Culinary New Mexico: The Ultimate Food Lover's Guide

Culinary New Mexico: The Ultimate Food Lover's Guide

by Sally Moore


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781555914912
Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
Publication date: 04/01/2005
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Sally Moore was born in Buffalo, New York, but the first time she saw the hard, proud deserts, the evergreen mountains bathed in light, and the golden glow of the pueblos, she knew she must live there. Ms Moore has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for ten years now and proudly writes about the state's treasures.

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Albuquerque: The Duke City
With a population of nearly 500,000, Albuquerque is New Mexico's largest city.Named in 1706 for the Duke of Alburquerque, viceroy to the king of Spain, it is beautifully situated between the Sandia Mountains to the east and a volcanic escarpment etched with ancient petroglyphs to the west. On either side of the Rio Grande, the cottonwood bosque, a green ribbon of life, provides cooling shade and an oasis in the midst of the city. Albuquerque's setting and quality of life are superb, but its image problem has traditionally suffered in comparison to its nearby neighbor Santa Fe.
Perhaps the best way to illustrate the difference between the cities is to draw an analogy between two women "of a certain age." Both wear their years well, but that's where the similarity ends. Santa Fe is the wealthy dowager, a classic beauty who retains her peerless presence with elegant attire and immaculate grooming. Albuquerque is your best friend's mama, straightforward, gracious, and unpretentious. She may have a few wrinkles and a nolongershapely figure, but she will always greet you with a warm abrazo.
Albuquerque is a town of neighborhoods. Old Town with its shaded plaza, bandstand, and shops celebrates where the city began. Downtown is the heart of the business district. South Valley is a blend of small industry and agricultural enterprise. North Valley encompasses some of the areas priciest real estate. The North Valley's Los Ranchos is a city within the city, a rural enclave of estates and horse farms. West Mesa, which includes Taylor Ranch, is the area boomtown, filled with shops, restaurants, and the largest mall in New Mexico.
Likewise, Albuquerque's culinary reputation has suffered in comparison to Santa Fe, and until recently there was some truth to that notion. However, in the past decade more chefs have discovered the boost to their business that Albuquerque's steady, yearround, loyal local clientele provides. Access to locally grown fresh produce is about even for both cities, but since Albuquerque has the state's only major airport, the city has a transport edge on produce, fish, and meat from other areas.

Bakeries, Panaderías, and Tortillerías
French Riviera Bakery, Inc.
Daniel Reymonenq is a secondgeneration baker who learned his skills from his father in Toulon, France. He came to the States in 1971 and was drafted into the Marine Corps, where he worked in many of the world's trouble spots. After discharge, he settled in Taos where he was employed at the Austing Haus and the Saint Bernard restaurants. He moved to Albuquerque and opened his French Riviera Bakery on 4th Street in 1992. Currently, he bakes around 500 loaves a day that he retails from his shop and sells to local restaurants. His selection of Old World breads includes many types and configurations: alpine, alpinette, baguette, boule, couronne, épices, fougasse, Parisian, peasant loaf, rye, and six grain.
You'll find pastry shelves containing croissants, brioche, pain de campagne, napoleons, linzertorte, strudel, éclairs, profiteroles, Danish pastry, and tarts. For the holidays he'll do a bûche de Noël and for weddings, a croquembouche. All baked goods are preservative free, made from scratch using only pure butter as shortening.
French Riviera Bakery, Inc., 4208 4th Street NW, Albuquerque, 87107; (505) 3430112.

Le Paris French Bakery & Deli
Parisians Philippe and Aude Laau arrived fresh from Europe in 1999 and opened their bake shop, first on San Pedro and finally on Eubank, where they have a larger floor plan. A combination of café and bakery, the store is a little bit of France in Albuquerque. It's a welcoming atmosphere with its cream colored walls, a wheat sheaf wall frieze, French and U.S. flags, and a collection of miniature Eiffel towers. A case filled with bread, cookies, pastries, and cakes lines one wall, and the dining area extends into another room with its bistro tables and whiteandblue color scheme.
They bake Parisian, Parmesan, alpinette, miche, herb and garlic, and baguette loaves. On weekends, they will add epis, sun bread, and marguerites (flowershaped loaves). Pastries include palmiers, scones, turnovers, croissants, brioche, sacristans, strudel, profiteroles, chou a la crème, tarts, cheesecake, cookies, and meringues. No preservatives are used.
The café serves a bistro menu with quiche, salads, soups, and nine varieties of sandwiches. Try their Asiago Bisque paired with the Royal Sandwich of turkey, ham, and cheese, or the Rustic with housemade pâté and tomato. All sandwiches are served with the tiny pickles called cornichons, which you don't find in many U.S. delis. In addition, they serve breakfast, which features omelets, crêpes, and egg dishes. Closed Sunday.
Le Paris French Bakery & Deli, 1439 Eubank Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, 87112; (505) 2994141.

Swiss Alps Bakery
The dream of owning his own bakery stayed with Raimond Pepe from his boyhood in a small village near Zurich, Switzerland, through his baking apprenticeship. His working experience ranged from Swiss hightech operations to places without electricity in Thailand. For 16 years, he traveled and gained experience, always searching for a place he could call his own. One day he saw an advertisement for a bakery for sale in Albuquerque, and in April 1999 he made the decision to move his family west and set up shop.
The Swiss Alps Bakery is the fruit of his labors, and a better Old World bakery couldn't be found anywhere. Raimond specializes in dark breads such as rye, pumpernickel, and farmer's loaves. (Author's favorite: his ciabatoni.) In addition, he bakes traditional Italian and French breads; sourdough; and specialty breads such as sunflower, walnut, Calabrese, and challah. His pastries make you drool just looking at them. He does napoleons, rum balls, éclairs, beehives, tíramisu, fruit tarts, profiteroles, brownies, strudelthe list is almost endless. His Danish pastries are diet breakers, especially the Swiss nut rolls, almond horns, and Swiss delights. Of course, he does cakesBlack Forest, hazelnut, mocha, and chocolate.
In addition to staffing his shop, you'll also find him or his wife, Soraida, summer Saturday mornings at the Los Rancho de Albuquerque farmers' market.
Swiss Alps Bakery, 6607 Menaul Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, 87110; (505) 8813063.

Golden Crown Panadería
Tucked away in a neighborhood of modest homes in the old Sawmill District, the Golden Crown Panadería is housed in an aged adobe flamboyantly decorated with a riot of Mexican vines and flowers. Owner Pratt Morales is the oneman dynamo in charge. A former Air Force accountant, Morales knew counting numbers wasn't in his future. He says, "The accounting profession didn't allow for creativity. I wasn't in love with it."
Baking fascinated him, and wherever he was stationed, he visited bake and bread shops for whatever knowledge he could garner. When a bakery in Albuquerque went out of business after a half a century, Morales bought the operation and jumped in cold, learning as he went. He has been at his current location on Mountain Road for the past 12 years, and he is living his dream, baking bread that is "nutritious, delicious, and beautiful."
His breads fill all those requirements. Using a recipe for hardcrust Italian loaves, he makes baguettes, epis, rustic shapes, and bolillos, the Mexican roll that he does in both large and small dinnerroll sizes. He loves to "give life to his bread" by creating bread sculptures for special events. He has crafted Thanksgiving roasted turkeys, castles for visiting dignitaries, and once a whole state fair booth made entirely of bread.
His pièce de résistance is his greenchile bread, which is decorated with a coyote howling at the moon. "I wanted to create a bread that captured the aroma of green chiles roasting," he explains. "I use fresh tomatoes, onions, cilantro, green chile, Parmesan cheese, and spices. The secret is my method of incorporating these ingredients without making the dough soggy."
In addition to bread, Morales bakes Hispanic specialties such as crisp flautas stuffed with fruits and Bavarian cream; tasty empanadas in assorted flavors; powder sugarcoated Mexican wedding cookies; bizcochitos in anise, chocolate, and cappuccino; and other delights. His bizcochitos are famous for their elimination of what most consider a key ingredient: lard. Wanting a healthier alternative, he experimented with many possibilities before settling on a soy replacement. "Most customers swear they can't tell the difference," he says. Open only Tuesday through Saturday.
Golden Crown Panadería, 1103 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque, 87102; (505) 2432424;

If you are searching for a panadería like you found in Mexico, Pastelandia is the place to go. Remember how in Mexico City, Oaxaca, or Guadalajara you'd search out a bakery by the yeasty smells emanating from the ovens? You'd wander in and there would be rack after rack of sweet rolls in all configurations with myriad decorations from icing to colored sugars. The person behind the counter did not wait on you but pointed to a stack of small trays and tongs used to make the selections, which you took to the cashier. Pastelandia is just like those Mexican shops.
Little English is spoken, but the drill is obvious. The bakery is immaculately clean and the help accommodating even if you can't speak Spanish. By exact count one day, we numbered 30 different types of sweet rolls, or pan dulce, plus several trays of bizcochitos.
Pastelandia, 139 Coors Boulevard SW, Albuquerque, 87121; (505) 8363933.

Tortillas are now almost mainstream, and you no longer have to search high and low for this basic product of the Hispanic kitchen. Years ago in the East I had to use regular cornmeal, a rolling pin, and a fry pan to make tortillas for enchiladas. They were really quite terrible. Although considerably more available now, the grocery store variety cannot hold a candle to the freshly made product. Albuquerque has a number of tortillerías, large and small, from the Albuquerque Tortilla Company, which makes nearly 1.5 million corn and flour tortillas a day, to the little neighborhood store handing them right off the comal. To sift the wheat from the chaff, we visited them and did a taste test on both the corn and flour varieties.

Dos Hermanos
Dos Hermanos's plattersized flour tortillas are close on the heels of the Frontier's. With four locations throughout the metro area, you don't have far to drive for your tortilla fix. More expensive than most (but larger than most), Dos Hermanos's tortillas are handrolled and made from a special family recipe.
The restaurants themselves are basic, with takeout and ordering counters and nofrills seating. Owner Robert Martinez created Dos Hermanos in 1992, and many of his recipes come from his mother, Jessie, who has a restaurant in Española. Their most popular item is the burrito, using those delicious flour tortillas, and many Duke City residents favor their tamales, which sell out during the holiday season.
Dos Hermanos, 6211 4th NW, Albuquerque, 87107; (505) 3454588; 7600 Jefferson NE, 87109; (505) 8281166; 2435 Wyoming NE, 87112; (505) 2948945; 5010 Cutler NE, 87110; (505) 8812202;

The Frontier Restaurant
First place for flour tortillas goes to the Frontier Restaurant. Located on Central Avenue across the street from the University of New Mexico bookstore, the Frontier has been an Albuquerque tradition since 1971. It covers a city block and is open 24 hours a day. You'll find it packed with college students eating, chatting, and pouring over books. The unusual order counter features a series of stations with flashing green lights signaling the next available clerk. Lines wind out the door at busy times, but the action is swift.
Some of their specialties include freshsqueezed orange juice, platesized sweet rolls swimming in butter, and bellybusting breakfast burritos filled with scrambled eggs, melted cheese, hash browns, and green chile. However, it's their wonderful, light flour tortillas that bring us back time after time. A semiautomatic tortilla machine runs constantly, shaping and baking the dough into light, fluffy rounds that sell by the dozen. Their flavor, freshness, and consistency cannot be beaten.
The Frontier Restaurant, 2400 Central SE, Albuquerque, 87106; (505) 2660550;

Tortillería Cuauhtemoc
Coming in a respectable third in the flour tortilla taste test but first in the corn tortilla test, tiny Tortillería Cuauhtemoc sells only tortillas. Located east of the river in the South Valley, it is housed in a simple storefront. No English is spoken. You walk in, and if you're fluent in Spanish, you order. If you're linguistically challenged, you pick out your order and watch the cash register for the total. Flour tortillas are sold by the dozen. Corn tortillas come only in packages of 36. Piping hot, fragrant, and wrapped in unglazed paper, they are the essence of corn.
Tortillería Cuauhtemoc, 844 Bridge Street SW, (near National Spanish Cultural Center), Albuquerque, 87105; (505) 2549940.

Breweries and Brewpubs

Assets Grille and Brewing Company
Albuquerque and vicinity have a fine roster of breweries and brewpubs. Assets Grille and Brewing Company is one of the earliest leaders in bringing craftbrewed beer to the state in 1993. Brewmaster Daniel Jaramillo produces nine standard beers that rotate by season. A recent roster includes Albuquerque Pale Ale, Duke City Amber, Kaktus Kolsch, Pablos Porter, Rio Grand Copper Ale, Roadrunner Ale, and Sandia Stout. Do you want to take some home? They sell half and fullgallon growlers, 5 and 15gallon kegs for offpremises consumption.
The restaurant always features five or six of their own beers, a handsome copper and wood bar, and seating at a dozen or so tables and booths. An outdoor patio opens up in warm weather.
Assets Grille and Brewing Company, 6910 Montgomery Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, 87109; (505) 8896400.

Chama River Brewing Co.
Chama River Brewing Co. has locations in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Ted Rice handles the responsibilities of head brewer in the Duke City, while Cullen Dwyer fills that job in Santa Fe. They produce High Altitude Pale Ale, which they describe as "altitude with an attitudeaggressively brewed with Centennial hops for bold beer lovers and hopheads."
Their Honeymoon Wheat Ale is dry, crisp, and delicately spiced with coriander and orange peel. Plaza Porter has chocolate and smoke tones with a balance of hops and malt for a subtle aroma and quick finish. End of the Trail Brown Ale is a dark beer with a light taste, and their Atomic Blonde Ale is a mediumbodied barley beer infused with American hops for balanced bitterness. In the Albuquerque location, brewmaster Rice holds Friday night brew tours.
Lunch specials meld southwestern enchiladas, tacos, carne adovada, and huevos rancheros with allAmerican entrées such as fishandchips and homestyle meatloaf. The dinner menu expands the Southwest selections and adds specials including cedar plank salmon, Tbone and strip steaks, and a ribs and chicken basket.
Chama River Brewing Co., 4939 Pan American, Albuquerque, 87109; (505) 3421800; Café & Brewery, 4056 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, 87507; (505) 4381800; Downtown Café, 133 Water Street, Santa Fe, 87501; (505) 9841800;

Kelly's Brewery
The hangout in Nob Hill you see jumping with thirtysomethings is Kelly's Brew Pub. If the building resembles an old auto dealership, that's because it was. Constructed as a Ford automotive center on historic Route 66, Kelly's served the needs of another generation's motorists with its big bays and Texaco service. The great old building fulfilled many purposes until 1997 when Janice and Dennis Bonfantine took it over and transformed it into a brewery and restaurant. The original Texaco sign is still out front with "Kelly's" emblazoned in the star in place of the original "T."
As one of the largest breweries in the state, they have 20 styles of beer constantly available: Blonde Ale, Golden Ale, Red Ale, Apricot Ale, ESB (extra strong/special bitter), Hefeweizen, Dunkleweizen, Belgian Pale Ale, Belgian Dubbel, British Pale Ale, Indian Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Altbier, Scottish Ale, Brown Ale, Black Ale, Bitter, Robust Porter, Oatmeal Stout, and Imperial Stout. In addition, they do seasonal specials such as Oktoberfest. In 2002, they produced 1,010 barrels, or 2,020 kegs (a barrel equals 31 gallons). On a busy Friday night, they have been known to finish off 25 kegs.
Another Kelly's special feature is their Brew Your Own Beer facility, the only one in the state. Customers may choose a beer recipe and, using the inhouse ingredients, brew their own beer. The first operation takes about two hours, and the product is allowed to ferment for two weeks. The customer returns and performs the bottling operation, which results in a full keg of beer.
The restaurant's menu specializes in pub fare: appetizers such as jalapeño poppers and chicken wings, soups and salads, and sandwiches ranging from Kelly's Club to an ostrich burger. Dinners run from steak to bratwurst with sauerkraut.
Kelly's Brewery, 3222 Central Avenue SE, Albuquerque, 87106; (505) 2622739.

Milagro Brewery and Milagro Grill
Milagro Brewery and Milagro Grill are just north of Albuquerque in Bernalillo. The brewery is located below the restaurant, and seats in the lounge overlook the brew house and the huge copper vats. Brewmaster Robert Lee, who trained at the American Brewers' Guild in Woodland, California, makes 20 different styles of beer, three of which are always on tap: Milagro Gold, a pale ale; Milagro Silver, a Kolsch; and Milagro Bronze, a porter. Seasonal additions might include Hefeweizen, English Brown Ale, Milagro Copper (a bitter), Extra Stout, Weizenbock, 80 Schilling Scottish Ale, English Indian Pale Ale, MSB (Milagro special bitter), Fallfest, Sandia Blonde Ale, Platinum Blonde Ale, Diablo de Oro (Belgian strong), and Barleywine. All his malt is English floormalted, which gives it a better taste and superior quality.
The Milagro Grill occupies the major portion of the upstairs building, with dining rooms and a patio that have a combined occupancy of 400. The dining rooms, lounge area, and patio all have a panoramic views of the Sandia Mountains. The lunch menu includes fishand chips, greenchile enchiladas, fish tacos, a variety of wraps, and bratwurst made with their own Milagro Bronze. For dinner entrées, you'd find Angus New York strip steak, Chicken Marsala, Roast Loin of Pork, and a daily fish special.
Milagro Brewery and Milagro Grill, 1016 Paseo del Rio West (U.S. 550), Bernalillo, 87004; (505) 8677200;

Il Vicino
Il Vicino is a restaurant group that includes two restaurant locations in Albuquerque and one each in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Clayton, Missouri; Wichita, Kansas; and Denver and Colorado Springs, Colorado. They brew their own specialty beers. The brewery for all New Mexico locations is on Vassar Street in Albuquerque, where a taproom is available for sampling and purchase of pints, halfgallon growlers, and kegs in 5 and 15 1/2gallon sizes.
Albuquerque brewmaster Brady McKeown makes a variety of styles, although in the taproom they feature six: the Wet Mountain India Pale Ale, Slow Down Brown Ale, Irish Red Ale, Pigtail Blonde Ale, and two special selections, usually a porter and a stout. The taproom is open noon to 7:00 P.M. Tuesday through Friday and 1:00 to 5:00 P.M. Saturday.
Il Vicino Restaurants, 3403 Central NE, Albuquerque, 87106; (505) 2667855; 11225 Montgomery NE, Albuquerque, 87111; (505) 2710882; Brewing Company Tap Room, 4000 Vassar Street NE, Albuquerque, 87107; (505) 8304629;

Butcher Shops and Carnicerías
If you've never been inside one of Albuquerque's Mexican butcher shops, you will find the meat selections a mystery. First, there is bewildering number of cuts, most of which have unfamiliar Spanish names. Second, the cuts resembling steak or chuck are thinner and have bones in odd places. Third, you'll notice more "innards," such as tongue, tripe, and liver. However, if you are looking for authentic ingredients for a special Mexican or New Mexican meal, the carnicería is the place to go.

Carniceria Familia Mexicana
One of the best is Ron Baca's Carniceria Familia Mexicana at the SoLo Shopping Center on Bridge Street. Ron has been in business six years, and he typifies his customer base as 70 percent native Mexican, 20 percent Hispanic, and the remaining 10 percent Anglo. His 48foot refrigerated meat case is immaculate and beautifully arranged in sections for beef, pork, sausage, chicken and poultry, fish and shrimp, and Mexican as well as Mennonite cheese. He sells 20,000 pounds of meat a week, so his offerings are always fresh. His best seller is chuleta de siete, an inexpensive cut used for carne adovada and carne asada.
The store isn't large, but it's packed with all varieties of Mexicanstyle canned goods, produce, tortillas, hot sauces, and chiles, some of which aren't easily available elsewhere. Special masa flour for tamales is in stock as well as the more common tortilla masa. They even stock Bimbo Bread, Mexico's answer to our Wonder Bread, as well as Mexican cookware including metates and comals. Huge, colorful piñatas hang from the ceiling. It helps if you speak Spanish, but Ron or one of his butchers usually can help in English. Open daily.
Carniceria Familia Mexicana, 1720 Bridge Boulevard SW, Albuquerque, 87105; (505) 2443107.

El Mesquite Mercado Y Carniceria
Sergio Burmudez and his family emigrated from Sonora, Mexico, in 1999 and immediately stunned the community by opening four stores, one right after the other. Scattered through the city and in nearby Los Lunas, these Hispanic supermarkets are stocked with groceries and produce at the front and massive meat counters stretching the width of the back. Thankfully for gringos, the meat selections are bilingually labeled so even if the butcher does speak English you can tell the spareribs from the beef shanks. Their encyclopedic selection covers all things Latino, and they bake their own tortillas. There are snack bars serving all the usual noshes.
El Mesquite Mercado Y Carniceria, 3645 Isleta Boulevard SW, Albuquerque, 87105; (505) 8770980; 201 San Pedro SE, Suite B1, Albuquerque, 87108; (505) 2551163; 4401 4th Street, Albuquerque, 87107; (505) 3443235; 1910 Main Street "A", Los Lunas, 87031; (505) 5650990.

Theobroma Chocolatier
Theobroma Chocolatier in the Glenwood Village Shopping Center is a chocoholic's heaven. Charles and Heidi Weck's little store is packed floor to ceiling with gift baskets and bags, chocolate sculptures, molded items, and special seasonal fruit dipped in chocolate. Selftaught chocolatiers, the Wecks use only the best, Peters Ultra Swiss Chocolate, and all pieces are handdipped, not enrobed.
The exceptionally attractive packaging is done in house, and Charles says "Our items are dual gifts. You enjoy the chocolate and use the containers after the fact. I believe chocolate is the highest impact gift you can give. Most people will not buy the luxury chocolate for themselves, so when it's received, it's so much more special."
The Wecks have more than 300 molds for various occasions and seasons. Of course, everyone knows the chocolate bunnies, but have you ever seen a chocolate "sweet tooth," a pair of cowboy boots, a guitar, a tennis racquet, or a "chocoholic diet pill"?
Charles reports that his alltime best seller is the Chocolat y Maiz, which, unbelievably, is dark or milk chocolatecoated cornflakes. Other favorites are the dark chocolate buttercream truffles dusted with French Brut Cocoa Powder and the Cortez Crunch, which has a layer of dark chocolate, a layer of chocolate caramel, and a layer of milk chocolate. It is topped with crushed chocolate cookie topping. Additionally, they sell Taos Cow, a regional premium ice cream, in seven flavors, including their store special that mixes the Cow's regular dark chocolate with a bit of Amaretto. Closed Sunday. Theobroma Chocolatier, 12611 Montgomery NE, Albuquerque, 87111; (505) 2936545.

Cooking Schools
Le Café Miche
Tuesday evenings Chef Claus Hjortkjaer puts on his toque blanche and teaches a twohour demonstration class at the Wine Bar of Le Café Miche. For a threecourse dinner with wine pairing, he might tackle steamed mussels, lamb shanks, and a dessert of crème caramel. At class end, students enjoy the fruits of his labor.
Le Café Miche, 1431 Wyoming NE, Albuquerque, 87112; (505) 2996088;

Jane Butel Southwestern Cooking School
The Jane Butel Cooking School of Albuquerque specializes in weekend and weeklong handson instruction with Jane or her staff of internationally trained guest chefs and teachers. Housed in a spacious 2,000squarefoot facility in the historic La Posada de Albuquerque hotel downtown, the school has a mirrored demonstration area plus six complete workstations with sink, stove, and utensils. Classes are broken up into groups of three or four, with each group working at one of the stations under supervision of the teacher.
The traditional weekend class begins Friday with a welcome reception and a discussion of the history and traditions of the ingredients to be used. After Saturday or Sunday's continental breakfast with Jane and her staff, the rest of the morning is spent preparing selected popular dishes for your luncheon. An expanded weeklong version is available Sunday through Friday, and the school offers some evening programs on culinary techniques, barbecue, and southwestern smoking and grilling.
Jane Butel Southwestern Cooking School, 125 2nd Street NW, Albuquerque, 87102; (505) 2432622 or (800) 4728229;

Now We're Cooking
Now We're Cooking, a fab cookware store at the Northtown Mall, has twohour demonstration classes most Thursday evenings. Programs feature guest chefs such as Claus Hjortkjaer of Le Café Miche and store staff. You'll find subjects ranging from "fearless baking" to light pasta sauces, rolling your own sushi, how to use Thanksgiving leftovers, and more.
Now We're Cooking, 5901 Wyoming Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, 87109; (505) 8579625.

Soirée Personal Caterers
On Saturday mornings, Albuquerque's National Restaurant Supply Company opens its kitchens to Jennifer and Craig Sharp of Soirée Personal Caterers, who teach a twohour handson class. Topics have included quick breads, heavenly potatoes (gnocchi and blinis), hors d'oeuvres, and sushi. They also run threehour classes in a Monday series that addresses single subjects such as cheese and poultry preparation.
Soirée Personal Caterers, National Restaurant Supply Company, 2513 Comanche Road NE, Albuquerque, 87107; (505) 9229367.

Vivace, that bastion of regional Italian cooking, runs Sunday cooking schools with Chef Gordon Schutte of Vivace and experts in wine pairing, seafood selection, and more. You might learn about Italian grilling, how to do a fast Italian dinner in less than 30 minutes, or the best way to construct an Italian salad.
"We've really had a great time with the classes and wine tastings we have been doing," says Gordon, "and this is another way for our friends to come together and enjoy our cuisine while mastering some of the techniques for their own kitchens."
Vivace, 3118 Central Avenue SE, Albuquerque, 87106; (505) 2685965

Table of Contents

Albuquerque: The Duke City
Santa Fe: The City Different
Taos:Mountains and More
Northwest New Mexico: Indian Country
Northeast New Mexico:Where the Mountains Meet the Plains
Las Vegas
Southwest New Mexico: Rio Abajo
Las Cruces and Mesilla
Silver City
Southeast New Mexico: Outlaws and Extraterrestrials
Appendix AIndian Pueblo Feast Days
Appendix BRegional Contacts
Appendix CIngredient Sources
Appendix DCookbooks

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