edible Announces Our 2016 Local Heroes

We recognize this group of amazing individuals and organizations for their work to create healthy, sustainable food systems in New Mexico. We determine these awards through reader nominations and a reader poll. The local food movement is a grassroots effort that often involves late nights, backbreaking work, dirty fingernails, and being a generally 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.

Here, our readers share words on why these individuals and businesses should be nominated.

Ohori's Coffee Roasters

Ohori's Coffee Roasters

Best Beverage Artisan, Non-Alcoholic

“We’ve gone to Ohori’s since it was started as a quality fresh-roasted coffee place and have always appreciated their dark roasts. Ohori’s is local, lively, and well worth a visit.”

www.ohoriscoffee.com

RASA Juice Bar

RASA Juice Bar

Best Cafe, Santa Fe

“There is none better. So much that is complex, always from scratch, with great talent for blending flavors and originality in taste and texture. One doesn’t miss the sugar, dairy, and gluten. They work magic here with ingredients and everything tastes better than any other version…ever. Truly. Their desserts are to die for. Their meals are scrumptious, the best in town. Beverages, smoothies, juices…divine. I really don’t want to eat anywhere else.”

www.rasajuice.com

Matt Yohalem

Matt Yohalem

Best Chef, Santa Fe

“Chef Matt has devoted the last twenty years to sourcing as many local ingredients as he can as well as teaching at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, making donations to numerous charities and organizations. He is very involved within the community and Il Piatto has become the local favorite of many.”

www.ilpiattosantafe.com

Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute

Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute

Best Food Organization

“SFFMI helps preserve small farms in our community. The work they do strengthens Northern New Mexico’s agriculture and culture alike.”

www.farmersmarketinstitute.org

Kaune's Neighborhood Market

Kaune's Neighborhood Market

Best Grocery Retailer

“Cheryl has been a pillar in the Santa Fe grocery scene for many years. She has elevated Kaune’s to a comfortable and upscale boutique market that offers the basics as well as new and unusual food products for foodies and non-foodies alike…and has a great wine department. She’s a conscientious employer and buys from local farm sources, as well. She’s an all-around great contributor to the local, edible food scene who deserves to be recognized for her efforts.”

www.kaunes.com

Quinn Stephenson

Quinn Stephenson

Mixologist 2016

“Stephenson commands knowledge of spirits and flavor pairings. His ‘reverence for the ingredients’ inspires him to thoughtfully create signature cocktails that encourage locals to open their minds to something beyond the quintessential New Mexican tequila margarita.”

Santa Fe Spirits

Santa Fe Spirits

Best Beverage Artisan, Alcoholic

“Santa Fe Spirits has the distinct aromas and flavors of the region. They use unique flavors of spirits that put New Mexico on the craft distillers map.”

www.santafespirits.com

Jonathan Perno

Jonathan Perno

Best Chef, Albuquerque

“Jonathan Perno exemplifies field-to-fork cuisine. He works tirelessly to promote organic, sustainable food.”

www.lospoblanos.com

Red Tractor Farm

Red Tractor Farm

Best Farm

“Red Tractor Farm is a woman-owned and -operated, small-scale sustainable farm in the South Valley of
Albuquerque that does a wonderful job involving and educating the community through their CSA, outreach events, farmers market, workshare program, and student internship program. Not only that, but they are friendly and welcoming to boot!”

www.redtractorfarm.net

Best Food Writer

Best Food Writer

Cheryl Alters Jamison

“Cheryl is an inspiration and truly supports the local food movement. She is the voice for New Mexico’s culinary culture.”

www.excitedaboutfood.com

Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette

Best Restaurant, Albuquerque

“Erin Wade’s vision is sustainable, just like the produce she harvests everyday from Nambé. Three-quarters of Vinaigrette’s ingredients in peak season are from that single location, demonstrating her prowess as a farmer, not just as a restaurateur.”

www.vinaigretteonline.com

Cheesemongers of Santa Fe

Cheesemongers of Santa Fe

Best Specialty Retailer

“John Gutierrez passionately supports artisan dairies around the US, as well as local dairies and food producers in New Mexico, and showcases their products in the store.”

www.cheesemongersofsantafe.com

Best Cafe, Albuquerque

Best Cafe, Albuquerque

The Grove Cafe & Market

“The food is great quality and healthy. It is genuine deliciousness that is cared for and cooked properly. Everything exceeds your expectations. Organic, local, sustainably oriented, this place is amazing! I wish this piece of food heaven could be found everywhere!”

www.thegrovecafemarket.com

 

Old Windmill Dairy

Old Windmill Dairy

Best Food Artisan

“Old Windmill Dairy’s artisan cheeses are something completely different from machine made. And Ed and Michael have been a big part in growing the local food community and economy in the state.”

www.theoldwindmilldairy.com

 

Street Food Institute

Street Food Institute

Best Food Truck

“Empowering young people to succeed as culinary entrepreneurs creating a new wave in healthy, delicious food truck culture. Northern New Mexico’s Street Food Institute is the epitome of a community organization.”

www.streetfoodinstitute.org

Fire & Hops

Fire & Hops

Best Pub

“Charming, delicious gastropub in Santa Fe. This place has all the ingredients of the hippest, hoppiest gastropubs in New York City: a small, intimate, low-lit setting; a diverse and exciting beer, cider, and wine list; and, of course, delicious food.”

www.fireandhopsgastropub.com

Radish & Rye

Radish & Rye

Best Restaurant, Santa Fe

“Radish & Rye works with over thirty local vendors from New Mexico. It takes an enormous amount of effort to coordinate so many different sources to create a cohesive menu. This kind of mission needs to be celebrated to honor R&R’s commitment to the local community.”

www.radishandrye.com

Michelle Franklin

Michelle Franklin

Olla Award

“Michelle Franklin has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the importance of local, organic foods, to the needs of farmers, and to the communities that surround the farms. She makes sure that farmers can get all of their products to markets throughout New Mexico and assists in educating consumers in home and restaurant kitchens to the importance of buying locally grown organic foods and the importance to the whole community to pay a fair price for foods. She quietly makes a difference all over the state. She is truly an unsung hero who deserves recognition for all she does to bring great food to homes and businesses across New Mexico.”