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2015 James Beard Finalists Announced!

The finalists for the 2015 James Beard Awards—largely considered the Oscars of the food world—have been announced, and we could not be more proud that two of our local stars in the culinary community have made the list. Ron Cooper of Del Maguey Single Village Mescal in Ranchos de Taos...

Cerrillos Hills State Park: Equinox Hike

  The vernal equinox is here. On March 20, 2015, the sun will cross directly over the earth’s equator, marking the beginning of our beautiful desert spring. Equinox, which is derived from the latin aequus and nox, translates literally as “equal night”— it is a special day of balance between...

Verde

Green. As well as being a color, it’s a term for a highly nutritious leafy vegetable and a descriptor for an ecologically sustainable way of life. Quite fittingly, it’s also the name (in Spanish) of Verde, the cold-press juice bar that Kelly Egolf opened last fall. When she came upon...

Notes from the Field

Hiking backcountry trails, of which there are many in Northern New Mexico, is one of my favorite things to do. Long distances require that the hiker to maintain a state of calm, both in body and mind, constantly adjust exertion to conditions and conserve energy. In maintaining this balance, your...

The Buzz

What's in, what's out, what's hot, what's not... that's the buzz!

The Art Buzz

The Art Buzz: March 2015

Chocolate Fantasy 2015

Our March Local Favorite: Chocolate Fantasy
This month in Local Flavor: The concept of balance - having a sense of one's equilibrium, stability - seemed to work its way into this health and wellness issue quite on its own. In this issue, find stories on slacklining, hiking, native plants that heal, the newly opened Verde juice bar, and much more!

 

Local Flavor is northern New Mexico’s complimentary food, wine and lifestyle magazine for Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos and Los Alamos. Local Flavor is read avidly by people living in northern New Mexico, as well as by thousands of visitors who travel to our area each year. Since 1994, Local Flavor has published stories about New Mexico chefs, restaurants, farmers, vintners, recipes and wine. In 2001, we added more flavors to the mix, and now include home decor, travel, design, arts and artisans, personal style, gardening, music and events. We offer visitors an insider’s look at local culture, area museums, galleries, restaurants and recreation—the best activities to experience and places to eat during a visit to New Mexico. We celebrate the deep historical roots of our community, the ethnic diversity of our people and the unique character of life in the high desert. We do this through in-depth stories on individuals who we feel embody these ideals. At its best, Local Flavor captures the essence of who we are.

2015 James Beard Finalists Announced!

The finalists for the 2015 James Beard Awards—largely considered the Oscars of the food world—have been announced, and we could not be more proud that two of our local stars in the culinary community have made the list.

Photo compliments of Del Maguey

Photo compliments of Del Maguey

Ron Cooper of Del Maguey Single Village Mescal in Ranchos de Taos has been nominated for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional. He is up against four other individuals from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (DE), Littorai Wines (CA), Mina Group (CA) and Buffalo Trace Distillery (KY). Congratulations! We wish you the best of luck.

 

 

Photo by Gabriella Marks

Photo by Gabriella Marks

Martín Rios of Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe has been nominated for Best Chef Southwest alongside five other of the region’s most talented chefs: Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s (AZ), Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue (TX), Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine (TX), Hugo Ortega of Hugo’s (TX) and Justin Yu of Oxheart (TX). We are thrilled to have you in our local community—best of luck!

 

 

Thank you both for putting New Mexico on the map!

Cerrillos Hills State Park: Equinox Hike

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compliments of New Mexico State Parks


 

The vernal equinox is here. On March 20, 2015, the sun will cross directly over the earth’s equator, marking the beginning of our beautiful desert spring. Equinox, which is derived from the latin aequus and nox, translates literally as “equal night”— it is a special day of balance between nighttime and daylight, winter and spring. We believe it’s also the perfect time to practice the balance of mind and body; Continue reading

Christ in the Desert Monastery

Tony O'Brien, A Quiet Moment, Monastery of Christ in the Desert, 1996, available in various sizes, courtesty of Verve Gallery of Photography

Tony O’Brien, A Quiet Moment, Monastery of Christ in the Desert, 1996, available in various sizes, courtesty of Verve Gallery of Photography

“I yearn for happiness, I ask for help, I want mercy and my love says, “Look at me and hear me, because I am here just for that. I am the moon and the moonlight, too. I am your flower garden and the water, too. I have come all this way, eager for you, without shoes or shawl. I want you to laugh, dissolve all your worries. To love you, to nourish you. I will bring you roses. I, too, have been covered with thorns.”

—Rumi, 13th century mystic Persian poet

By the end of last year, I was so far away from myself that my body and my head were in separate rooms. With my thoughts racing around and around the same tree, I felt deeply depressed and, alienated from the whole human species, more than once I made a public fool of myself. Limping into 2015, I just wished I could escape. Not a vacation but a retreat. Continue reading

Plants that Nourish

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To those of us who call northern New Mexico home—and to those of us who keep traveling back—the trees, flowers and brush that dapple and scent our high-desert landscape are as much a part of the atmosphere that defines this place as the vivid golden light and the soft, looming mountains. This is a place whose botanical traditions are as unique and vibrant as its culinary ones. For over 400 years, the northern New Mexican curanderos, Hispanic folk healers, have harvested and made use of the healing properties of local flora—and the Puebloans have done so for far longer than that, from ancient times.  Continue reading

Café Bien

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Photo by Stephen Lang

“Don’t beat the heck out of that broccoli—you’re taking the vitamins out of it,” Chef Ernesto Duran says to one of his prep chefs while telling me about how much he loves locally grown vegetables and the opportunity to cook them simply. He pauses on the other end of the line to answer someone nearby, then says, “I gotta go—call you right back. Sorry!” And I remember where he is—a clinic waiting room. You see, he’s been feeling under the weather for a few days and finally decided to just have someone take a look. The irony of talking about nutrients and health in general is not lost on either of us—it is very much on his mind, both to allow him to do the work he loves and to nurture his customers at his downtown Albuquerque restaurant, Café Bien. Continue reading

Still Hungry? March 2015

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With the arrival of our annual health and wellness issue, we decided it was time to shelve the heavy holiday treats in exchange for ingredients that nourish the body and brain. We asked four local chefs known for their emphasis on healthy, wholesome food to share their favorite super ingredient with us. Along with tips on getting the most out of their super ingredient, they also gave us a recipe for you to try at home. We’re confident all will leave you feeling lighter, healthier and ready to embrace the greener days ahead. Continue reading

Congratulations, James Beard Semi-Finalists!

A huge congratulations to all of the amazing local chefs who were announced as James Beard semi-finalists for Best Chef Southwest! Click on the chef’s name below to view stories we’ve written about them in the past.
 
Best Chef: Southwest
 
Andrew Cooper of Terra at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Santa Fe
Photo by Gabriella Marks

Photo by Gabriella Marks

Jennifer James of Jennifer James 101 in Albuquerque
Photo by Gaelen Casey

Photo by Gaelen Casey

 
Jonathan Perno of La Merienda at Los Poblanos in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque
Young Chef Perno with his brothers

Young Chef Perno with his brothers

Martín Rios of Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe
Photo by Gabriella Marks

Photo by Gabriella Marks

New Mexico Restaurant Week 2015

Screen Shot 2015-01-30 at 10.13.08 AMThe tastiest week of the year is almost here! New Mexico Restaurant Week, now in its sixth year, kicks off in Santa Fe on February 22 and continues in mid-March in Albuquerque and Taos. Participating restaurants from each city will put their best dishes forward during this annual culinary celebration, offering prix fixe menus at delicious prices—so start loosening your belts, planning your dining destinations and looking forward to the foodie adventure that awaits you!

That adventure is better than ever this year in the Land of Enchantment. Restaurant Week, which originated in Continue reading

Verde

Photo by Gabriella Marks

Photo by Gabriella Marks

Green. As well as being a color, it’s a term for a highly nutritious leafy vegetable and a descriptor for an ecologically sustainable way of life. Quite fittingly, it’s also the name (in Spanish) of Verde, the cold-press juice bar that Kelly Egolf opened last fall.

When she came upon the empty space on San Mateo—in a Santa Fe neighborhood with 15 fitness facilities—Kelly knew she had found the perfect location for Verde. But that was just the beginning of the appeal. “One of the things that drew me to [the building] was the skylights,” she says. There was, however, “no duct work, no sinks. We had build everything out from four walls.”

Today, roughly a third of Verde’s 3,000 squarefoot space is taken up by the storefront, which is clean, sleek and minimal, with picture windows, bright white walls and fresh accents of (what else?) green. The remaining twothirds, in the back, houses rollup doors for produce delivery, two separate kitchens (one for washed produce and one for unwashed), ample storage areas for glass bottles, a space that will soon house a walk-in fridge and, of course, the juicer. Surprisingly diminutive, it is the smallest two-part cold press available for commercial purposes. Kelly and her staff have nicknamed it Bess the Cold Press, and they might eventually add a second one. Bess consists of a grinder on the top and a press on the bottom. Continue reading

Notes from the Field

Photo by Sally King, compliments of Bandelier National Monument

Photo by Sally King, compliments of Bandelier National Monument

Hiking backcountry trails, of which there are many in Northern New Mexico, is one of my favorite things to do. Long distances require that the hiker to maintain a state of calm, both in body and mind, constantly adjust exertion to conditions and conserve energy. In maintaining this balance, your mind becomes quiet and distinctions between person and place fade away … the best nourishment for the soul I know. One such hike is to the Stone Lions Shrine in Bandelier National Monument. It covers 13 miles round trip, beginning from the visitor’s center, over widely varied terrain and nearly 3,000 feet total elevation gain. This hike tests my mettle and teaches me valuable lessons every time. Continue reading

Learning the Ropes

Photo by Kitty Leaken

Photo by Kitty Leaken

The state of being fit is as different for each of us as the way we live, and to the extent that we live and work in our minds, our mental fitness is as important as physical. Heap on to our brainy lives a seemingly limitless barrage of stimulus vying for our attention, and well, if you happen to have a length of webbing and two trees to suspend it from, it’s time to walk a slackline.

Speaking with slackers David Moench and Jamie Spencer-Zavos, it becomes clear right away that, for them, slacklining is very much about focusing their minds. Yes, it’s physical but mostly it’s a meditative thing. David, who grew up in Placitas, New Mexico, told me, “It was invented by people rock climbing in Yosemite Valley, who wanted to take rest days. They’d play around, bouncing on webbing, in the campgrounds on their off days.” This makes perfect sense. If ever there was a sport and a group of people all about focus, it’s rock climbing and climbers. Continue reading