So smack dab in the middle of the shortest month of the seemingly longest season of the year is a day that you either love or hate. Valentine’s Day. Ideally, on such a day, one dines deliciously and decadently—a late-night dinner, fine wines, a lavish dessert, a lit fire and perhaps a box of chocolate and rose petals… But let’s face it. So in the face of the month of love, this February, we asked three of our favorite, talented Albuquerque pastry chefs to share with us a romantic dessert creation. Because truly, a day spent in the kitchen baking an indulgent, sweet and delicious treat is inevitably and wonderfully romantic, no matter how you look at it…or who you share it with (or don’t).
Chef Lilly Quiroz of Hotel Andaluz keeps it “Spanish, romantic and fancy” with her Leche Frita; Chef Willem Blom of Flying Star Café generously shares his Chocolate Crème Brulee with Grand Marnier and Raspberries; and from Heather Guay at Los Poblanos, a “subtle, sophisticated and sexy” Hazelnut Cake with Elderberry Poached Pear.
Sometimes cupid’s darts simply strike us in the guise of a spoon. Continue reading
“When did ginger beer become indispensable?” I turned on the TV just in time to hear a fictional bartender utter these words. When, indeed? There was a time when mixers came out of a gun and the most exciting fresh fruit behind a bar was an orange. Mixologists are more than mere bartenders, they are passionate about their craft and take time to create cocktails that use fresh, seasonal ingredients, usually sourced locally, which enhance the flavors of the spirit rather than mask them. These drinks are fabulous on their own, but when paired with the right food the combinations complement each other the way a Chianti complements pasta with tomato sauce.
Apothecary Lounge at Hotel Parq Central
Katixa Mercier, Apothecary Lounge Manager, and Frank Sanchez, Chef
When Katixa Mercier came to the Apothecary Lounge three months ago she had the opportunity not only to develop the cocktail program but to work with Chef Frank Sanchez to create a bar menu of small plates that would work with the cocktails. On mixology Katixa says, “It’s important to honor the classics,” but she also likes to “push the envelope a bit and get to play.” Katixa focuses on local ingredients for her cocktails as much as possible. “Hotel Parq Central is a local business and we feel a social responsibility to give back to the community.” A restaurant and bar can’t stand out there on their own—they need to “be involved with the whole industry. People want to know where things come from.” Continue reading