The Buzz – July 2016


Kudos to Dennis Apodaca, chef at Eli’s Place (formerly Sophia’s Place). He’s about to be Chopped. As in, he’ll appear in an episode of the Food Network cooking competition show Chopped that will film in New York in August. You may remember that Sophia’s Place was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives a few years ago. Four chefs compete in Chopped for $10,000, but it’s really the exposure and free advertising that attracts restaurateurs from around the nation for this program. The timing is fortuitous, too, as Apodaca’s got a new restaurant on tap – Maya, focusing on Meosamerican cuisine, for Downtown later this summer. Break a leg, chef!

Props to The Dog House for being voted most underrated restaurant in New Mexico by Says the site, “What The Dog House may lack in ambiance they make up for in the taste of their chili dogs. Breaking Bad even used The Dog House as a filming location.” Mmmmm, hot dogs…

Welcome to Nob Hill, Pete’s Frites, a Belgian-style fries brick-and-mortar expansion of a Santa Fe-based food truck. Owners Maria and Peter Gabriele’s successful concept came from Pete’s obsession with fried potatoes. He says he experimented with methods from around the world to get the perfect fry and borrowed from both European and American styles. The result is a flavorful fry that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I know that’s the way I like my fries. Of course, burgers, fish and chips and a truck favorite, salt cod fritters, are on the menu, too. They plan a mid-July opening, so watch the former Shade Tree Customs & Cafe space and their Facebook page for details.

Due to popular demand, St. James Tearoom has scheduled a second Tardis Tea: Celebrating Doctor Who on July 6. “The universe is big. It’s vast and complicated and ridiculous. And sometimes, very rarely, impossible things just happen and we call them miracles,” said the Eleventh Doctor. So brush up on your Gallifreyan trivia, and join the tearoom for an evening featuring the beloved BBC sci-fi series. Guests are encouraged to dress as their favorite character or perhaps in a costume depicting a moment in time visited during their favorite episode. Reservations at 505.242.3752, but hurry! Time waits for no man. Oh, wait…

Book and beer lovers rejoice at Duel Belgian Style Brewery and Taproom in Albuquerque and Santa Fe! The New Mexico Foundation for Literary Arts and Duel team up to present Books & Beer, a weekly free book exchange and spoken word performance, to be held at both of the artisan Belgian-style brewery’s taprooms. The events are schedule for Tuesdays in Santa Fe, and Wednesdays in Albuquerque. Guests may bring up to three gently used books, and can take home as many books as they donate, free of charge. A $5 suggested donation keeps The New Mexico Foundation for Literary Arts’ programs running. Come support literacy while enjoying the finest craft beer in the state!

July 13, experience La Pasión de Mariachi, a celebration of the art form of mariachi at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Performances will demonstrate various styles within the genre, including son, huapango and ranchera. There will also be a demonstration of the beautiful teaching exchange between “master instructor” and student in violin, guitar and voice. This exercise demonstrates the great gift of the workshop offered through Mariachi Spectacular de Albuquerque – it’s rare in any musical genre that iconic master musicians interact with and teach youthful students. It would be as if Mick Jagger and Keith Richards taught voice and guitar to an everyday music student. What a wonderful way to spend an evening! More at

You’ve got three chances and three venues to see John Maestas Presents – Juán Tigre in July. Guitarist Maestas moved from Albuquerque to New Orleans and became immersed in the rich musical culture there. Now, he’s bringing a special band with him to the 505 from the 504. Sunday, July 24 at Seasons; Thursday, July 28 on the patio at Savoy Bar & Grill; and Saturday, July 30 at the Zinc Cellar Bar. Welcome back John, and we can’t wait to hear what you’ve brought us from NOLA.

Mark your calendars for July 10 and the return of Sybarite5, the string quintet with rockstar status that has taken audiences worldwide by storm. They’ll be in Albuquerque for the start of their summer tour. Chatter regulars will remember the quintet’s electrifying appearances in the past. Sybarite5 will be performing works from their new CD Outliers, along with old favorites by Radiohead, Piazzolla and more. Outliers is the first CD Sybarite5 has done entirely made up of new music, written especially for them by celebrated young composers including Andy Akiho, Kenji Bunch, and Dan Visconti. The CD was engineered by Grammy-winning producer Paul Zinman. Details at

On Saturday, July 9 at First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, the New Mexico Symphonic Chorus presents it third Annual Summer Showcase of Talent, where you will enjoy the individual performing talents of members of the Chorus. Admission is free, with donations welcome to support the Chorus. More at

Santa Fe

The Palace Restaurant and Saloon welcomes a new executive chef, Evan Doughty, whose Santa Fe experience includes The Old House at the Eldorado Hotel, and cheffing at Quail Run. He’s a Culinary Institute of America grad who owned his own restaurant with his wife Jennifer on the Oregon Coast before moving to New Mexico in 2012. Since May, he’s been wowing Palace diners with his original food, seasonal and locally focused menu and hospitality. Congrats, chef!

And more chef shufflling….David Gaspar de Alba is no longer at Radish and Rye––Kiko Rodriguez left Taberna and is now at Izanami. The old Zia Diner space is buzzing with excitement and a new restaurant!

Kudos to Deborah Madison on winning the coveted James Beard Foundation’s Cookbook Hall of Fame award for her body of work that has had a significant and enduring impact on the way we cook and understand food. The Santa Fean’s evocative writing, exacting scholarship and generosity of wisdom has made her several cookbooks true kitchen guides. Madison has published 11 books and has at least two more in the works, many of which have earned individual awards, including three James Beard Book Awards for Vegetable Literacy, Local Flavors, and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. She’s also a member of the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.

Speaking of cookbooks, Paddy Rawal, chef/owner of Raaga/Modern Indian Cuisine, has released Curry, Korma & Kebab, A Culinary Journey of India. His second cookbook celebrates the best in Indian cooking, featuring recipes beyond the restaurant’s fare. These delicacies, though exotic, are easy to make and a veritable homecook’s delight. More than just a cookbook, Curry, Korma & Kebab is also a culinary journal. The recipes are an adventure into 20 cities in the four regions of India, many off the beaten track, offering a rare glimpse into areas worth exploring even if only from our kitchens. Available July 15 exclusively at Raaga. We can’t wait to experiment with Rawal’s amazing flavors!

Big congratulations to Jennifer Doughty, Chef at Inn on the Alameda’s Agoyo Lounge, on being awarded membership into the highly selective and coveted Chaîne des Rôtisseurs network. She’s one of the first female chefs in Santa Fe to receive the honor. Chaîne des Rôtisseurs membership is by personal invitation and awards membership to top chefs, internationally. At the Inn on the Alameda’s Agoyo Lounge, Chef Jen prepares custom menus for groups, as well as seasonal specials, an extensive menu, including authentic New Mexican cuisine, based on locally grown regional cuisine, presented artistically, to assure a memorable and nurturing dining experience. Nice work, Chef! Visit
Farewell to a favorite Santa Fe chef, Andrew Cooper of Terra at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado. He’s left us for the Waldorf Astoria in La Quinta, California. We’ll miss his amazing food, his infectious good humor and commitment to community and sustainability. All the best, Chef!

More love for Eloisa, the only New Mexico restaurant noted in the Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s annual America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurant list. Each year, the magazine’s team of editors combs the nation in search of restaurants they feel reflect the best, brightest and most progressive wine and food experiences available today. This list reflects restaurants where wine, food, service and atmosphere are all integral to the overall experience––with an emphasis on discovery.
And accolades for New Mexico History Museum, which will receive The American Association for State and Local History’s Award of Merit for Leadership in History for the its Historic New Mexico Maps project. The culmination of a four-year effort to catalog more than 6,000 maps, along with hosting an array of public programs and producing Historic Maps as Teaching Tools: A Curriculum Guide for Grades 5–8, the project was overseen by Patricia Hewitt of the Museum’s Fray Angélico Chávez History Library. She and the museum share the award with the co-writers of the curriculum guide, Drs. Judy and Dennis Reinhartz. The project successfully opened the museum’s extraordinary collection of maps to the public. Go history!

Ever want to meet a diva? Here’s your chance. World-famous soprano Patricia Racette (starring as Minnie is this summer’s Santa Fe Opera production of Girl of the Golden West) will appear in conversation with Brad Woolbright, the Opera’s director of artistic administration on July 17. Their wide-ranging discussion will be followed by a reception, giving attendees a chance to meet Ms. Racette. Tickets available by phone or in person from the Opera’s Box Office, 505.986.5900. Proceeds benefit the Opera’s Capital Campaign.

Raise your glass at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival’s Music and Wine Gala on July 19, benefiting the Festival and its important year-round music education programs serving our community’s children. The evening includes a recital at St. Francis Auditorium with Festival stars Cho-Liang Lin and Orion Weiss and a sumptuous four-course dinner with wine pairings. Guest vintners Karin and David Oliver of Ram’s Gate Winery and Brenda and Clay Cockerell of Coquerel Family Wine Estate will be there. Tickets at 505.983.2075.

July 16, learn to cook traditional Ethiopian cuisine from Almaz Tesfamichael, an Ethiopian living in Los Alamos. She has lived in the US for many years, but frequently returns to Ethiopia, where she still has close family. A portion of the lesson and dinner’s cost will go to expand a water well at an Orthodox convent about an hour outside the city of Asmara, Ethiopia. Fifty nuns ranging in age from 12 to over 100 live there. The menu of chicken with turmeric, garlic and onion, leg of lamb Berbere with spices, kale, injera, desert, wine and Ethiopian coffee sounds delish! To reserve your space call Ardis Burst at 505.989.1316 or 505.670.7259.

July 23 will be an electric night of great food and great music featuring the saxophonist for Ceelo Green, Marcus Anderson. Anderson will present a special engagement at one of the hottest night-spots in Santa Fe, Skylight. Anderson also played with Prince and will do a special tribute to him. VIP Balcony seating includes a two-course dinner prepared by one of the celebrated chefs of Santa Fe. More at

On July 19 and July 26, the Santa Fe Garden Club hosts its 77th annual Behind Adobe Walls Home and Garden Tours. Santa Fe’s most prestigious home and garden tour features four different, seldom-seen private homes and gardens each week by guided bus tour. The 2016 tours will feature several homes of historic and architectural significance in the Santa Fe community. Tour proceeds benefit the Santa Fe Garden Club’s local on-going education, beautification and conservation projects including the Santa Fe Botanical Garden and the New Mexico Museum of Art courtyard garden. Tickets at 505.984.0022.

After playing bossa nova in Montana for 10 years, the Santa Fe-based duo of Max Hatt and Edda Glass took top honors at the 2014 New Song Competition. Now, they’ve achieved a life-long dream, to be featured on NPR’s Mountain Stage. Described by the contest’s director as “arguably the most distinctive winner we’ve ever had,” the pair’s original music features Hatt’s deceptively complex melodies and Glass’ evocative lyrics that draw from Western imagery. Their upcoming release is titled Oceans of Birds. Congrats to both and take a listen at

Summer’s here and it’s time again for the New Mexico Dance Coalition’s Annual MONO MUNDO World Dance Festival on the historic Santa Fe Plaza. This 21st year features a variety of dance styles including: Irish Dance, Persian and Middle Eastern Belly dance, Breakdancing, African, Modern Dance. From local Northern New Mexico artists from Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Madrid, such as Belisama Irish Dance, Mosaic Dance Company, the Saltanah Dancers/ Habibis, Azadeh of Madrid, 3HC Holy Faith Breakdancers, Rya Baila, Moria African Dance, and more. Be on the Plaza Saturday, July 23 for this free event. More at

Fresh food, baked goods and more are on the bill for the Southside Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, which kicks off its summer season on July 5 at the Santa Fe Place Mall. Every Tuesday through September 27, get your produce on! The kick-off event includes dancing from Los Niños de Santa Fe, music by Mariachi Buenaventura, a bounce house for kids, the Axle Contemporary Mobile Art Truck, cooking demos, food trucks and the Santa Fe County Mobile Health Van, offering free health screenings. Details at


Good news for book lovers and lovers of independent, local stores: Taos Book Gallery opened a few months ago at 117-A Kit Carson Road between Wilder Nightingale and Amoré art galleries, owned by Mike and Mary Jane Butler. Kudos to the couple for bringing the literary to Taos! The store features new and used books, with an emphasis on Western history and art, and a large selection of signed first editions. Yeah for books!

Interested in botany? The Taos Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico hosts a July 16 hike of Pedernal/Ghost Ranch, focused on evaluation of the desert plants of this upper-Sonoran zone, characterized by cactus, yucca, juniper and piñon. The hike will allow evaluation of plants in a unique geological setting essentially covering the Mesozoic time period. Following the hike, participants tour the Ghost Ranch museum before returning. This hike isn’t strenuous, but has some small hills and valleys, so bring a walking stick and wear appropriate hiking gear, a hat and sunscreen. Bring a lunch and plenty of water. Contact Dr. John Ubelaker at 214.726.5014 for info, or go to

If you haven’t already gotten your tickets for the August 6 Alabama Shakes concert at Kit Carson Park, you better hurry. AMP Concerts reports that tickets are flying out the door for this once-in-a-summer experience. Grammy Award-winning Alabama Shakes’ brand of soulful blues-rock is high-energy and highly entertaining. LA rock quartet Dawes opens. What could be better than an evening of music outside on a Taos summer night? Nothing. Tickets at


by Kelly Koepke

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