September 18, 2012 at 6:01 PM
By Lynn Cline
Lynn Cline is a former food editor and the author of two books – Romantic Days and Nights in Santa Fe and Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1915-1950. She also loves to cook, when not dining out.
The Days of Wine & Chile
Next week, the 22nd Annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta kicks off with a busy schedule of wine dinners, cooking demos, live auctions, throwdowns, wine seminars, tours, a golf tournament, a grand tasting and more.
One of the country's premier wine and food festivals, the event takes place September 26-30 in venues all around town, from restaurants and cooking schools to the Allan Houser Sculpture Garden and artist Georgia O'Keeffe's house in Abiquiu.
This year's schedule is packed with events guaranteed to sate any foodie, with a wine pairing throwdown. Santa Fe chefs Eric DiStefano (Coyote Cafe), Louis Moskow (315), Joseph Wrede and visiting chef Daniel Orr (FARMbloomington) will go palate to palate against master sommeliers Melissa Monosoff, Joe Spellman and Tim Gaiser. Each chef and sommelier will pair a wine with their food and the guests will choose the best pairing for each of the four rounds. September 26, noon to 2 p.m., Coyote Cafe
James Beard Best Chef of the Southwest nominee James Campbell Caruso of La Boca will demonstrate how to prepare traditional Spanish tapas from his new cookbook España, Exploring the Flavors of Spain. Each tapas will be paired with traditional Spanish wines introduced by Gerry Dawes. September 26, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Santa Fe School of Cooking
John Sedler, a Santa Fe native, and winner of the Best Chef 2011 award from Esquire Magazine, prepares a four-course meal inspired by his Los Angeles restaurant, Rivera, which earned Esquire's Best New Restaurant accolade in 2009. Sedler will pair the meal with Brunello wines from Conti Costanti in Montalcino. September 27, noon to 2 p.m., The Compound
Other events include a guest luncheon prepared by Bravo Top Chef contestant Dakota Weiss, who'll prepare a four-course lunch with wines from Trimbach Wintery in Alsace presented by Jean Trimbach.
The biggest event of the fiesta, the Grand Tasting takes place on the Santa Fe Opera grounds September 29 from 1 to 4 p.m., and tickets usually sell out for this. There's also the Gruet Golf Classic, the Live Auction, culinary walking tours led by the Santa Fe School of Cooking, more than 40 winemaker dinners at restaurants across the city, guest chef demos and much, much more.
Click here for tickets and schedule.
In Praise of Pecans
New Mexico is one of the three top-producing pecan states in the country, along with Texas and Georgia. The state also boasts the largest concentration of pecan orchards in the world, with about 36,000 acres of trees. So where else would you expect to attend an annual pecan festival, with music, food, art and a rib cook-off but in Las Cruces, New Mexico, home to Stahmann's Pecans.
The 2012 New Mexico Pecan Festival takes place Saturday, October 27 and Sunday, October 28 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mesilla Valley Maze. It honors the role pecans and the pecan industry have played in New Mexico history, with a focus on Dona Ana County.
Events include a pecan ice cream eating contest, a pecan-counting contest and an art contest. The Rootin Tootin Rib Cookoff brings together the Southwest's top grilling teams to compete with ribs, pecan wood and their own special ingredients. Proceeds benefit the University of New Mexico's Cowobys for Cancer Research.
For more info, click here http://www.nmpecanfestival.com/index.html
Rancho de la Golondrinas' annual Harvest Festival offers an interactive way to explore, and celebrate, the traditions of the harvest. Join costumed villagers representing the Spanish Colonial era to crush grapes for the wine, string chile into ristras, make tortillas and fresh bread and much more.
The Harvest Festival takes place Saturday, September 6 and Sunday, September 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To learn more, visit http://golondrinas.org/Calendar_of_Events/index.html.
Taste of New Mexico
Albuquerque has more restaurants per capita than almost any other state, so you know that a food festival offering samples and product from the city's top restaurants s is going to be delicious.
The Taste of New Mexico offers food from about 50 booths serving the foods of the region, along with a wine and brew gallery, live performances, New Mexico chile and desserts and New Mexico cigars.
The event takes place Friday, October 8 and Sataurday, October 9 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Civic Plaza, located at 3rd and Marquette Avenue in Albuquerque.
Shop the Farmer's Market
Now that the growing season is winding down and the harvest is coming in, it's the ideal time to shop the Santa Fe Farmer's Market for the final fruits of the season.
Freshly roasted green chile, plump, juicy tomatoes, corn bursting with sweetness, crisp, tart apples and artisanal lettuce varietals make the perfect ingredients for an early autumn feast.
You can also find fresh-baked bread, goat cheese, organic beef, buffalo, chicken and lamb, fresh eggs, jams, mustards, chutneys and salsas and so much more.
It's an endless buffet, a giant smorgasbord and the perfect place to shop for locally grown, healthy food you'll be happy to put on your table.
Click here for more info about the Santa Fe Farmer's Market: http://www.santafefarmersmarket.com/