The Buzz – November 2017

Albuquerque

Happy birthday to Flying Star Café! Indeed time does fly, for this month marks the beloved restaurant’s 30th anniversary. And of course, while it is Flying Star’s birthday, their presence in our community has been the real gift to us… As they put it in an email, “We’ve been baking, cooking and creating community from scratch since 1987.” But in honor of its anniversary, the café—all six of its locations—is celebrating its triple-dime milestone with an extra-special treat for its customers. “We invite foodies and dessert lovers throughout our city to join us Nov. 7, 14, 21 or 28 for this wonderful anniversary celebration,” they write. That’s to say, all day each Tuesday in November, the café’s award-winning cakes and pies are going for just three bucks a slice—while they last of course, so fly ye to the Star! Not to mention, check out Executive Pastry Chef Willem Blom’s 30th Anniversary Maple Caramel Checkerboard in the bakery case starting Nov. 1. “It is our way of saying Thank You to the ABQ community for their incredible support and loyalty over the past 30 years.” Thank you, Flying Star, we’ve been lucky to have you here these past several decades…and here’s to many more.

Word has it local favorite Bosque Brewing Co. plans on expanding by about 4,000 square feet with a new, yet-to-be-built, three-story brewing facility (with a rooftop patio, to boot). Yeah, Bosque! We can’t wait.

And another grand industry in New Mexico (we’re talking about tourism, of course) also claims some impressive accomplishments. Every year, trade publication Meeting Today asks its readers to weigh in online and vote for the best meeting space by region. Last month, The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa was recognized as one of the best resorts in North America for meetings—and the only establishment named in New Mexico. Way to go Tamaya, you’re killin’ it! Want another reason why they’re on a roll? In September, the Tamaya hosted the Hyatt Corporation’s Good Taste Series global cooking competition, which not only yielded two winning chefs, but the generous folks at the resort also donated more than 1,500 pounds of lean proteins and whole grains to a New Mexico food bank as a result of the event. Thank you, Regency Tamaya—that’s some real inspiration for thoughtful thanksgiving.

And while we’re on the topic of Duke City resorts, last month, Isleta Resort & Casino announced the hiring of new Executive Chef Joseph Rogers, “who assumed responsibility in the Isleta kitchen in September, amid an exciting buzz for his passion and dedication for cooking and teaching,” according to a press release. Chef Joseph, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, has quite the impressive culinary resume with 30 years of experience. “His talent and love for cooking include a zeal for teaching, as well as pride in a clean and happy kitchen full of laughter. ‘I have a personalized license plate that says LUV2FEED, because I truly do love to feed.’” Chef Joseph joins the Isleta team—amidst their impressive food and beverage remodel and a $40 million ongoing renovation—after a solid stint at Hotel Abrego in Monterey, Calif., where he served as food and beverage director since 2014. Welcome to the Land of Enchantment, Chef. We can’t wait to dine and laugh with you.

But what would a November Buzz be without some Thanksgiving cookin’? Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm has that covered. On Nov. 19, the inn and farm offers a hands-on class with guest Chef Elizabeth Gallery—a practitioner and student of Ayurveda, herbal therapies and traditional cookery—who will guide students in the art of creating plant-based holiday meals. “As autumn settles in,” the event description reads, “it brings with it the traditions of gathering, sharing and feasting with loved ones. It’s easy to create vegetarian meals that are delicious, nourishing, and all together satisfying.” Right on! Visit lospoblanos.com to sign up.

We end our visit to the Que on a bittersweet note with a fond adieu to a local favorite in the realm of sweet-and-savories. “We are closing the bakery,” an Oct. 11 New Mexico Pie Company Facebook post reads. “Our last day of business will be October 21st.” NMPC, what will we do for Thanksgiving without you? Alas, dear reader, hopefully you managed to sneak in before the bakery closed to stock up on pies.

 

Santa Fe

This surely is no surprise to locals, but famous City Different fine-dining establishment Geronimo was recently rated among the best restaurants for fine dining in America. TripAdvisor, a travel website, named the Canyon Road destination No. 7 out of 25. Made famous by the late great culinary magician Eric DiStefano and now helmed by another fabulous chef (once Eric’s sous chef), Sllin Cruz, Geronimo doesn’t cease to make us proud—or our mouths water.

There have certainly been some ins and outs in the local food scene of late. On Oct. 1, a beloved local burger joint, Five Star Burgers, shuttered its Santa Fe doors. With locations in Taos and Albuquerque still going strong, the Santa Fe closure “was an economic decision: ART construction along Central and lagging sales in Santa Fe,” Five Star Owner Bob Gontram says in an email about closing the only site in the capital city. “We expect to be serving in Albuquerque and Taos for many years to come.” And did you hear? In late September, just before the restaurant shut its City Different doors, the location made the news for a different reason entirely. Namely, Gov. Susana Martinez left the restaurant without paying for her bison burger…holy cow—or shall we say, buffalo.

Oct. 1, it would have it, was a big day in Santa Fe for another reason, too. That’s to say, Judy Ebbinghaus, co-owner of Santacafé officially retired that day, with longtime business partner Bobby Morean now helming the Santa Fe icon solo. Judy moved to New Mexico in 1984, began her career at Santacafé in ’85, and in 1990, she and Bobby formed a partnership, buying out founder Jim Bibo. “If I have time,” she says in a press release, “I might do some consulting, but I’m busy as it is. My chief interests continue to be IT and anything computer, history, finance, daily hiking, cooking and keeping up with friends and family.” We wish Judy the best of luck in her future endeavors!

According to its website, “Beestro is temporarily closed. We will send out an announcement as soon as we are settled in our new home.” Visit thebeestro.com to stay in the loop. The Hive Market, which neighbored Beestro under the same ownership, has also closed its doors for now. We hope to see them back, full swing and all abuzz, in the future.

Speaking of Bees, B & B Bakery (that’s for Bread and Butter), the Korean-style pastry shop on Burrow Alley, has been generating quite a buzz for its East Asian sweet treats. You can check them out on Facebook, but come on, you can’t actually taste anything through the computer, so next time you’re near the Plaza, make a b-line for Burrow Alley, say hi to Owners Sky Yang and Amanda Yang and pick up something delicious.

Just in time for the autumn and winter chills—and for the snow covered hills!—Santa Fe Spirits has released its Brandy Finished Colkegan. According to their newsletter, “our amazing new Colkegan…has been finished in our used Apple Brandy barrels for an additional year and we think that’s a pretty good reason to have a party.” If you missed the October release party, that’s OK, the Colkegan’s likely to warm you up to a party of your own. Check out santafespirits.com.

Soups, stews and chowders, oh my. Vinaigrette, our favorite spot for salads in Santa Fe and Albuquerque (and Austin, too!), is also well-loved for its sandwiches, as well as its beer, wine and specialty drink creations. So it’s apt that the “not just for salads” joint is celebrating the cultural phenomenon of soup with its new series Around the World in 40 Soups. The delicious trip began on Oct. 2 and continues until April Fools Day, featuring soups each week that highlight different cultures, flavors and traditions. You can visit vinaigretteonline.com and sign up for the newsletter or like them on Facebook to learn more about each month’s featured soups. The comforting series includes a passport to track soup progress and earn prizes, and all three Vinaigrette locations are in—so even if you take a literal trip…to Austin…you won’t miss out.

If you’re a Santa Fe foodie, you probably know beloved Santa Fe food writer and blog co-founder Billie Frank of the fabulously informative site Santa Fe Travelers — Santa Fe and beyond (santafetravelers.com). An Oct. 12 Facebook post by co-founder Steve Collins reads: “We have had such an amazing outpouring of love since losing Billie yesterday. While we are taking some time to come to terms with this tremendous loss, we are planning to put together a celebration of her life in due time….Thank you again for….showing us that we weren’t biased in thinking that she was a beyond amazing person.” She was indeed beyond amazing. We are grateful to have been graced by Billie’s words and wisdom. She will be missed.

Taos

Does any one really need a reason to drive up to beautiful Taos? Well, just in case…we have one: The Red Willow Farmers Market. For even if you live in Taos, it’s a delicious reason to head to Taos Pueblo…and just in time for Thanksgiving cooking, too! The market, held at 885 Star Road, features local, sustainably grown produce from organic seeds and no-till methods. Aside from produce, the market at Red Willow Farm offers all-natural body products, Pueblo-baked treats, eggs, healing balms, pickled vegetables and beyond. Call 575.770.1362 or visit redwillowcenter.com.

With the fifth season of Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking kicking off, two New Mexico premiers are set for Taos and Santa Fe on Nov. 4 and 11, respectively. The Taos premier, at 3:30 p.m. on N.M. PBS Channel 5.1, brings us the “rich history of the mountainous Taos region,” according to an email about the event. “Host Curtis Stone meets Christopher Lujan, who grows ancient heirloom blue corn in the high elevation mountains of the Taos Pueblo and learns about its significance to indigenous cultures.” Curtis also visits Matt Romero Farms, (you know Matt from the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, of course), “where they grow everything from oats to heirloom varietal chiles.” Chef Andrew Horton and Chef Chris Maher help bring all the ingredients together at Cooking Studio Taos for the feast.

In the Santa Fe episode, on the 11th at 3:30 p.m. (same channel as above), Curtis is joined by Chef Martin Rios of Restaurant Martín, as well as Chef Leslie Chavez. “Together, they visit The Rooted Leaf and Celestial Bee, a farm that produces exquisite bee honey and fresh, highly cared-for produce.” The chefs then create a delightful meal “at a colorful hacienda in Santa Fe.” Boy, do our chefs make us proud! Be sure to tune in.


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