Campo at Los Poblanos and Vivác Winery
Recipe by Jonathan Perno, Executive Chef · Photos by Stephanie Cameron
This is edible’s third installment of “Chefs Talk Wine,” where we ask a chef to pick a favorite local wine and create a recipe that celebrates that wine. We are committed to telling the stories of New Mexican wine, which plays a vital part in our local agriculture and the good-food movement.
Chef Jonathan Perno grew up in New Mexico, trained at the California Culinary Academy, and spent time at Postrio, Splendido, and Alain Rondelli in San Francisco; at Sweet Basil in Vail; at Splendido at The Château in Beaver Creek; and at the Metropolitan in Salt Lake City. His résumé also includes the requisite European culinary tour, including a stage at La Tante Claire in London. In addition, he spent a year learning raised-bed farming at an organic farm in Berkeley, California.
Perno fits in perfectly at Los Poblanos. He’s done everything from harvesting honey from the farm’s bees for his house-made chocolates to collaborating on the creation of Campo, the farm’s exceptional new restaurant. He is a strong advocate of the farm-to-table philosophy and the slow food movement. While he’s absolutely content to let the fresh ingredients take all the credit, Perno has already impressed the most critical of foodies with his unique perspective on food.
Tell us about your philosophy when pairing wine with food at Los Poblanos.
I try to make food to meet everyone’s tastes in wine. You don’t know if a customer is going to like whites or reds, so I work to make it universal without compromising the integrity of the product. If you like a wine, it’s a good wine. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Wine should be natural, approachable, and not intimidating.
How do you navigate the connection of flavors between food and wine?
Instinct. I lean on that more than anything, because I’m not really wine savvy. Sometimes I taste the food before the wine and sometimes the wine before food, then go back and forth between whichever is leading the charge.
What’s your process around creating dishes to pair with a wine?
Dylan Storment, beverage director at Los Poblanos, develops the wine around the menu I have created. I am creating the food based on where we are with the season and availability of ingredients, and I trust that he is doing the same with the wine. If we are both doing that consciously and with intention, there is a natural togetherness.
In your experience, is it hard to convince New Mexicans to drink New Mexico wine?
Wine in New Mexico is underappreciated. It hasn’t been recognized as a force and everything in New Mexico is under the radar. I think getting people to drink New Mexican wine is hard because it doesn’t have the marketing power of states like California, Oregon, and Washington.
Which are your favorite styles of wine?
Dry rosés with tannin and big cabs and old-world wines.
Tell us about the wine you are pairing with your recipe.
We selected the 2017 Grüner Veltliner “1725 Estate Vineyard” from Vivác Winery. Grüner Veltliner is an Austrian grape that makes a light white wine. It is fresh, vibrant, and citrus-forward with a little bit of pepper and green apple undertones, and pairs nicely with the zucchini, tomatoes, and cream in the salad.
Is there anything else you would like edible readers to know?
Support local producers and build up New Mexico.
Get Jonathan Perno’s recipe for Zucchini, Tomato, and Cream Salad.
4803 Rio Grande NW, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque,
Edible celebrates New Mexico's food culture, season by season. We believe that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. With our high-quality, aesthetically pleasing and informative publication, we inspire readers to support and celebrate the growers, producers, chefs, beverage and food artisans, and other food professionals in our community.