Here’s your opportunity to recognize the hard work your favorite food and farming organizations and businesses have put into championing farm-fresh, locally produced food in New Mexico. Edible New Mexico’s annual Local Hero Awards are “people’s choice” awards, nominated and voted on by you, our readers, which makes these awards all the more meaningful to the recipients. VIEW PAST WINNERS


Nominations are open from February 28 through March 31, 2023. Voting will be open from April 7 through May 7. Winners are announced on July 1.

Local Hero Awards in twenty-six categories are open to any New Mexico food or farming organization, business, or individual located within the state. Anyone may submit a nomination and voting in twenty-two categories is open to the public. Self-nominations are accepted. Local Hero Awards, including Olla and Spotlight awards, honor cumulative achievement; awardees are not eligible to win more than once in a single category.

The Olla Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions in the realm of good food work in New Mexico, and whose work contributes to a more robust local food system.

The Spotlight Awards bring attention to individuals who often go unrecognized, but whose work is integral to New Mexico’s local food system.

To be considered, nominations for Olla and Spotlight Awards must include a brief (one-to-three-paragraph) statement describing, in the nominator’s own words, the person’s work and why they should be recognized. Anyone may submit a nomination, and winners are determined by the edible team. Supporting statements are also encouraged for Innovator, Sustainability, and Nonprofit categories, and may help ensure your nominee’s consideration.

All Local Hero nominees should demonstrate leadership in our communities by:

    • Adhering to responsible environmental and/or social practices
    • Producing high-quality products and/or services
    • Positively impacting the local economy
    • Committing to building and maintaining a robust local food system


After the nomination period closes, edible New Mexico staff compiles all nominations. Up to ten nominees in each category move on to the  voting round. Voting for the 2023 awards will be open between April 7 and May 7.


Local Hero winners in twenty-two categories are determined through a public voting period, after which the winners will be the finalists in each category who receive the most votes. To honor work often undertaken out of the public eye, Spotlight and Olla Awards will be determined by the edible team. The most compelling nominations will be evaluated to select winners for each category. Award winners will be announced in our July/August issue.


Polls will be open for voting from April 7 through May 7.


  • Food Artisan 
  • Bakery
  • Beverage Artisan (defined as a business, not a person)
    • Wine
    • Beer
    • Spirits
    • Non-alcoholic (coffee, kombucha, etc.)
  • Gastropub (a pub, bar, or tavern serving high-quality food)
  • Cocktail Program
  • Cafe/Coffee Shop (defined as breakfast and/or lunch only)
  • Farm / Ranch
    • Greater New Mexico
    • Central New Mexico
  • Restaurant (defined as serving dinner)
    • Greater New Mexico
    • Santa Fe
    • Albuquerque
  • Chef
    • Santa Fe
    • Albuquerque
    • Greater NM
  • Food Truck
  • Specialty Grocer/Bottle Shop (food and/or drink retail)
  • Innovator: Design (farm, restaurant, or food business)
  • Nonprofit
  • Sustainability: Labor Practices
  • Olla Award
  • Spotlight Award: Front of House Employee
  • Spotlight Award: Back of House Employee
  • Spotlight Award: Farmworker (defined as any farm staff person or intern)