salad with foraged pickled currant; Connoley gathering cattail pollen; pea panna cotta with house-cured nineteen-month ham; Connoley foraging cattails; and wild cherry soup with quinoa cake and foraged pickled agave blossom.
EL MORRO , NEW MEXICO
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ANCIENT WAY CAFE & EL MORRO RV PARK AND CABINS 505-783-4612, firstname.lastname@example.org www.elmorro-nm.com Visit our Website for Monthly Dinner Menu Creative Casual Cuisine. Hike El Morro National Monument, Local Art at the Old School Gallery.
CABIN AND DINNER FOR TWO $110 INCLUDE A WOLF FEEDING AND TOUR $65
WILD SPIRIT WOLF SANCTUARY 505-775-3304, email@example.com Daily Tours 11-3:30 pm, Tuesday - Sunday wildspiritwolfsanctuary.org • Find us on Facebook Lodging, food available, feeding tours.
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Nestled among the pines at the baseWWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM of San Lorenzo Mesa.
Looking for Elk on the Divide By Rachel Shockley · Photos by Jeremy Shockley
Rachel Shockley hunts on the Continental Divide.
If it is true that what we see depends on what we look for and how we look—as William C. Johnson Jr. points out in his book about Henry David Thoreau—then what drives me to the woods is a desire to see more than I’m seeing and to find more than I’m finding. For this reason, I picked up a rifle for the first time and hunted elk along the Continental Divide northwest of Cuba, New Mexico, where the high desert meets pine forest. I signed up to hunt elk neither for blood sport (I’m afraid to kill animals) nor because I must have the meat (I often buy meat at the store). What I need, and I feel that I might die if I do not get, is to remove the ever-multiplying glowing screens of digital devices from my eyes. Devices that demand my time, and get so much more. I need 28
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to use my body, as an animal might; what I need I can barely describe, but I know it intrinsically. I thought I might find what I was searching for in the landscape. But I knew the only way to make sure I’d actually get out there is if I set a date, invited my husband Jeremy, and paid more than a hundred dollars for the privilege. Even then, when my hunt rolled around nearly six months after I put in for the big game draw, I was slow to move. I missed two of the five allotted hunt days, one day to rigging and travel and one day to work. But when Jeremy and I arrived, caravanning to my hunt unit after dark, his Toyota truck almost barreled into a bull elk large enough to
stop your heart. The elk and his harem were crossing the last paved road, and Jeremy swung his headlights around to get a better look. We got out of our vehicles and watched the herd melt into the darkness and sage, steam from our breath making clouds in the cold night. New Mexico has very large elk, which run in enormous herds in both the north and the south of the state. New Mexico Department of Game and Fish maps of Core Occupied Elk Range show that numbers of these legendary animals rove in Northern New Mexico just south of the Colorado border, both to the east and the west of the Jicarilla Apache Nation. During the big game draw application process, I noticed that 5A—the unit I hunted—was located south of this promising area and abutting the Jicarilla Apache lands, where hunters pay thousands of dollars for a chance at the trophy-sized bulls found there. I also saw that in the past not many hunters had chosen this unit, improving the drawing odds. I selected what I thought was a sure bet for filling my freezer and for winning the draw, a five-day antlerless elk tag on public land only. The one drawback was that 5A is made up mostly of private land, which I would not be allowed to hunt. This should have been the least of my worries, considering I’d never killed an animal larger than a chicken. In the morning as I prepared to hunt our first day, I struggled with Jeremy’s Winchester .30-06, jamming a long cold cartridge in the bolt action as I began to load it. Jeremy requested the gun, effortlessly ejected the cartridge, and reloaded four rounds, each snapping into place with finality. I hoped I’d only need one. Birds and squirrels chattered around me as I walked with the heavy weapon pointing toward the ground. We moved without speaking up a steep two-track road into the ponderosa. I’d never hiked with a gun and my pack was weighty with new things such as game bags for raw meat, a hunting knife for gutting and skinning, and a borrowed shooting stick to rest the rifle on in a treeless area. I wore a blaze orange vest and hat to make me look less like an elk to other hunters as I sneaked through the woods. Jeremy pointed out cloven hoof prints belonging to elk here and there. We left the road for a game trail with fresh prints in the fine black dirt, and followed it to the crest of the ridge and along the dry lip. We picked up another stronger track weaving between pinon and juniper on the opposite side of the ridge and followed it for a short distance. The trail widened until we could stand abreast inside it, deep hoof marks overlapping each other, revealing the size and number of the nearby herd. I smelled the reek of urine and wild animal. Intermittent paths branched left and down into a steep gully full of giant sage and tall grass. We followed one onto the soft sod below and I sidled around bogs and rivulets, as we worked our way up and then down the gully, the smell of sage in the air. This is what I was seeking as much as the elk themselves. This is how I was looking. WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
Queen of Bees
GATHERING LIGHT (FROM MANY FLOWERS) By Melanie Kirby · Photos by Stephanie Cameron
Melanie Kirby and her bees in the mountains of Truchas.
his year marks the humble ten-year anniversary of Zia Queenbees Farm & Field Institute (ZQB). Mark Spitzig and I, Melanie Kirby, the founders of ZQB, describe ourselves as nectar nomads, followers of the bloom. We are a collaborative company dedicated to producing the highest quality beekeeping products and services through sustainable and conscientious care of our hives and the surrounding landscape. More specifically, we offer exceptional queen bees, starter nuclei, assembled hive boxes, varietal honeys, pollination services, and community education about the wonders of beekeeping. Ours is a practical approach; our project networks area beekeepers for developing a regional and hearty, quality honeybee stock suitable to our diverse high-altitude southwestern climates and ecologies. New Mexico and neighboring states are home to vast ranges and mesas, valleys, canyons, and high plains. The Rocky Mountains provide high-desert, alpine, and valley riparian ecosystems. Honeybees that can survive the intensity of each season within our regions provide their genetics and should be propagated. As landless bee farmers, our process is dependent on what, where, 30
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and when stewards (farmers) plant. Providing pollination services to a variety of cultivated and wild landscapes, our bees keep dancing and help to grow food to feed the many, from the farms to the forest lands. This demands gracious interaction, and it is this interaction that gathers and nurtures community. It begins with the Zia sun. Its light radiates warm, nutritive particles of energizing spirit upon our enchanted lands. This light inspires growth from plants and, over time, gives them the courage to bloom. Composed of petals and life growing capacities, they transfer this radiant energy through nectars and pollen, inspiring the birth of seeds, each with its unique and resilient story. These stories, all shaped by Mother Nature and Father Time, nurture people, societies, cultures, and traditions. The illuminating stories of seeds wait to be told every year. And to be told, they need stewards and many six-legged bailadores to dance among their flowers. The seeds in turn, must face imminent challenges—braving the rough and rugged topography of our high desert. They awake to blustery springs, through matinee monsoons, brisk autumns, and alpine winters. Anticipation of this grand ball beckons us to engage by collecting, planting, and nurturing seeds.
Farmers • Families • Communities
We like to work in farming because it is our own business. It’s difficult to work under the intense sun, but the best part is going to the market. We enjoy the fruits that the land gives us." Nos gusta trabajar en agricultura porque es un negocio propio. Es difícil trabajar bajo el sol intenso, pero la mejor parte es ir a la marketa. Disfrutamos las frutas que nos da la tierra."
Photo and caption by Jose Antonio Serrano, Family Farms Photo courtesy of Farm to Frame, a project of La Familia Medical Center
Bring the Harvest Home www.FarmersMarketsNM.org
Melanie Kirby raising her queen bees. Over fifteen hundred queens are produced per season at ZQB.
As stewards, we nurture seed growth for the food which provides nourishment for body and mind and for carrying on the cycles of life. As the bees weave pollen ribbons from the desert mesas and wind it through the world's largest cottonwood forest sweeping through the bosque up to brush the alpine meadows and vegas, we stewards watch in fascination and express gratitude to this light and life giving choreography. The bees—as beings of light—come together and create greater incandescence by capturing sweet nectars. And we—also as beings of light—savor and revere the fruits of their efforts, their honey. This gathering of cosmic energy helps us to recognize that we are seeds too, carrying stories to be passed from one generation to another as cultural customs, cultivation traditions, and harvests. This gathering informs a definition of community and flavor; it highlights the gathering of ingredients which chefs then craft into aroma and flavor. It takes a community of bees, a colony. And it also takes a community to raise those bees. And for that, we would like to thank all the communities and stewards who support local pollinator propagation by hosting hives and farming forage for these fuzzy six-legged beings of light. In addition to providing pollination services, ZQB follows a simple Mother Nature Tested-Father Time Approved motto. By allowing the seasons and time to purify and fortify the blessings of our enchanted landscapes, ZQB specializes in survivor stock bee propagation, adhering to a treatment-free process through biomimicry. Through this niche, ZQB has made a small but resilient name 32
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for itself locally and globally. Additional services include consilience-based research (multidisciplinary), educational outreach, and pure and raw hive products for health and wellness. With gratitude to everyone who has planted gardens and flowers, and hosted hives, we look forward to the next ten years of bee farming. We are beginning to collaborate with some of the finer restaurants and chefs who will transform and translate our bees’ precious gifts for inquisitive palettes. This year includes collaborations with Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs’ farmer Mark DeRespinis and chef Paul Novak, as well as a Sustainable Sunday Series presentation at The Bavarian Lodge & Restaurant in Taos Ski Valley. ZQB invites interested, experienced beekeepers to participate in developing a hearty, regional stock of honeybees that are adapted to the rigorous climates and ecosystems of the Southwest and the Rocky Mountains by sharing their prize stock for Survivor CrossStock genetic pool development. We also invite farmers to learn more about our pollination services and chefs to taste the bounty from these fields. The transformation from seed to flower to fruit to cuisine is a taste of the creativity that the Zia sun inspires. Through the four directions and seasons, from day to night and from infancy to eldership, we all gather light that glows brighter with each healthy feast. Que viva las abejas! Long live the bees! www.ziaqueenbees.com
GROWN, HARVESTED AND
” ! e n e b a i g n a “M F R O M M Y FA M I LY TO YO U R S
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S U N D AY S 1 0 - 2
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Among the Silent Brothers TAKING A LLAMA TO LUNCH WITH STUART WILDE AND WILD EARTH LLAMA ADVENTURES By Darren A. Raspa · Photos by Stephanie Cameron
Edible flowers—dandelions, wild violets, and wild parsley— foraged while taking a llama to lunch with Stuart Wilde. 34
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et’s all gather by the river.” Our guide hunches over the sandy shores of the creek. The granite canyon walls hum with the rushing water and leaves dance with the wind. The silent brothers—seven llamas—watch us from afar. Deep blue sky and billowing white clouds reflect in their eyes. “Are you ready?” he asks, craning his neck to squint up at me.
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I nod. “Well then, get down here.” The ice-cold mountain runoff bites at my scalp and runs frosty rivulets over my face as I take the leap. Shocked, I look at my guide. He looks back at me, laughter rising in both our chests as he dunks his worn felt hat in the river and splashes it over his own head. This is a welcome reward for the miles we have just ascended in the Columbine Hondo Wilderness, forty-five thousand acres of unrivalled alpine beauty in a basin of Taos County’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The guide, a boisterously earnest, pony-tailed, humor-filled prospector of wild edible and medicinal plants (and the occasional gold dust panned in the creek with a plastic frisbee) will eagerly tell you all about the natural history, ecology, and geology of the land he obviously loves.
Our Patio is open! Oyster Bar and Small Plates Friday-Saturday 4:30-6:00PM Lunch on the Patio Tuesday-Saturday 11:30am-2pm
But what Stuart Wilde—owner and operator of Wild Earth Llama Adventures—is reticent to share is that, along with New Mexico senators Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall, he was influential in the movement that motivated President Obama’s designation of this area as a federally protected wilderness late last year. The area is only a fraction of the acres designated as protected in the mountains, canyons, grasslands, and forests of his beloved Land of Enchantment. Part backwoods guide, wilderness first responder, educator, comedian, edible plant foraging expert, husband to “a very patient lady,” and dad of two human boys and dozens of rescued llamas, Wilde loves his job, and exudes an enthusiasm that’s contagious to those who participate in one of his extraordinary overnight or day trips. The day’s adventure, which Wilde described as a Take a Llama to Lunch excursion, began hours earlier. “I coined the term Take a Llama to Lunch over twenty years ago when I first started these trips,” Wilde says as we load the deer-like animals with panniers containing all our gear for the day. “But then I realized it was really you taking the llamas to their lunch. They’re the first foodies, man…they love to eat!” And as the llamas stop to forage throughout the day, Wilde takes these moments as teaching opportunities to instruct the group in the splendid panoply of edible and medicinal plants in the environment around us. Wilde encourages the entire group to participate in the preparation and loading, and as we do so a low “hum” fills the mountain air with a serene, almost eerie sound. Wilde laughs. “Hear that? Awesome.” This low hum is the vocalization of the seven assembled llamas, a uniquely calming emanation. The thickly furred animals look like some wondrous fantasy creature ambling through the pages of Dr. Seuss, but hold their heads high with a dignity born through WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
Left to right: Taking a llama to lunch, a llama-alpaca cross breed chillin' on the trail, and lunch with foraged edible flowers.
a millennia-old relationship with people. As Wilde explains, llamas descended from the North American camel and were domesticated by the Quechua in the Andean highlands when construction of the pyramids at Giza lay a thousand years in the future. They are one of the oldest domesticated animals on the planet and the only large domesticated mammal native to the Americas. Three million years had passed since a camel species roamed North America when William Randolph Hearst first shipped llamas and their more delicate, wool-bearing alpaca cousins from the highlands of South America to the United States in the 1920s. He added them to his exotic zoo in San Simeon, California. Private parties soon began purchasing the offspring of Hearst’s llamas and alpacas, the great-great-great-grandfathers of our new foraging friends. Wilde beams at his boys. “Yeah, they’re all boys,” he explains after a question from the group regarding if there were any girl llamas in his hiking herd. “If you throw a female in the hiking group, they’ll all go nuts.” “They may be muy macho,” Wilde smiles and squints as he helps my wife and me load our llama, “but llamas are the only large domesticated mammals that have never been used for agriculture or warfare.” Our llama for the day, Seamus, groans in approval. Unlike the other llamas—K2, Zephyr, Apollo, Bucky, Diego, and Pichu—Seamus does not hum, but emits a low guttural sound not unlike an old man clearing his throat. One possible explanation may be he’s been tasked with carrying the group’s pooper-scooper for the day. “As a wilderness educator, I teach leave no trace.” And indeed, throughout the journey Wilde fastidiously halts the team to brush llama pellets from the hiking trail, constantly emphasizing, “These
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guys are really a low-impact, tread-lightly pack animal. As a group we’ll leave more impact on the trail than these guys ever could.” Wilde is constantly moving, making sure the group—both humans and llamas—are happy and safe. He strides to human-llama pairings and calls out to make sure everyone is cared for and enjoying themselves. “How you doing, Bree?” he asks my wife who, like many of the participants, finds herself unable to avoid the implacable urge to hug the curved, furry neck of her llama. “Great!” she responds. The llama are perfectly designed for high-altitude work. Their padded feet allow them to navigate sharp granite outcroppings far better than any hoofed animal could ever dream, and their heavy, come-hither lashes above their watching eyes bat away the dust and grime carried by the howling winds of the Andes—and Sangre de Cristos—that often plague the montane environment thousands of feet above sea level, the llamas’ natural habitat. These seven llamas come from a herd of a few dozen that Wilde and his wife, Leah, (who manages the company from their office), have rescued over the past two-and-a-half decades. Llamas are cute. Yet, this same attractive quality often leads to their undoing, as wayward owners are chronically guilty of investing in a llama for a couple years before growing tired of an often aloof species that tends to live upwards of thirty years. This is when they call the Wildes. “Because these guys have all come from various situations as rescues they have different personalities,” Wilde says. “Some of them
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are grumpy and offish…I’ve come to love them all for their little quirky personality traits.” Suddenly Wilde stops dead in his tracks and runs to the side of the trail lined by aspen and birch. He points out wild strawberries, then a clematis flower, then a wild oregano plant. He takes a piece and urges the rest of the group to follow suit and to take care not to disturb the roots of the plant. It has a high, sharp flavor that would be delightful in a light Italian dish. I watch as the eyes of the group members light up as they sample the wild edible. “Oregano is miracle medicine,” Wilde says between chomps. “Holy trinity of medicinals. It’s anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial.” We continue to find morsels along the way, many of which go into our fresh wild salad at lunch. Between munching on dandelions (the flower of which is surprisingly flavorful and the root of which herbalists often prescribe for liver problems) and other goodies we find along the trail, Wilde takes the time to describe the rich geological and cultural history of the area. We learn about the General Mining Law of 1872 as he points out a rocky mound of debris, the tailings of decades of extractive industry in the area which is now protected as designated wilderness. The day’s lessons are endless. When a group member stumbles upon a piece of sulfur rock, Wilde take it as an opportunity to launch into a historical tale about the infamous Hernán Cortés running out of gunpowder during his vicious conquest of the Aztec and his sending two luckless conquistadores into the mouth of a live volcano to fetch three-hundred pounds of sulfur in order to reload his guns. A stand of hemlock along the creek spurs Wilde to tell us the story of noble Socrates choosing the poisonous plant for his public execution for the long, ugly death he knew it would produce. Why? To send a very public message to the gathered assembly who had convicted Darren Raspa and Stuart Wilde.
him of opening the minds of the Greek city-state’s youth. He shows us the dogwood used by the forebears of the local Pueblos to fashion their arrows. Then he points out the standing aspen covered in ocularesque cavities and referred to as “the watchers” by the area’s ancestral inhabitants. As Wilde brushes the sides of the aspens with his hands and a white powder issues forth, he also informs us the powder contains salicylic acid, an active ingredient in aspirin. “Some people are tree huggers,” Wilde says ambling over to and embracing an aspen. “I’m a tree licker!” We all stare as he licks the tree. “Got a headache? This’ll take care of it quick!” In addition to history and wild foraging lessons, Wilde is also a trained chef. The lunch he serves is delectable, though almost secondary to all we have learned—and eaten—throughout the day. Wilde has made us so familiar with the edible and medicinal plants of the Columbine Hondo that we all participate in foraging around our lunch site beside the river (following our mountain baptism) for the elements that go into our salad and sandwiches. Kalamata olives (in honor of the ill-fated Socrates) join sweet red peppers, mixed greens, edible wild violets, parsley, and dandelions. Dried craisins and pecans enliven pesto and herb and garlic cream cheese. The llama lunch is delicious, but the clouds that threatened earlier now loom with imminent downpour. Wilde and I work to string a tarp over the lunch site by the creek and prepare for a quick evacuation, if necessary. But as it turns out, Wilde, and all of us, apparently have another storm preparation device at our disposal. Once again, Wilde gathers the group. “We can make a little umbrella and push the storm.” He looks up. “Using consciousness.” We all look up with him. “As a fan of quantum mechanics, where science meets spirit and where the laws of physics become muddy, scientists find that the missing ingredient is consciousness, the uncertainty principle.” We listen, our attention rapt. “Part of the deal with experiments is that the outcome of the experiment is often biased by the expectations of the observer.” Many of us have started to pack our bags, waiting for the storm to burst, which has already begun to drop a light rain. Unhurried and serene, Wilde continues his reverie. “There’s a great quote from [eighteenth-century German writer] Goethe that says when you commit to something
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of his trips to become a steward of their land, wherever in the world that may be. Judging by the euphoria in the group upon our descent, it seems to be working. Like all good things, the llama adventure must come to an end. Only now do we notice that the storm that had so menacingly darkened the sky has completely disappeared, revealing the deep blue skies of our truly enchanting land. Wilde laughs and looks up with us. “Right on, guys. Good job on your mental umbrellas!”
Stuart Wilde giving us a lesson in foraged edibles.
with every essence of your being, the universe conspires with you to complete the picture.” He looks each one of us in the eye. “So we’re making an umbrella, people, we’re pushing the storm to the other canyon over!” We all smile, gather our gear, and untie our llamas. Our return trip down the mountain is laced with Wilde speaking German and French as he relates the names of edible plants along the trail to plants that might exist in the backyards of the tourists who come from across the country and around the world to join one of his expeditions. His goal is to encourage everyone who comes on one
As the group mournfully bids goodbye to new llama friends, our resident wilderness guide, ecologist, educator, chef, and cloud-dissolver leans contentedly against his trailer with a bumper sticker on it that reads “Spit happens,” in reference the salival projectiles the llamas are prone to shoot at one another when making a point. Wilde sweeps any trace of the llamas—and us—from the parking lot around the trailer. “I see folks from all walks of life and all different kinds of homes, so I am as respectful and encouraging about beliefs and the outdoors and wild foraging as possible.” A grin appears under Wilde’s trademark, wide-brimmed felt hat. “But I’m just a guy with llamas, what do I know?” As it turns out, and as you’ll learn if you’re lucky enough to go on one of his Wild Earth Adventures, this llama guy knows quite a lot. 800-758-5262, Taos, www.llamaadventures.com
The Wild, the Intimate, and the Rio Grande Cuisine Shuffle By Willy Carleton
n a Monday evening at Bookworks this past spring, chef and food writer Dan Barber challenged a small group of restaurateurs, farmers, chefs, and other food-lovers to rethink their local cuisine. The increased attention on local farms in New Mexico is good but not nearly good enough, Barber insisted. To help build a robust local food economy, we need to do more than simply grow and buy heirloom tomatoes. We need to think about how to cook the grains that farmers grow as cover crops; we need to think about how to re-fashion food waste into delicious meals; and we need to deepen the ecological and economic nuance behind the ways we talk about and celebrate our local food. We need more than an agricultural shift; we need a cultural one. As a farmer who has grown a variety of different crops at different scales in New Mexico over the past seven years, Barberâ€™s talk inspired me. I appreciated his challenge to take more responsibility for my growing practices and crop choices and, partly as a result, decided to plant more perennials and more winter storage crops this season. Yet, increasingly in the days following his talk, my mind drifted beyond the farm fields to one facet of our local cuisine that Barber did not mention: wild food. Over the years, wild food has brought mystery, adventure, joy, nutrition, a more keen understanding of ecosystems, and a deeper sense of place into my life. And yet it often does not receive as much 40
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attention as farmed food in the local food discussion. Wild food, of course, will never obviate the need for farmed food, but what benefits, beyond basic sustenance, do wild foods provide that we should factor into the Rio Grande cuisine equation? As I considered this question, two particular wild foods sprang to mind with very different growing requirements, cultural meanings, and culinary history in New Mexico: wild mushrooms and wild greens. Wild greens, ubiquitous and weedy, represent an opportunity to supplement daily meals spring through fall as a nutritive and less resource-intensive staple. Wild mushrooms, elusive and often scarce, represent an occasional opportunity to explore and perhaps transform a meal from good to exquisite. Both, by providing a way for New Mexicans to know their landscape more intimately and to rethink the food it bears, can play important, complementary roles in our regional diet.
Eat Your Quelites Look closely in your yard and chances are you will find some quelites. If you pick the tender leaves at the tips, which will grow back in a week or so, and cook them like spinach or kale, chances are, too, that you will think twice the next time you tower over that plant with a hoe. Quelitesâ€”humble and delicious, and packed with vitamin C
and polyphenols—are one of the best options for a summer cooked green when many cultivated greens wither or bolt in the dog days. Quelites have been an important part of the diet in New Mexico for millennia and, over the past century, have remained significant to traditional Hispanic and Native cuisine. The state’s first horticulturalist, Dr. Fabian Garcia, for example, understood their cultural significance and went as far as to incorporate them into his research experiments at the state college in the early twentieth century. A few decades later, in an undated speech entitled New Mexican Cultural Foods, famed New Mexican home economist and food writer Fabiola Cabeza de Baca lists them as a traditional food particularly high in vitamin C and as just as much a part of New Mexican cuisine as chile, pinto beans, potatoes, or corn. A cookbook a few years later reports that quelites were once sold “by the bushel” in New Mexican markets; and in 1984 New Mexico Magazine related a family recipe from Nambé that involved frying quelites in butter and adding them to pinto beans, pulverized jerky, and some sprinkled red chile. Throughout the twentieth century, quelites sprout up on the fringe of the archival record of New Mexico’s culinary history like the plants themselves on the edges of the field. Today, look closely and you’ll find quelites not only in your yard but perhaps even at your farmers market. Yet, not many farmers opt to bring them to market, and relatively few chefs demand them. As a plant that requires little water and agricultural inputs (in fact, the chief input it requires is just the basic, initial soil disturbance of tilling the ground), quelites also represent a sensible growing opportunity with a smaller carbon- and water-footprint than most local plants. The lack of quelites in many of our diets is not an agricultural problem, but a cultural one. More farmers encouraging quelites in their fields, more market shoppers looking for it, and more chefs demanding it would all represent small steps in the direction Dan Barber has challenged us to head.
Forager's Pang Last summer somewhere in Northern New Mexico, after a full day of crisscrossing steep slopes, wading across streams, and examining the shadows beneath countless rocks, I spotted, in the speckled light beneath a towering ponderosa pine, a large white mushroom poking through the pine needles. It closely resembled the type of mushroom—Boletus edulus—that I had been searching for, but it had a grayish white cap instead of a maroon cap. Little did I know I had just stumbled upon one of New Mexico’s most elusive and most delicious treasures. New Mexico has a deep, though liminal and largely untold, tradition of mushroom hunting. Immigrants and migrants have often been the most avid mushroom hunters. Artifacts that point to the cultural importance of mushroom hunting in New Mexico’s recent history are few but telling. A photograph from the 1940s, for example, shows a group of Italian immigrants pausing in their mushroom hunt for a roadside picnic in the Jemez Mountains;
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Italian Mushroom Hunters, circa 1945. Members of Albuquerque's Italian-American community hunting for wild mushrooms in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico. Photo courtesy of Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico.
small statues of porcini mushrooms prominently rest on the mantle in Georgia O’Keefe’s house in Abiquiu. Countless people have traversed New Mexico’s mountainsides in search of fungal treasure, but nearly all have left little or no historical footprint in the process. One notable exception, however, is amateur New Mexican mushroom hunter Charles “Chuck” Barrows. It turns out the large white-capped mushroom I found last summer was a White King bolete—Boletus barrowsii—and is named after Barrows. A charismatic mushroom enthusiast who later helped found the New Mexico Mycological Society in the 1980s, Barrows sent the previously unknown mushroom to university scientists to identify in the early 1970s. The White King bolete, a rarely tasted gem of the New Mexico mountains, grows only in the greater North American West, primarily in the US Southwest, and its flavor ranks highest among the boletes.
more immediately on the climate. Once one has experienced the joy of coming across a mountainside shimmering with chanterelles, an intense disappointment develops when, year after year, those mushrooms no longer appear. Yet while some wild foods, in their disappearance, help us feel the pang of climate change more keenly, other wild foods—the drought tolerant ones—provide a small but responsible reaction to that pang. Substituting a bowl of California-grown chard for a bowl of quelites and purslane from your front yard not only might make your dinner more interesting and even tastier, it represents a small act of drought relief. Whether foraging the front yard or a remote mountain valley, wild foods can not only supplement our diets in ways that make our bodies healthier and our meals taste better, they can help forge a more intimate knowledge and appreciation of both the abundance and fragility of the world that surrounds us.
The White King bolete, sauteed to a golden crisp in butter, was indeed delectable, but was it worth it? I drove hours and sustained minor dehydration for that mushroom. In fact, more often than not, mushroom hunting is arduous, inconvenient, and even scary. The chase for mushrooms has at various times left me miles from a road in fierce summer monsoons; eye to eye with a bear; disoriented in seemingly endless miles of deadfall timber; and generally cold, hungry, and exhausted. And yet those experiences have a lot to do with why they taste so good, and why I go in the first place. The promise of a mushroom takes me off trail like nearly nothing else, and off the trail is where the secrets of the mountain dwell. The value of personally wildcrafted foods goes beyond the mystery, adventure, and joy they can provide. Wild foods can provide a valuable, though painful, awareness of ecological stress. Without the farmer’s tools to manipulate the environment, the forager depends 42
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Oyster mushrooms and chanterelles
itâ€™s closer than you think.. Local ingredients, served locally. We seek out the freshest, seasonal organic produce, meats and fish. Then we serve it up with flair and attentive service right in your neighborhood. Join locals supporting locals. Deliciously.
OLD TOWN ALBUQUERQUE 505.766.5100 www.seasonsabq.com
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Gordon's Grafts PRESERVING THE HERITAGE OF NORTHERN NEW MEXICO APPLES By Mark DeRespinis
Tooley's apple varieties from top left, counter-clockwise: Almata, Lobo, Northwestern Greening, Macoun, Hidden Rose, and Black Oxford. Photos by Margaret Yancey.
he trip to Tooley’s Trees feels like a pilgrimage. After climbing eight miles on the High Road to Taos past the turn-off for the Sanctuario de Chimayó, you find the nursery perched on a gently sloping piece of land in the foothills, with the towering Truchas Peaks to the east and glimpses across the valley below to Pedernal in the west. Here, for the last twenty-three years, Gordon
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Tooley and his wife Margaret Yancey have grown and sold droughtand alkalinity-tolerant trees, while they established a living legacy of a diverse polyculture orchard that supports a staggering variety of fruit trees, including pears, plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, and over two hundred varieties of apples.
I met Tooley standing amid a sea of native perennial grasses and flowering legumes, a permanent ground cover that provides a season-long nectary for the bees. By late May when I visited, they had already done their work on the fruit trees such that we could gaze appreciatively on a fine crop of baby Blue Pearmain apples hanging inconspicuously on a precisely pruned apple tree nearby. “That’s the genetic bank. That is the real bank right there. That’s the World Bank,” says Tooley of the trees that grow in the permanent orchard rows, which alternate with rows of trees bagged for sale. Tooley explains that a scion, or section of first-year apple wood about the diameter of a pencil, can be taken from any one of the trees in the orchard, grafted to a rootstock, and grown out to be a perfect copy of the original tree. Since apples don’t come true from seed, this practice of grafting was the means by which an incredible diversity of apples were propagated, planted, and treasured by generations. Often the named varieties were discovered in seedling plantings for hard cider and singled out for their fresh eating qualities, their saucing, their ability to keep through the winter, or their way of holding up in a pie. “Every one of these plants has a story, an origin. People for a couple of centuries knew what they had and they never lost track of what they had,” Tooley says. That was why, at the height of this country’s apple renaissance in the nineteenth century there were fourteen thousand catalogued varieties of apples grown and eaten in North America alone. Over half of these have been forever lost. Born in Kansas and raised in Cimarron, New Mexico, Tooley grew up exploring and picking in the old orchards of the Philmont Scout Ranch, where his father worked. Years later, after learning the art of grafting, he returned to that vast land grant property to begin what has become a twenty-year relationship of revitalizing the orchards there, gathering and grafting scion wood from old and dying trees. Often, he returns three years later with a load of trees, replanting them so that they can live another century and their genetics and special qualities can be preserved. Many of these trees haven’t even been identified yet. “You never get tired of getting a clue, and driving and finding this tree that has one sprig of life left…and you’re like ‘I don’t know what it is, but we’re gonna take a cutting from this because it’s gonna be dead tomorrow.’” Tooley thrives on this quest to identify apples in these historical orchards, sometimes waiting years for an old tree to produce fruit, or growing out an unidentified tree to maturity to see the type of apple it produces. Then, with apple in hand, the real work of this Malus Private Eye begins, pulling out his hallowed 1905 first edition of Apples of New York which boasts meticulously rendered botanical illustrations and detailed scientific descriptions of eight hundred apples from that time. He describes this book as a kind of codex of apple varieties: “It has the whole taxonomy of dissecting an apple, the lateral cut and the transverse cut, looking at the basin and the cavity, the stem length, the shoulders and the bumps and the russeting and the netting and the seed arrangements in the core.” Tooley has brought this investigative acuity to bear on a number of pomological prizes in the old orchards of Northern New Mexico, finding such varied
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Left to right: Mark DeRespinis and Gordon Tooley at sunset in Tooley's orchard, Golden Russet apple graft. Photos by Stephanie Cameron.
treasures as the Baldwin, Duchess of Oldenburg, Yellow Bellflower, and Summer Rambo. The history of apples in Northern New Mexico mirrors the migration of people to and through the state, as settlers put down roots, planting trees wherever they settled. The Spanish brought fruit trees, such as peaches, apricots, and seedling apples, up the Camino Real as early as the seventeenth century. Peaches at Hopi and Zuni Pueblo derive from these migrations. In the nineteenth century, many named apple varieties that were discovered in the frontier seedling orchards of Johnny Appleseed made their way along the Santa Fe and the Mormon Trails to be planted here as US settlers moved west. Many of these historic varieties, which in some cases were planted over a century ago, are still alive but dying from old age or neglect. For this reason, Tooley's orchard revitalization work is that much more important, taking scion wood from what remains of historical orchards at Philmont Ranch, Chase Ranch, the Audubon Center in Santa Fe, and from smaller family orchards around the state, grafting them, and often replanting them back in their original locations. He described gathering scion wood from trees originally planted by such significant New Mexico historical figures as Bishop Lamy and Jesus Abreu, and receiving wood to graft with from Burl Ives’ orchard in Galisteo. He maps and records his efforts so the historical integrity of those original frontier orchards is not lost. Tooley walked me down to show me his nursery bed, one of nine on the farm, where hundreds of second-year grafts grow, on their way to being sold as bare root trees the following spring or planted in fabric root bags for sale throughout the summer and fall. The three foot tall whips bear tags with names that identify the tree by its location of origin: Philmont Ranch #7, Rayado Valley #12, or Chase 46
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Ranch – West Barn Door. Other tags boast distinctively monikered apples from around the country and the world, such as Zabergau Reinette, Sops of Wine, Tolman Sweet, Black Oxford, Winter Redflesh, Ribston Pippin, Tompkins County King, Geeveston Fanny, and Pitmaston Pineapple. Yancey informed me that they have sold over ten thousand of these heritage and heirloom apple trees, in addition to thousands of other fruit trees, habitat trees, and shrubs over the years, to be planted all over the region: in backyards, farms, schools and in town parks. You can find Tooley’s trees in Alamosa’s Rio Grande Healthy Living Park and Taos’ Parr Field, public orchards that increasingly demonstrate our region’s civic commitment to sustainability and appreciation of our botanical heritage. Looking ahead, with New Mexico’s burgeoning hard cider industry, Tooley affirms his readiness to supply a new generation of cider orchards with classic varieties to help distinguish their ferments. Diversity is the backbone of the new food movement emerging in Northern New Mexico, around the country and around the world. We recognize with growing poignancy the legacy of diversity that has survived the rise of industrial agriculture, and the accompanying call to preserve this diversity while restoring a culture that nurtures and savors its many flavors, textures, and ingredients. Walking past ranks of apple trees, rows of cherries, plums, apricots, and pears, as well as hawthornes, roses, currants, chokeberries, conifers of all kinds, perennial groundcover plants, comfrey and nettles, it is evident that this diversity thrives at Tooley’s Trees. As nurseryman, fruit-tree detective, itinerant grafter, and resident guru of holistic orcharding, Gordon Tooley is a regional treasure whose knowledge and trees will be bearing fruit throughout the region for many years to come. Truchas, 505-689-2400, www.tooleystrees.com
Meeting Needs with Gleaning and Seeds By Eric Payseur · Photos by Leslie Davis
Left to right: Heads Up Landscaping crew gleaned over two thousand pounds in one day, Eagle Scouts gleaning apple trees.
movement is growing in North America to change the food delivery model in food banks to better meet needs in urban communities. Named Not Far from the Tree; Yes, In My Backyard; and, here in New Mexico, Roadrunner Food Bank’s partner, Seed2Need, these non-profit organizations or programs challenge the notion of a food bank as a place to receive only non-perishable food items. The movement incorporates community gardens, creates community food hubs, and offers a full range of community programming around food, which includes gardening, nutrition, cooking, and gleaning. Not Far from the Tree started in Toronto, Canada, in 2008, with what they call a win-win-win solution. Homeowners who cannot or do not want to harvest the fruit from their backyard trees contact the organization who then sends a volunteer team to harvest. One-third of the harvested produce goes to the homeowner (if wanted), onethird to the volunteers, and the last third to local food banks, shelters, or community kitchens. Similarly, in 2010, Yes, In My Backyard (YIMBY) became a program of The Stop Community Food Center in Toronto, who since the 1980s has been the Canadian pioneer of changing the model of food pantries to comprehensive, communitybased, social justice-focused food centers. 48
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Having seen these organizations’ work first hand, I was pleased to learn Roadrunner Food Bank is attuned to the benefits of gleaning. They try to get gleaning to a manageable level, given the resources they currently have. Penny Davis and Seed2Need, Davis’s brainchild, in Corrales is spearheading these initiatives. She is a retired accountant and Master Gardener who started the initiative in 2009 with her family and with the support of the Sandoval County Master Gardeners. They donated seventeen thousand pounds of produce their first year, and have increased every year since. In 2012, they became a 501(c)3, and with help from all sorts of individuals and organizations, Seed2Need donated nearly sixty-four thousand pounds of produce last year. About a third of this total came from gleaning; the rest they grew on what is now four sites. Though Davis and her family are the driving force behind Seed2Need, she is quick to credit all those who have made this a success story. For example, Teresa Johansen, chief operations officer of Roadrunner Food Bank, was one of the first volunteers, and Davis praises Johansen’s and other board members’ ideas that have helped grow the organization. Indeed, this initiative is a community effort to produce food for those in need, from the Sandoval County Master Gardeners and New Mexico State University, to churches, 4-H groups, and other
organizations. Last year, federal employees helped harvest through a program called Feds Feed Families, and this program is expected to continue this year. The Boy Scouts have been instrumental with eight or ten Eagle Scout projects: clearing land, growing seedlings, planting, weeding, harvesting, or other necessary farm work. For the last four years, Bosque School seventh grade students have helped to transplant seedlings, some eight to nine thousand of just chile and tomatoes this year.
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According to Davis, the people moving to Corrales these days may not have the knowledge to take care of fruit trees, and the town’s historical orchards have fallen prey to development. However, Seed2Need tackles the problem head on. In 2013, they planted sixty fruit trees, last fall thirty more peach trees, and this spring another thirty apple trees. In a few years, they will provide much more fruit than simply what they glean from others’ orchards. At present, Roadrunner’s gleaning is largely confined to orchards or the occasional farmer offering an opportunity to harvest from the field. There is no state-wide operation like the Association of Arizona Food Banks’ Gleaning Project. Since its establishment in 1993, the Arizona project has “rescued, transported and distributed more than eight hundred eighty-eight million pounds of food.” According to Julie Anderson, the Food Rescue Manager at Roadrunner, Arizona has been able to this in part because they have partnerships with large growers. Anderson notes it is difficult to find large growers who are willing to let a large group of volunteers trained by someone else onto their land to glean. In the past, Seed2Need has gleaned corn, chard, kale, and other vegetables. Though gleaning from private orchards or the odd local farm is not Seed2Need’s raison d'être, it does contribute to their overall donations to the food banks. Like Davis, Anderson and Johansen agree that Albuquerque needs a gleaning program (perhaps a completely separate organization) focused solely on fruit, along the lines of Not Far from the Tree. A statewide initiative like Arizona’s Gleaning Project or a similar effort would also help. They emphasize that volunteers could be busy gleaning backyards from July to October. Last year, Seed2Need gleaned approximately twenty-six thousand pounds of apples and pears. This year, the late frost in midMarch might affect the apple trees in some areas, so Davis estimates a smaller harvest. New this year, Seed2Need has two summer interns who not only help with garden work but also coordinate volunteer groups with specific orchards for gleaning fruit. The interns create a list of volunteers to match with sites that have fruit to glean. However, this is not a one-step process. They solicit information that is as accurate as possible from potential sites, then they must visit the site to confirm fruit is ripe before arrangements can be made to harvest. Such a process would be impossible for Roadrunner to coordinate given its current volunteer capacity and their on-site needs. From the food bank’s perspective, gleaning is unpredictable and varies from year to year because of weather (think late frosts), actual
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harvest times, last minute calls from those with produce, and most importantly, the number of volunteers available. Every year, in the peak of harvest from early August through the first of September, Roadrunner and other food banks bring trucks three days per week to collect the produce from the gardens or gleaned from orchards or other farms. After trucks deliver gleaned produce to Roadrunner, it goes to the refrigerator, then back out as soon as possible to the soup kitchens and other agencies the food bank serves. As you would expect, recipients are delighted to have fresh, local produce. This is even more important given the increasing cost of healthy food. Working in the garden or orchard for those in need has at least three rewards for the volunteer, according to Davis: an opportunity to socialize, meet new people, and exchange knowledge; it is good exercise that improves one’s health; and it is good for the community. A couple of years ago, Seed2Need had an informational table at the Corrales Growers’ Market and offered patrons the opportunity to purchase food to donate. In the end, they got more donations from the farmers, around thirty-six hundred pounds total from all sources. One of the challenges Seed2Need faces is that their volunteer pool needs more young people in leadership roles to ensure seeds or gleaning continue to meet needs long into the future. Both Seed2Need and the food bank need additional volunteers and resources like land, extra produce, money, or time. 50
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According to Johansen, tens of thousands of pounds of fresh produce is a small amount compared to the scale of Roadrunner Food Bank’s needs in the community. However, this fact does not minimize the benefits for the volunteer harvesters and recipients of fresh, local produce. Anderson adds that gleaning for Roadrunner is an initiative that will evolve over time. When she started at Roadrunner six years ago, they were focused on increasing the fresh produce they receive from all sources, and gleaning from orchards and farms was not fully on their radar. Roadrunner wants to rescue as much food as possible, but the size of their volunteer base limits them. They simply cannot expand gleaning efforts without more volunteers to help with all aspects of the initiative. They have reached out to various organizations like La Montanita Co-op to explore sharing volunteers, especially during the peak harvest times. Given the variability involved in gleaning, their volunteers need to be on-call; “minute men and women” who can come harvest as soon as they are called. Someone or some organization could really meet a need by funding a gleaning project from March to November, either a local initiative or at the state level like Arizona. There’s no shortage of needs, only a shortage of people willing to pitch in and help, adds Johansen. In other words, bettering your community is ripe for the picking. Seed2Need: email@example.com, www.seed2need.org Roadrunner Food Bank: 5840 Office Boulevard NE, Albuquerque 505-247-2052, www.rrfb.org
A SPIRIT WITH THE TASTE AND SMELL OF THE DESERT By Tom Barry
Sotol growing in the southwestern corner of New Mexico. Photos by Stephanie Cameron.
discovered the drink made from sotol, colloquially known as sereque in Mexico, on a visit to Janos, Chihuahua. While savoring my first copa of sotol, Celso Jácquez, founder and owner of Don Cuco distillery in Janos, explained that sotol could be rightly described as a desert lily. A member of the lily family, its seedling looks like a sprouting onion, nothing like a new yucca or agave, for which it is often mistaken. One of the most ornamental of desert plants, sotol has what it takes to survive in the extreme heat and hard freezes of the greater Chihuahuan Desert. Found growing as low as three thousand feet and on the slopes of the Sierra Madre Occidental as high as sixty-five hundred feet, sotol thrives where little else will. “Sotol has all the hardy qualities of desert-born Chihuahuenses,” says Jácquez with pride. “Show me the worst of soils on rocky limestone slopes, and that’s where sotol will call home.” 52
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The hardiness, drought tolerance, and beauty of the sotol plant have made it a popular choice among landscapers throughout the arid reaches of the US Southwest, where it has become a standard feature in xeriscaped open spaces along highway medians, in front yards, and outside commercial buildings. South of the border, where the Chihuahuan Desert expands over the states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, and Durango, (and into northeastern reaches of Sonora), sotol is the region’s most pervasive evergreen and is best known as a drink. Many Chihuahuenses, however, will likely tell you deprecatingly that sotol is moonshine alcohol that only indios or poor rural mestizos still drink. They might also tell you—correctly—that sotol is central to the revolutionary tradition of Mexico’s arid north, noting that Pancho Villa and his army of rebels drank sotol both as an intoxicant and as a tonic.
The ranchers and farmers who fenced in the southwestern grasslands from the malpais of southeastern Arizona and across New Mexico’s bootheel to the windswept expanses of West Texas didn’t look to the past. As white settlers occupied these arid lands, they rarely integrated the survival habits and wisdom of the original inhabitants. Drinking sotol never found a following in the culture of the US borderlands—until recently.
ico’s bootheel, Janos is a historical hotspot—an Apache settlement where Geronimo's family was massacred; the Spanish manned a frontier military outpost; and the Franciscans established a mission. Yet passing through on your way to Nuevo Casas Grandes, the Paquimé ruins, or to the potters’ town of Mata Ortiz, you might notice only the Pemex gas station, the diesel-spewing trailer trucks parked along the highway, and taco stands.
In Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, sotol was doubtlessly one of the most prominent features of the stark Cole family landscape. But cheap whiskey was the drink of cowboys. Young John Grady Cole and his buddy Rawlins saw no future within the confines of the newly fenced-in West. They slipped away one night, crossing an unfenced border into Mexico in search of freedom, adventure, and a future on an open range. For fifty centavos, Cole and Rawlins filled up their canteens with sotol and spent their first couple of days in Mexico intoxicated by a freedom and a spirit they had never before known.
Celso Jácquez and his family love sotol. For the past two decades, they have tried to attract Mexican and US visitors to Janos and the Chihuahua–New Mexico borderlands. With their roots in Madera in the eastern foothills of the Sierra Madre, the Jácquez family has since the mid-1990s been at the forefront of sotol’s revival in Chihuahua. Constructing a modern distillery or vinata in Janos, Celso Jácquez has tapped the wild-harvesting, fermenting, and distilling techniques passed down through four generations to create two brands: Sotol Las Generaciones and Don Cuco Sotol.
Although sotol spans across the international boundary, like John Grady Cole one must cross the border into Mexico to really know sotol. A new breed of sotoleros—in bars in Chihuahua City or in Janos, Madera, Nuevo Casas Grandes, or Aldama—is recovering the traditions of sotol and is sharing their vision of a new cross-border culture of sotol. The key part of the story of revival begins in Janos, a small town that sits astride Route 9, the two-lane border road that stretches from Ciudad Juárez to Tijuana. Directly south of New Mex-
Don Cuco Sotol is named in honor of Celso’s grandfather Refugio Pérez Marquez, while Las Generaciones refers to the five generations of sotoleros in the Jácquez-Pérez clan, the latest being their son Jacobo Jácquez and his siblings. Celso’s grandfather, known as Don Cuco, revived the dying tradition of sotol production in the late 1800s. In the mountains outside Madera, Don Cuco consulted with his Tarahumara neighbors and his own grandfather who had roasted the piña, or sotol heart, in stone-lined pits, fermented, and distilled the drink for his community since the mid-1900s. His rugged profile appears
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Don Cuco Sotol. Photo by Tom Barry.
on the bottles of the Don Cuco brand, which include blanco, suave, reposado, añejo, and crema varieties. Don Cuco insisted on the highquality of his sotol, making certain that the distilled liquor had the exactly right aroma and collar de perlas or necklace of bubbles when shaken and poured. “It is truly more of a spirit, like cognac,” explained Jacobo, describing reposado sotol the night of my first visit to Janos. I observed that sotol’s distinctive aroma and taste seemed to capture the essence of the Chihuahuan Desert after a long-awaited rain. Do you know the song “Viva Chihuahua”? asked Celso. I did, but hadn’t until then known the meaning of the verse he began singing: Tierra que sabe a cariño, Tierra que huele a sotol. Chihuahua, land that tastes like love, land that has the aroma of sotol. Don Cuco Sotol and various other brands produced by the Jácquez family have won gold prizes across the nation. Mike Morales, a self-styled tequila journalist who consults nationally for liquor distributors and destination bars, told me of his first experience with sotol and the Jácquez family, much like my own. "I fell in love with this family's spirit as soon as I inhaled it!” Morales told me. “Don Cuco Sotol carries the best of all worlds. It opens up—blooms—so much that it demands to be treated like a fine wine. It has the smokiness of some of the best mescals, but the flavor is simultaneously reminiscent of the best tequilas and then, not at all.” Mixologists from San Francisco and Albuquerque to Mexico City and Chihuahua City now serve sotol either straight like a fine scotch or cognac, or as variety of mixed drinks. Katy Gerwin, the bar manager at Imbibe in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill district, recommends sotol: “Play around a little, slip it in your favorite tequila cocktail for a smoky robust and eco-friendly alternative, or sip it slowly like a fine scotch (especially the Don Cuco Reposado).” Morales contrasts the environmental and social integrity of artisanal sotol producers, especially the production models created by the Jácquez family, with what he calls the “lies of the liquor industry.” In contrast to the spurious claims of many liquor producers, including a Chihuahua City–based industrialized sotol producer 54
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and their unsustainable harvesting and production practices, the Jácquez sotol operation aims to follow the best of sotol traditions. Many sotol lovers regard the desert spirit as an elixir that is good for all that ails you, and one commonly hears while traveling in Chihuahua about sotol’s medicinal properties, especially for asthma, common cold, diabetes, and rheumatism. There’s no science (that I know of ) to back these beliefs. Yet having unabashedly fallen under the spell of sotol, I am not dismissive. When it comes to sotol, I have become a bit of a true believer. From my first meeting several years ago with the Jácquez family in Janos—and my first sip of sotol—I have been caught up in knowledge that, as Celso said on that first night holding up a bottle, that what I was drinking was puro sotol. In other words, the best of the sotoleros of Chihuahua, keeping to traditional practices, produce a drink that is “sotol and nothing but sotol,” as Jacobo echoed.
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Don Cuco Sotol and the other brands produced in its vinata in Janos are unadulterated: Pure desert plant that is baked, fermented and distilled without any water, sugar, or fermenting agents added. You might become a true believer, too, if, like me, you awake the next morning without a cruda or hangover. Celso and Jacobo explain that it’s part of the natural magic of sotol, but more scientifically it’s because sotol isn’t processed with added sugars like tequila or most other hard liquors. Many repeat occasions of drinking copa after copa in good company (perhaps that’s the secret ingredient) in Mexico have left me cruda-free. But there are limits to my faith in sotol, at least for now. I don’t, like many in the dispersed sotol community in Chihuahua, start my days with a copa de sotol to keep me in good health, and I haven’t yet tried to heal a cut or lower a fever with a sotol-soaked poultice. But, believe it or not, a few sips of sotol do seem to alter the mind, improve the spirit, and (at least temporarily) heal what ails you. With good reason, sotol aficionados while savoring a whiff of the Chihuahuan Desert when sipping a copa, will often make a point that sotol is wild-harvested. Wild means more than natural. When
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Sotol tasting. Photo by Tom Barry.
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relishing the desert-imbued bouquet of sotol, you know that what comes out of the bottle is pure wild plant—not one that was planted in an irrigated plantation like the blue agave that produces tequila. Wild-harvesting sotol requires a burro, endurance, and technique—and the ability to accurately brandish a razor sharp machete on steep inclines. For the select number of sotoleros who are smart and think about sustainability, cutting out piñas is as much about propagating as harvesting. Without regard to sustainability, any rise in the production and consumption of wild-harvested sotol will empty the Chihuahuan Desert of the plant. Demand for wild-harvested sotol could mean that the only sotol left will be found amid the gravel of xeriscaped front yards in Albuquerque. Wild harvesting, then, doesn’t necessarily signify anything remotely natural or sustainable. Sotoleros like the Jácquez family in Janos are committed, heart, soul, and wallet, to sustainability in wild-harvesting sotol, which means taking care that their jimadores, the individuals who harvest sotol, don’t kill the sotol caudex when harvesting the piña. But they are also realists. If sotol gains an increased share of the international liquor market, as tequila and mescal have, then the
production of wild-harvested sotol will need to be sharply limited. According to University of Chihuahua agricultural scientist Jesús Miguel Olivas-García, sotol is threatened by increased sotol harvesting, land development, and intensifying periods of drought. Although sotol requires little water to flourish, regeneration requires periodic rains. Prolonged drought and resulting overgrazing dramatically slow the growth of the species, says Olivas-García, necessitating urgent measures to sustainably manage sotol regeneration. Working with agricultural scientists at the University of Chihuahua, a small group of forward-thinking sotoleros is participating in pilot projects to cultivate sotol seedlings to ensure a renewable crop of sotol plants. Although these cultivated sotol plants won’t be wildharvested, they will remain natural products of the Chihuahuan Desert, requiring little water and no agrochemicals. Sotol is also a portal of sorts into our cross-border history— mostly unwritten, but one that archeologists, anthropologists, and regional historians are beginning to chart out. In recovering this past, we may find that despite the border security buildup and our ahistorical belief systems, an invigorating sense of our bio-cultural roots live on in the desert.
Below, from top left clockwise: Emma and Celso Jácquez in Janos, Chihuahua. Retreiving roasted piñas at Fernández Sotol in Madera, Chihuahua. Rattlesnake in a jug of sotol at Jácquez ranch. Serving samples of sotol at Fernández Sotol. Photos by Tom Barry.
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This summer, the Bavarian is pleased to present an elevated dining experience. Each Sunday from July 12 through September 27 we’ll offer a 100% locally grown three course seasonal menu that will delight your senses and benefit organic farming in our community. Each farm-to-table dinner will be paired with a speaker who is recognized for advancing the cause of locally sourced organic food. Please call or visit our website to reserve your place at the table. Sustainable Sunday Dinners start at 5:30 each Sunday. Reservations required.
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the third plate question In his recent book The Third Plate, Dan Barber problematizes current farm-to-fork dining and presents a call to chefs to question more deeply how they define cuisine, and how their food choices impact good food for the future. Specifically, at his talk at Bookworks in Albuquerque this past May, he said he defines cuisine as, “a pattern of eating that is repeatable,” meaning not just day-today, but generation to generation.
Barber explains in his book an exercise of describing three plates: one of the past, one of the present, and one of the future. The following questions endeavor to explore this idea of the third plate, or the plate of the future. In this issue we launch a department called The Third Plate Question where we will talk with chefs about their third plate and what is next in the good food movement.
An Interview with Jennifer James and Nelle Bauer By Marjory Sweet
From left to right: Nelle Bauer and Jennifer James, photo by Sergio Salvador. Jennifer James 101's third plate with roasted vegetables and black lentils, photo by Stephanie Cameron.
ince I began farming in Albuquerque’s South Valley, I have sold produce to Jennifer James 101. What I grow often ends up on their menu, and their menu inspires what I plant: zinnias, potatoes, broccoli, greens, arugula, cucumbers. Last summer, they served my Pink Tiger cherry tomatoes sliced and salted at the beginning of every diner’s meal. Two years ago, they created an entire menu around my White Satin carrots. I had an abundance and they weren’t selling well at market. I offered them to James by chance. Her reply: “We’ll take as much as you’ve got.” The restaurant opens only for dinner, but I usually see it on Tuesday mornings, when I deliver vegetables. It is rare to walk into a restaurant kitchen that is distilled, almost entirely, to the work of two individu58
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als. Jennifer James and Nelle Bauer (they call themselves “the belly and the brain”) are the creators, owners, executive chefs, prep cooks, and line cooks. They receive produce deliveries in the morning, take reservations during the day, and cook your food in the evening. You can watch them work in the exposed kitchen while you eat. The food is equally transparent. Simple, ingredient-driven dishes dictate the always-changing menu. James and Bauer focus on local products not because it is popular, but because they feel a strong sense of responsibility as chefs. “If the farmer is going to take the risk of sustaining the land with a certain crop, we’re going to take the risk of buying that crop, and cooking with it.” They claim they are only as good as the raw products they receive.
Marjory Sweet: Dan Barber discusses three important roles in his book The Third Plate: the diner, the farmer, and the chef. In your opinion, what is being asked of the chef at a farm-to-fork restaurant? Nelle Bauer: Well, the customers who go to the farmers market buy the beautiful things and then they’ll rot on their counter until the next farmers market because they don’t know what to do with them or how to make those carrots look and taste amazing. Part of our role is to make that link for them (whether or not they recognize it). We take the whole product and make something delicious with it first off, and eye-appealing, and then present it in a way that it's still what it started off as. And maybe that’s not necessarily what we have to do, but that’s how we choose to do it. MS: Your job is to provide an educational link from product to consumer, which means, I think, finding a balance between challenging and accommodating diners. Eaters. Jennifer James: What is being asked? From diners? Pretty much nothing. I’m serious. They think it’s hip and cool that a restaurant claims to serve local. And then they take that for granted. They’re not asking questions. I don’t think they care if you’re using all of the chard, including the stem. They want the pretty stuff. What they should be asking is, “OK, you claim to be a farm-to-fork restaurant, so where did this come from?” Very rarely will we put on our menu this is so-and-so farms, because it’s so dependent on the weather, the availability. So we really rely on our staff to know that and to be able to communicate it.
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NB: It used to be trendy to do whole animal eating, and now, it’s whole vegetable eating. It’s circling back to what was, when you had to eat everything because that was your source of nutrients. MS: What is the role of the farmer? How does a farmer fit into the challenge you just described? JJ: I think the role of the farmer should be growing what grows well where they are. Supporting that land in a way that’s sustainable. Not just growing tomatoes because they know that’s what will sell at the market, but thinking, “my responsibility is the land.” The chef ’s responsibility is to use all of that product in the best way to satisfy their customers. I grew up on a farm, but I don’t know how to farm. I don’t know what that land needs, what that soil needs. But if I have a farmer who comes in and says I’m growing this crop right now because it will make the soil better next year. This is what this looks like, this is what it tastes like. I’m going to be like, sweet, I will take it. NB: We would even be OK with a farmer coming in and saying I had to grow this as a cover crop and I don’t know what to do with it. Can you help? MS: What do you see is the role of the diner? Do you have expectations of the people coming here to eat? Have they changed? NB: Yes, we have expectations. Yes, they have changed. I think the diner’s responsibility is to recognize this: Farmers provide us with an amazing product. We’re not going to fuck it up. We’re going to WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
showcase the product. Also we’ll showcase our skill without showing off. And for them to recognize those two elements combined will cost them money and maybe it will be more than they would have paid for the raw product itself. Because we’ve done something to it—the right thing. MS: Have you had other experiences that have shaped how you understand food? JJ: The job of a chef, the purpose of a chef is not only to use what’s available to us and make it taste great, but to maintain a food cost. So you have to be knowledgeable. Part of that is using everything. I grew up with my grandmothers preserving everything. When it was corn season—my grandmother had a fridge this big—and we would cut off the kernels and freeze them in Ziploc bags. And for every meal we had corn. It was grown right outside. My other grandmother had a root cellar that was full of jars—scary to me as a small child. We butchered a cow and it would go into the freezer.
Our limitation is space. This time of year stresses me out because I want to get everything we can, but you have to be able to freeze it or preserve it because it’s only here for a certain amount of time. MS: I think we see that whole food ethic reflected so directly in the restaurant because it is literally you two conceptualizing the menu and cooking the food. It’s rare. What is your Third Plate? NB: Colorful. Lots of textures. Different things that go together. JJ: The third plate now is almost the first plate. We’re trying to return to the first plate and getting people to do that is hard. We’ve done lamb kidneys. Beef tongue. Beef heart. Getting people to embrace the whole animal and all the parts of a vegetable is hard. Tricky. My third plate would be a challenge to them—you can’t just have the chops. To be able to eat, you have to eat all of it. For me, it’s going back to eating the everything. 4615 Menaul Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, 505-884-3860 www.jenniferjames101.com
An Interview with Joseph Wrede By Sarah Wentzel-Fisher
Sarah Wentzel-Fisher: What do you see as the role of the chef in a farm-to-fork kitchen? Joseph Wrede: I see the chef in her or his kitchen as visionary and manager. The vision is farm-to-table. Here are the possibilities. These are the features. Write recipes. Cook them perfectly. One of the founders of Seeds of Change, Howard Shapiro, advised me twenty years ago as I started jumping on the flavor wagon, price must be elastic between farm and restaurant. I follow that rule and set a price. Then tell the product's story and teach and learn its purpose and presentation. Do it new seasonally. SWF: What do you see as the role of the farmer? What is, and should be, expected of farmers? JW: The farmer is expected to deliver you a product that is clearly fresher, riper, and brighter than the same product that is driven from a neighboring state or country. SWF: What is the role of the diner? JW: The diner should be open to the simple idea that good food tastes good and bad food tastes bad, and that organic and natural tend to be a cleaner version of its non-organic, mishandled example of itself. They should know that food is medicine and that good health begins with diet. Those with food phobia to onions, garlic, or chile should seek psychological help.
Joseph Wrede, photo by Stephanie Cameron. 60
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SWF: What does it mean to support local farms? How has that idea evolved over time? Do you have any pivotal moments you’d like to share?
JW: It's equivalent to the difference between buying from a surname like McDonald's and a first name like Trey, Paul, or Stanley. Community provides opportunity to ask questions and continue to learn. Grabbing information like New Mexico's garlic is blight free and France's is not. Therein lies the challenge: Can we cook a dish that features garlic like a soup or pistou that's better than you could find in Paris? SWF: At your restaurant, how does farm-to-fork take shape? How would you like to see it in the future? JW: Farmers support themselves by excellence, intimacy, luck, and wisdom, much like chefs and most eaters/diners. The lamb trade in Northern New Mexico is the single biggest awakening to a third plate that I have experienced with my food. The great thing is the trade doesn't need to change from my perspective, except I'd like to see this idea of Seva, from Naturally New Mexico, of a Southdown and Rambouillet cross for the best lamb flavor. It's been working for generations, the idea that sheep have less impact on the land than cows and are easier to move. Sheep produce two forms of income by wool and meat, further supporting a third plate concept. New Mexican sheep ranchers and Quivira Coalition work together to lessen negative impact on environment. SWF: What do you do to educate your diners about what they are eating? How do you balance accommodating diners and challenging them? JW: Farm-to-fork is a title of an ongoing education and participation in the professional world of food and drink. We participate and describe our menu as local, organic, natural, wild. It is key to have informed and passionate servers and cooks whose knowledge is stimulated daily by ten-minute-or-so menu discussions. They read the Wednesday New York Times and Joshua Baer’s THE MAGAZINE articles, to name a couple of the better, endless sources. Of course, gardening and growing, as many of us do, even on small scale, support the conversation around good food. The farmer, rancher, and forager are the key to how well we participate, but we must, as cooks, have knowledge on what they are successfully producing to better the chances that we meet at our point of mutual need and interest. SWF: What’s most important to you about sourcing local food? JW: Price and proximity is intent's determinant. The personalities of the farmers and the quality of their products matter to me deeply. The idea that one person gets the best of the other's labor can be destructive to a relationship between farm and table. SWF: How many farms have you visited who you buy produce from? JW: I visited many farms over the last twenty years of cooking, but right now, of the three to five farmers we buy from, I haven't visited any. Three are new farmers, and it usually takes a season or two to form an alliance. Some farmers, like Trey Naylor, have become a friend. I have known him since my twenties in Taos, and over time we realized we had a common interest. He's growing corn alongside the Rio Grande that tastes as good as fresh, unpasteurized cow's
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milk or wild Santa Fe mountain mushrooms. We will be most likely serving Naylor's corn this year at Wine and Chile. SWF: What local ingredients are you using? JW: We are buying peas, cherries, mushrooms, Swiss chard, frisee, red and green leaf lettuce, cucumber, small tomatoes, garlic, lamb's quarter, and the ribs, chops, marrow, legs, top round, ground, and top tip shank of New Mexico lamb. The goat's milk and cheese and chicken and duck eggs we buy from local sources as well. In my front yard, I grow thyme, oregano, and cilantro. SWF: What do you wish you had access to that you canâ€™t buy locally? JW: I follow this rule: Write recipes and cook dishes from products that are successfully grown and harvested locally. I don't create a wish list beyond that. All pleasantries aside, freshness of kill is the most important fact in making fresh food. Freshness is the definitive factor of great tasting cuisine. SWF: What donâ€™t you know enough about in regard to food production? JW: I am learning with each season about New Mexican ranching and farming. I can say I am uneasy about how pigs are treated on national scale and am shying away from serving pork. SWF: What has been your biggest epiphany working with farmers? JW: My biggest realization working with ranchers and farmers is that I am a chef, not a farmer, and do not completely grasp their challenges. SWF: What does your third plate look like?
Wrede's third plate: grilled local spring lamb chops with caramelized fennel and goat's milk crust, burnt orange, and preserved lemon compound butter brussels sprouts. Photo by Stephanie Cameron.
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JW: The third plate looks more like farmers markets, less like Whole Foods morphing into Trader Joe's, more farm-to-fork restaurants and households. It looks more like Italy in the sense that there are gardens everywhere, even in highway medians. Schools must make lunch as a slow foods movement, the cafeteria a classroom itself. 428 Agua Fria Street, Santa Fe, 505-982-1272 www.josephsofsantafe.com
edible notables BACKYARD FARMING SERIES This series features experts in their field who provide hands-on experiences giving participants practical information transforming their backyards into a thriving urban oasis of food, medicine, and wildlife habitat. The workshops are held at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House located at 6029 Isleta Boulevard. SW in Albuquerque. This series is free, but participants must register RSVP. To register, visit www.bernco.gov/openspace. Traditional and New Tools for the Garden, August 15 from 9 – 11am. Discover useful new and old hand tools for the gardening and how to save money by caring for your tools. Participants are encouraged to bring their rusty tools to learn how to oil and sharpen them.
American Bistro & Wine Bar Locally Owned
Hand Picked Wines
Craft Beers on Tap
109 Gold Ave SW (505) 244-3344 Albuquerque, NM 87102 www.soulandvine.com
Hours of Operation (Lunch and Dinner)
Monday - Thursday : 11:30am - 9:00pm Friday - Saturday : 11:30am - 10:30pm
Beneficial Insects and Beekeeping, August 29 from 9 – 11am. Learn how to attract beneficial insects and how to deter from pests et an overview of how to start with top bar beekeeping and how to support honey bees in your garden. Chile y Chocolate, September 18 from 6:30 – 9pm. Discover the history and art behind two New Mexico staples, chile and chocolate. This elegant evening event will include tastings, chef demonstrations brought to you by edible Santa Fe, presentations, and live music, all under the stars at the historic Gutierrez-Hubbell House. History of Sheep in New Mexico and a Changing Landscape, September 26 from 9 – 11am. Sheep, the symbol of Bernalillo County, were brought to New Mexico in the late 1500s by the Spaniards. These resilient animals have dramatically changed the culture and landscape throughout the state and continue to have a significant impact. William Dunmire and Donald Chavez are the presenters.
WI N E BI S T R O
THE M OS T C O LOR F U L OU T DO O R DI NING I N S A NTA F E
SABOR, A TASTE OF TAOS The Taos County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce a new event to be held in Historic Taos Plaza this fall. Sabor, A Taste Of Taos will be a showcase of Taos area restaurants, wineries, and breweries. This event will be held in the afternoon on October 11, 2015 coinciding with the conclusion of the Taos Fall Arts Festival. Our member and area restaurants, craft brewer and wineries will provide tastings from their menus and special bites or drinks created for this event by their chefs and crafters. The public is welcome to purchase food tokens at booths throughout the venue and use those tokens to purchase tastings from the many restaurants, brewers and wineries. This year the Sabor, A Taste of Taos event will embody the theme of Food as Art to highlight the beautiful ways we enjoy our food. Gorgeous produce will be transformed to enticing plates; chefs will work their magic with locally sourced ingredients to satisfy every palette.
Lunch & Dinner Monday–Saturday Sunday Supper 304 Johnson St, Santa Fe 505-989-1166 • terracottawinebistro.com
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We pride ourselves in offering the highest quality and freshest selection of oil and balsamic vinegar at affordable prices. Hours: Monday – Saturday 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Sunday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM 8001 Wyoming Blvd NE, Albuquerque | 505.821.1119 10700 Corrales Rd, Albuquerque | 505.899.9293 | abqoliveoilco.com WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
In addition to raising the profile of the participating restaurants, specialty food, wineries and craft brewers in Northern New Mexico, the Taos County Chamber of Commerce will provide an afternoon of Taos talent to entertain the hungry crowd.
RANCHO DE CHIMAYÓ CELEBRATES 50 YEARS OF TRADITION, CULTURE, AND DINING IN NEW MEXICO Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante in Chimayó has fifty reasons to celebrate this year as it marks its half-century anniversary. Florence Jaramillo, owner of the historic restaurant, along with her family, celebrate a long history in New Mexico, serving worldrenowned traditional and authentic New Mexican cuisine in an exceptional setting. The restaurant will celebrate its anniversary with monthly dining specials leading up to grand celebration this fall on September 19, 2015.
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edible Santa Fe | LATE SUMMER 2015
The State of New Mexico recently named Florence Jaramillo a New Mexico Culinary Treasure. Mrs. J., as the spry octogenarian is fondly known to her customers and staff, , still greets diners and helps manage the restaurant daily. She opened the restaurant in 1965, along with her former husband, Arturo Jaramillo, in the restored home of Arturo’s grandparents, Hermenegildo and Trinidad Jaramillo. Arturo and Florence dreamed the restaurant would preserve the rich traditions of their family, its proud culture, and their family home and land. Today, the restaurant offers an authentic dining experience. Fireplaces radiate warmth into cozy rooms and family photographs hang on the whitewashed adobe walls. The lovely terraced patio beckons, making for exquisite outdoor dining. In August 1984,
the Jaramillo family completed restoration of Hacienda Rancho de Chimayó. This home has been lovingly renovated into seven guest rooms, each opens onto an enclosed courtyard and is decorated with turn-of-the-century antiques, a private bath, a quiet sitting area, and fireplace. During its long history, Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante has released two cookbooks, including the most recent, The Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook: The Traditional Cooking of New Mexico, coauthored by Cheryl and Bill Jamison. The new cookbook is filled with favorite recipes from Chimayó which they have revised and updated and with colorful and historic images, stories, history, and traditions of the restaurant and Jaramillo family. It retails for twenty-five dollars and is published by Lyons Press. 300 Santa Fe County Road 98, Chimayó 505-984-2100, www.ranchodechimayo.com
SUSTAINABLE SUNDAY DINNERS AT THE BAVARIAN This summer, the Bavarian is pleased to present an elevated dining experience. Each Sunday this summer through September 27, the Bavarian offers a 100% locally grown three course seasonal menu that will delight your senses and benefit organic farming in our community. Each farm-to-table dinner will be paired with a speaker who is recognized for advancing the cause of locally sourced organic food. Please call to reserve your place at the table. • • • • • • • •
August 2: Chris Pieper August 9: Goji Farm San Cristobal, Eric and Elizabeth Vorn Dorp August 16: Just Kidding Farm, Martha and Bob Felt August 23: Morning Star Farms, Melinda Bateman August 30: Cerro Vista Farms, Daniel Carmona September 13: Farmhouse Cafe & Bakery, Micha Rosenberry September 20: Lady Bug Farms, Julie Henzerling September 27: Taos High School Culinary Arts, Team-Benji Apodaca and students
Sustainable Sunday Dinners start at 5:30pm each Sunday. Reservations required. 575-776-8020, www.thebavarian.com
The Bavarian dining room WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
edible notables NATIONAL LATINO FARMER’S AND RANCHER’S TRADE ASSOCIATION’S TENTH ANNIVERSARY Conference and celebration to be held September 30 – October 1, 2015 at the Hotel Blue in Albuquerque.
TY G YM
• Wed. Sept. 30, 8am – 5pm: Conference • Wed. Sept. 30, 6pm – 11pm: Reception and gala dinner • Thurs. Oct. 1, 8am – 5pm: Conference and closing ceremony
www.libertygym.com no initiation fees | new members receive free personal training orientation 505.884.8012 | 2401 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
N O M I NAT E YO U R M O S T L OV E D , FARMER, RESTAURANT, CHEF, FOOD ARTISAN, FOOD TRUCK, FOOD ORGANIZATION, FOOD RETAILER, BEVERAGE ARTISAN, FOOD WRITER, a nd LOCAL FOOD HERO
F O R A N E D I B L E S A N TA F E L O C A L H E RO AWA R D .
NOMINATIONS MUST BE MADE BY OCTOBER 15, VOTING OPENS NOV. 1! ediblesantafe.com/localhero 66
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The National Latino Farmers and Rancher’s Trade Association is an alliance of Latino farmers, ranchers, and farmworkers from the US, Mexico, Canada, and beyond working together toward a new society that values unity, hope, people, and the earth. At the Conference, we will share our decade of progress, including some notable achievements. The 2012 Census of Agriculture, with most data collected in 2013 and released earlier this year, documents an important success story that our shared work of outreach not only on the Census of Agriculture but also in working directly with Latino Farmers and Ranchers shows significant increases in their connection with USDA. In 2012, the Census of Agriculture showed a net increase of 11,430 Hispanic principal operators. This reflects a contribution of over ten percent toward the Secretary of Agriculture’s goal of one hundred thousand new farmers. With respect to all operators (farms and ranchers run by couples or more than one operator), the news is even stronger. It reflects an increase of 17,234 Hispanic producers, a contribution of over seventeen percent toward the goal of one hundred thousand new farmers. However, as this important sector grew at a greater rate than many other sectors, Congress slashed the funds available to support it. At the same time, poverty and hunger grew in many of the rural communities that we serve. Economic and food insecurity, especially for our children, is increasing also. Communities are more vulnerable to disasters and to scarcity and degradation of resources. Farm and food chain workers face continued injustices. In response, we will develop our agenda and strategies for the coming year, and share outcomes from our new initiatives to help each other succeed in accessing and sharing the resources we need to do our work. Our challenges remain as great as ever, so as we gather, we will celebrate our accomplishments. Together we move forward to strengthen our infrastructure and distribution outlets in our farm and ranch communities. Please join us. On behalf of the National Latino Farmers and Ranchers Trade Association, we look forward to your presence. We hope you will join us for this tenth anniversary celebration working towards equity and increased opportunities for Latino farmers and ranchers across the food system. 202-628-8833, www.nlfrta.org
L LY S O U R
EAT LOCAL GUIDE CE
3216 Silver SE, Albuquerque 505-266-2305, www.ajiacobistro.com
2929 Monte Vista NE, Albuquerque 505-554-1967, www.amoreabq.com
Ajiaco’s varied Colombian cuisine is influenced by a diverse flora and fauna found around Colombia. Cultural traditions of different Colombian ethnic groups play a roll in our choice of ingredients.
New Mexico's only certified authentic, handcrafted, wood-fired Neapolitan pizza. Handmade mozzarella, dessert pizzas, local beers, Italian wines. Casual atmosphere and rooftop patio.
311 Gold SW, Albuquerque 505-814-1599, www.villamyriam.com
8917 4th NW, Albuquerque 505-503-7124, www.farmandtablenm.com
Family owned from farm to cup, we are steeped in three generations of coffee excellence.
A wonderful dining experience! Enjoy delectable seasonal dishes created from scratch, sourced from local farmers and our beautiful on-site farm.
300 Broadway NE, Albuquerque 505-265-4933, www.hartfordsq.com
11225 Montgomery NE, 505-271-0882 3403 Central NE, 505-266-7855 10701 Corrales NW, 505-899-7500 www.ilvicino.com
Our seasonal menu features local ingredients and changes weekly—enjoy the variety! Breakfast, lunch, and dinners-to-go. Sunday Brunch. Specialty coffee. Wonderful baked goods. Catering.
A contemporary Italian Trattoria, offers authentic Italian wood-oven pizza, entrées, salads, sandwiches, baked lasagna and more. Enjoy our own micro-brewed ales and home-brewed root beer.
5901 Wyoming NE, Albuquerque NEW: 1710 Central SW, Albuquerque 505-821-1909, www.5starburgers.com Fresh beef, free of hormones or antibiotics. Best burger in New Mexico says USA TODAY. A wide selection of sandwiches, salads, a kid’s menu, beer and wine. Happy hour 4 - 6 every day.
4803 Rio Grande NW, Albuquerque 505-344-9297, www.lospoblanos.com Rooted in organic ingredients from our own farm and the Rio Grande Valley region. Join us at La Merienda, Wed-Sun 6 - 9pm, by reservation only.
eat local guide
125 Second NW, Albuquerque 505-923-9080, www.hotelandaluz.com
4003 Carlisle NE, Albuquerque Downtown Growers' Market every Saturday 505-884-3625, www.nmpiecompany.com
A culinary creation by Chef James Campbell Caruso, MÁS offers a fresh reinvention of traditional Spanish cuisine located in one of Albuquerque’s most iconic spaces, Hotel Andaluz.
Handmade sweet and savory pies with an emphasis on simple, pure flavors, and premium ingredients. Locally roasted coffee and espresso drinks compliment our pies.
New Mexico has its own unique food traditions —from Hatch to Chimayó—and we’d like to help you find some of the area restaurants and chefs that create the distinctively New Mexico dining experience. Restaurants are chosen for this dining guide because of their emphasis on using local, seasonal ingredients in their menus and their commitment to real food.
Support these restaurants, and support local food communities. WWW.EDIBLESANTAFE.COM
1403 Girard NE, Albuquerque 505-792-1700, www.piattininm.com Piattini, “small plates” in Italian, serves small and large plate Italian creations in a warm and friendly neighborhood atmosphere, using local, fresh ingredients and featuring a beer and wine bar.
10601 Montgomery NE, Albuquerque 505-294-9463, www.savoyabq.com
2031 Mountain NW, Albuquerque 505-766-5100, www.seasonsabq.com
California wine country in the Northeast Heights. Farm-to-table dining from the area's best farms. Wine tastings and happy hour.
Oak fired grill, local ingredients, and the best patio dining Old Town has to offer!
109 Gold, Albuquerque 505-244-3344, www.soulandvine.com
600 Central SE, Albuquerque 505-248-9800, www.thegrovecafemarket.com
Come experience traditional American-style tapas. We serve beautiful wines and local craft beers. We invite you to fall in love with our ambiance, food, drink, and staff. Cheers!
The Grove features a bustling café experience serving breakfast, brunch and lunch. Local, seasonal, organic foods, Intelligentsia coffee and tea, beer, wine and signature sweets.
2933 Monte Vista NE, Albuquerque 505-433-2795, theshopbreakfastandlunch.com Come in for breakfast or lunch, creative American classics with Latin and creole influences, made from local and organic ingredients.
TRIFECTA COFFEE COMPANY
413 Montano Road NE, Albuquerque 505-803-7579, www.trifectacoffeecompany.com
1828 Central SW, Albuquerque, 505-842-5507 www.vinaigretteonline.com
Coffee Bar, Roastery and, Baked Goods. Open 7 days a week. Monday thru Friday, 6:30am 6pm. Saturday, 7am - 4pm. Sunday, 10am – 2pm.
Our salad-centric philosophy focuses on bold flavor combinations and savory proteins to compliment a huge variety of organic greens.
3423 Central NE, Albuquerque 505-255-8226, www.zacatecastacos.com Zacatecas features recipes handed down from generation to generation with flavors that are true to the history and culture of Mexico. Zacatecas is a real taqueria.
Creative Casual Cuisine
3009 Central NE, Albuquerque 505-254-9462, www.zincabq.com
5 Thomas, Los Lunas 505-866-1936, www.greenhousebistro.com
A three level bistro featuring contemporary cuisine with a French flair. Dinner daily, weekend brunch, fabulous cocktails, and tasty bar bites!
Good food always puts you in a good mood! Fresh, seasonal ingredients provide the basis for a meal that promotes healthy living.
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221 Highway 165, Placitas 505-771-0695, www.bladesbistro.com Chef and owner Kevin Bladegroen brings together fine and fresh ingredients, artistic vision, and European flair in every dish. Sunday brunch, fabulous cocktails, and an award-winning wine list.
A NA SAZ I RESTAURANT 622 St. Michaels Drive, Santa Fe 505-438-1163, www.agniayurveda.com
113 Washington, Santa Fe 505-988-3236, www.rosewoodhotels.com
502 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe 505-469-2345, www.bangbitesf.com
Our mission at Agni Ayurveda is to help you attain exceptional health of mind, body, and spirit through ancient Ayurvedic treatments, cooking classes, and diet & lifestyle consultation.
The recently redesigned restaurant and bar celebrates the creative spirit of Santa Fe with a new chic, sophisticated design that complements the buildings’s legendary architecture. Featuring Southwestern cuisine with regional Latin influences.
Fresh. Local. Tasty. A bunch of food enthusiasts obsessed with serving the very best crafted food we can get and delivering it the way it was meant to be enjoyed.
4056 Cerrillos, Santa Fe 505-438-1800, www.bluecornbrewery.com
233 Canyon Road, Santa Fe 505-820-7996, www.caffegrecosantafe.com
725 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe 505-982-5952, www.santafesageinn.com
A local favorite since 1997! Featuring award-winning, handcrafted beers brewed on location. Northern New Mexican cuisine and contemporary comfort food highlighting local, sustainable ingredients.
Caffe Greco is nestled on the first block of historic Canyon Road boasting a beautiful patio, authentic New Mexican cuisine, sandwiches, salads, Lavazza coffee drinks, and winner of Local Flavor's reader's choice best Frito pie.
Drink. Dine. Unwind. OPENING LATE AUGUST. Featuring American comfort food to stylish fusion cuisine that honors farmers market seasonal goods. Sip cocktails inspired by local spirits, popular wine varietals or a cold craft beer on the patio.
Kitchen Bakery & Butcher Shop
2860 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe 505-471-0043, www.drfieldgoods.com Mouth-watering creative daily specials, locally sourced produce, house-made sausages and meats butchered daily, rotating selection of fifteen beers on tap, hand-muddled sake cocktails, executive chef owned and operated.
321 W San Francisco, Santa Fe 505-986-8700, www.ilvicino.com A contemporary Italian Trattoria, offers authentic Italian wood-oven pizza, entrées, salads, sandwiches, baked lasagna and more. Enjoy our own micro-brewed ales and home-brewed root beer.
5 604 North Guadalupe, Santa Fe 505-983-8977, www.5starburgers.com
95 West Marcy, Santa Fe 505-984-1091, www.ilpiattosantafe.com
Fresh beef, free of hormones or antibiotics. Best burger in New Mexico says USA TODAY. A wide selection of sandwiches, salads, a kid’s menu, beer, and wine. Happy hour 4 - 6 every day.
A local favorite since 1996, boasting an authentic Italian farmhouse experience, sourcing its ingredients directly from local farms, dairies, and ranches. Extensive wine list.
500 Sandoval, Santa Fe 505-466-1391, www.infiernosantafe.com Great food, unique wine list, international beers on draft, patio seating, late night dinning, happy hour—come see why Infierno is the place to be.
125 East Palace, Santa Fe 505-988-5232, www.lacasasena.com A local favorite for over thirty years! Chef Gharrity features New American West cuisine infused with fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. We also feature an award-winning wine list.
CAFFÉ BAR TRATTORIA
100 East San Francisco, Santa Fe 505-982-5511, www.lafondasantafe.com
228 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe 505-989-1904, www.mangiamopronto.com
Chef Xavier Grenet creates elegant and refreshing cuisine combining classic French culinary techniques with southwestern flavors and ingredients.
Showcasing contemporary interpretations of old favorites with New World influences and classic New Mexican cuisine, accompanied by an awardwinning wine list.
Enjoy fresh, authentic, Italian street food; house-made gelato; Lavazza espresso; and wine & beer all day long on our beautiful sidewalk patio.
637 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe 505-930-5462, www.moderngeneralnm.com
901 West San Mateo, Santa Fe 505-820-3121, www.midtownbistrosf.com
Modern General’s café offers simple organic breakfast items, pastries, and cold-pressed juice and smoothie options.
Midtown bistro, featuring executive chef Angel Estrada, offers Santa Fe gourmet fine dining with a Southwest flair.
229 Galisteo, Santa Fe 505-989-1919, www.loliviersantafe.com
548 Agua Fria Street, Santa Fe 505-930-5325, www.radishandrye.com Farm inspired cuisine: simple yet innovative food and drinks sourced locally whenever possible. We work closely with local farmers and ranchers to build our menu.
Red Sage at Buffalo Thunder is perfect for your next romantic night out. Fare rotates seasonally. Enjoy the extensive wine list.
edible Santa Fe | LATE SUMMER 2015
The original specialty, local micro-roasted coffee source since 1984. Along with our fresh beans, we serve espresso, pour-over, teas, pastries, donuts, burritos, chocolates, and more.
300 Santa Fe County Road 98, Chimayó 505-984-2100, www.ranchodechimayo.com Celebrating our fiftieth anniversary this year as a treasured part of New Mexico’s history and heritage—a timeless tradition. Serving worldrenowned authentic New Mexican cuisine in an exceptional setting since 1965.
414 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe 505-955-0765, www.riochamasteakhouse.com 20 Buffalo Thunder, Santa Fe 505-819-2056, www.buffalothunderresort.com
505 Cerrillos and 1098 South St. Francis, Santa Fe 505-982-9692, www.ohoriscoffee.com
A “home away from home” for both locals and visitors. Chef Blankenship features innovated classics on American cuisine with New Mexican influences. Offering the best prime rib, burgers and fondue in town. Our patio is one of Santa Fe’s most popular and inviting patios.
815 Early, Santa Fe 505-989-1288, www.rasajuice.com An organic juice bar and café committed to offering delicious plant-based foods, cold pressed juices, and innovative cleansing and detox programs.
1814 Second Street, Santa Fe 505-982-3030, www.secondstreetbrewery.com Second Street offers a welcoming, friendly environment where you can enjoy hand-crafted beer and delicious food. Gluten-intolerant friends can enjoy gluten-removed hand-crafted Kölsch and IPA.
1607 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe 505-989-3278, www.secondstreetbrewery.com
304 Johnson, Santa Fe 505-989-1166, www.terracottawinebistro.com
653 Canyon Road, Santa Fe 505-982-4353, www.compoundrestaurant.com
Located near the Rail Runner train depot, Second Street Railyard offers comfortable atmosphere, good food, and delicious micro-brewed beer. Now brewing gluten-removed Kölsch and IPA.
A smart, casual restaurant located in a charming one-hundred-year-old adobe. Seasonally-changing, globally-inspired cuisine and an extensive, valued-priced wine list.
The Compound Restaurant has a heritage rich in history and regional influences. Chef Mark Kiffin continues to preserve a landmark tradition of elegant food and service at his Canyon Road institution.
112 West San Francisco, Santa Fe 505-983-7445, santafeculinaryacademy.com The Guesthouse is the Santa Fe Culinary Academy's Student Restaurant. The concept, menu and design reflect the students’ curriculum and changes regularly to showcase their talent and embrace local, seasonal products.
709 Don Cubero Alley, Santa Fe, 505-820-9205 www.vinaigretteonline.com Our salad-centric philosophy focuses on bold flavor combinations and savory proteins to compliment a huge variety of organic greens.
124 F Bent Street, Taos 575-758-0606 THE BEST COFFEE IN TAOS! Fair trade, organic espresso, chai frappes, smoothies, gelato, and pastries. Featuring the only ROCKBAR ever! Come on in and drop a rock in YOUR drink!
5 TAOS, NEW MEXICO
125 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte, Taos 575-758-1977, www.taosinn.com Serving lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Patio dining, fresh local foods, award-wining wines, and margaritas. Try our signature chile rellenos.
1032 Paseo Del Pueblo Sur, Taos 575-758-8484, www.5starburgers.com Fresh beef, free of hormones or antibiotics. Best burger in New Mexico says USA TODAY. A wide selection of sandwiches, salads, a kid’s menu, beer, and wine. Happy hour 4 - 6 every day.
103 East Taos Plaza, Taos 575-758-1994, www.parcht.com /pärCHt/= the physical condition resulting from the need to drink wine, eat good food, and shop…in Taos.
TAOS DINER I & II
908 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, 575-758-2374 216 B Paseo del Pueblo Sur, 575-751-1989 www.taosdinner.com Home to New Mexican and American homemade, homegrown, and organic breakfast, lunch, and dinners. Gluten-free choices. Beer and wine.
100 Kachina Road, Taos Ski Valley 575-776-8020, www.thebavarian.com Genuine Bavarian cuisine, German beers on tap, and magnificent mountain views make the Bavarian the perfect place to gather after a day outdoors in the cool mountain air of Taos Ski Valley.
103 East Taos Plaza, Taos 575-758-8866, www.thegorgebarandgrill.com Our menu is straightforward yet eclectic, and chock full of favorites made from scratch using as many fresh and local ingredients as possible.
last bite BANG BITE PALETAS Recipes by Enrique Guerrero
3 cups fresh hulled or thawed frozen strawberries, divided 2 tablespoons basil, chopped and divided 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Place 2 cups of whole strawberries in a glass or plastic bowl with 1 tablespoon basil. Top with sugar and balsamic vinegar. Toss and let marinate for 1 hour. Slice remaining strawberries and set aside. In blender, puree strawberry-vinegar mixture until smooth. Add strawberry slices and remaining basil. Mix well and pour into ice-pop molds. Insert sticks and freeze for about 8 hours. Enjoy with a glass of grappa.
BLUEBERRY-LAVENDER LEMONADE 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon culinary lavender 1 1/4 cups water, divided 3 tablespoons lemon juice 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen Bring sugar, lavender, and 1/4 cup water to boil in saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and steep for at least 30 minutes. Combine remaining water with lemon juice. Strain lavender from syrup, add to lemon water, and mix well. Distribute evenly into ice-pop molds, filling each about threequarters full. Drop several blueberries into each mold, until the liquid reaches the top. Insert sticks and freeze for about 8 hours. Vodka, rum, aguardiente, or piscoâ€”any of these would be great with this pop.
edible Santa Fe | LATE SUMMER 2015
who doesn’t think that the best hamburger place in the world is in their hometown is a: a) nincompoop
502 OLD SANTA FE TRAIL • 505-469-2345 • BANGBITESF.COM
ROMANCE, DRAMA, FUN! ... all at THE SANTA FE OPERA
Kate Russell photo
Love is a Battlefield. Call in the Cavalry.
JULY 3 – AUGUST 29
THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT A Father’s Curse.
The Mystery Of Love.
Mozart’s Maze Of Love.
LA FINTA GIARDINIERA
What Is At The Center Of Your Soul?
Composer Jennifer Higdon Librettist Gene Scheer
First-Time Buyers Robert Godwin photo
who are NM Residents:
Save 40% Call for details!
Arrive early with a tailgate supper to enjoy the sunset and mountain views. BACKSTAGE TOURS are available Monday - Friday at 9 am from the Box Office.
In this issue, we examine the many unexpected opportunities wild and cultivated places offer for gathering sustenance, understanding of seas...
Published on Aug 1, 2015
In this issue, we examine the many unexpected opportunities wild and cultivated places offer for gathering sustenance, understanding of seas...