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Author: Edible Santa Fe

Looking a Cow in the Eye

I’m a professional cook who ran one kitchen well enough to receive national accolades and honors as well as rave reviews. Now I oversee four kitchens, one of which is in Denver, the others in Taos, New Mexico. It’s a hell of a challenge. Can I run four kitchens as well as I ran one? I’m not sure. I do know this: ingredients, timing, and technique dictate the quality of a meal. Timing and technique can be learned, therefore they can be taught to the members of my kitchen brigades. But as for the ingredients . . . These days all the large food companies have handsome food, but they still deliver by long-distance semis and the opening and closing of those truck doors cause microclimate changes along the route from farm, to warehouse, to restaurant door. The result is stressed fruits and vegetables with taste undertones that are reminiscent of water from the backyard faucet. These companies’ default solution is to deliver under-ripe products, which lowers their liability for losses but increases the likelihood of chefs serving foods with underdeveloped flavors and getting bad reviews. Some years ago I decided that to improve the quality of food in my restaurant I would buy from local farmers, where there’s rarely a middleman and specifications are more likely to be met. By 2006, I came very close to going out...

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Capturing Essence: When Less is MoreBy Denise Miller Watching Jane and Steve Darland stand beside a partially filled stainless steel tank holding the culmination of 15 plus years of labor and passion, their joy radiates. They have reached the first important plateau of fusing organic grapes, wooden casks, plus time, into their rare, traditionally aged balsamic vinegar. “I could almost cry,” admits Jane, while we wait for Steve to retrieve a glass wine thief and climb atop a stepladder to draw tasting samples.  It’s a rare moment over a late September weekend as Jane and Steve share their remarkable accomplishment of producing something that few, other than a small, northern Italian fraternity of traditional balsamic makers, have ever tried. Twelve years is a long time to anticipate anything, even forgetting the prior years of terrace building, constructing an acetaia (vinegar loft), vineyard planting, awaiting delivery of custom Italian-made wooden casks which need a full year to acidify. But some things are worth waiting for – and clearly the aged balsamic vinegar of Old Monticello Organic Farms, NM (OM OF NM) is one of those precious things. “Nature has Her ways,” Steve explains. “Plants and sun produce sugary fruits that want to ferment, then turn to vinegar. We just get aboard that process and steer as we can.”  That is one way to begin understanding what the Darlands have undertaken,...

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In the Kitchen With:

PASTA DIVINAby Anya Sebastian Nothing says Italian food like pasta. It’s been around for centuries and even today Italians regularly consume an astonishing 60 pounds of it each year. Pasta is such an essential part of their national heritage; it’s impossible to imagine life without it. Even if they leave Italy to settle somewhere else, their pasta-making skills go with them – and sometimes that passion can turn into a business. Fortunately for New Mexicans, that’s what happened to Luisella Corbellari-Hunter, a native of Milan, when she teamed up with Michelle Martinez to create Pasta Divina. Their fresh, organic pasta, which was given a trial run at local farmers’ markets just two years ago, has since progressed to the refrigerated sections of Whole Foods and the Montanita Co-Op. The overwhelming response says it all; the delectable, Italian homemade taste of Pasta Divina has clearly found its mark. Pasta was the last thing on Louisella’s mind when she arrived from Milan as a student, to attend UNM. Her intention was to graduate (which she did, obtaining an MBA in finance) and then return home. But things changed when she met her husband-to-be, a native New Mexican from Albuquerque, and, for the next few years, she became involved in marriage and motherhood. “I was looking for something I could do as a stay-at-home Mum,” she recalls, “so I decided to give private...

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Edible Trails

New Mexico Tourism Department’sGreen Chile Cheeseburger Trail Launches The State of New Mexico rolled out the first of its new Culinary Trails initiative with the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail, celebrating the state’s iconic burger. Forty-eight restaurants were selected from nearly 200 nominees statewide by a combination of popular vote and a panel of culinary and tourism authorities. The purpose of this and the trails to come is to further attract visitors who make travel choices based on food and beverages, their local producers, and related experiences. The trails will ultimately showcase New Mexico restaurants, farmers markets, wineries, microbreweries, and other producers throughout the state. Cheryl Alters Jamison, four-time James Beard award-winning author and Culinary Liaison for the Tourism Department said “The green chile cheeseburger was chosen for the first of the trails because it’s one of our hottest foods, in all respects. Just about everyone loves a good burger, so even visitors unfamiliar with our fabulous green chile will often try it when corralled in a bun with a meat patty. Burgers are a great value, something we can all relate to in these tough economic times. They’re also fun food, and who can’t use a little injection of levity in our lives these days? The Trail is a way to promote the state’s farmers, ranchers, and food producers as well as keep New Mexicans and visitors aware that...

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Donna J Caulton

Painter, Printmaker PO Box 254, Chamisal, NM 87521 • 575 587-2721, For twenty-five years, more or less, the artist’s statements I have written have held similar content.  There have been words about balance, as in dark vs. light, as in amorphousness vs. structure.  There have been words about natural cycles; death followed by rebirth, the phases of the moon, the ever-changing seasons of our planet earth. While my interests remain the same, my focus is now more distilled.  I am simply in love with the natural world. When I think of making a painting, nature is where I find inspiration.  That world, however, is vast but potentially finite. I am aware, always, of the continuous and ever-increasing pressures we have placed upon our planet’s delicate, life-sustaining resonance.  We have tinkered in truly unallowable ways with the natural order of things. The earth is so precious.  I want every work that comes from my hands and heart to act as a remembrance of her rhythm, her pulse, the sustenance of our very lives, even if that work is a simple repetition of trees in a rhythmical representation of the moon’s phases. In remembering to honor the natural order, it is my hope to reinforce the strength and continuity of that order.  If each piece I produce encourages others to remember, to wonder, in some small way we are each...

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  1. Edible’s Rose Pop-Up Dinner

    April 20 @ 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm






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