September 11, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Fall Food Outlook

"FUZE SW Food + Folklore Festival, Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown winners, pie festivals & more."

By Lynn Cline

Gourmet Girl

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.

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FUZE SW Food + Folklore Festival

Mark your calendars now for the FUZE Food + Folklore Festival, held November 8-10 at the Museum of International Folk Art on Museum Hill.

Award-winning authors and chefs join leading historians, archaeologists and folklorists to discuss and demonstrate how traditions and techniques from diverse heritages have cooked up New Mexico's unique cuisine.They'll gather in a series of keynotes, talks, panel discussions, breakout sessions and creative interludes. And of course there'll be food!

Participants include award-winning cookbook authors and chefs Deborah Madison, Bill and Cheryl Jamison and Lois Frank, the Santa Fe School of Cooking's founder Susan Curtis, Fiery Foods' Dave DeWittt, chef Martin Rios, photographer Don Usner, author Carmella Padilla, chef James Campbell Caruso and others.

Santa Fe’s first-ever food conference of its kind, FUZE SW will explore such topics as Holy Mole: Chocolate—from Aztecs to Chaco to Hershey, North v. South: The Chile Wars, The Stories Cookbooks Tell: Cooking Culture, Recipes, Tales, and Traditions and The Big Debate: Local Ingredients, Foreign Chefs.

For more info, click here.

And the Winners Are...

After more than 200 green chile cheeseburgers were cooked and served and a sell-out crowd and judging panel of esteemed food writers had sampled burgers from seven Santa Fe restaurants, the winners of  the first Santa Fe Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown were announced on Saturday.

John Chavez's Real Burger, whose traditional burger harkened back to a simpler time, took the Santa Fe Green Chile Cheeseburger Champ Award. Patrick Lambert of the Cowgirl cooked up the People's Taste Award winner, with a blend of beef, buffalo and bacon and a secret weapon—truffle oil.

As one of the voters in the People's Taste Award, I tasted some mighty good burgers. Highlights included Andrew Cooper of Terra's homemade barbecue sauce with chipotle, which had real kick to it; Fernando Olea of Burt's Burger Bowl's homemade multigrain buns; and that truffle oil in the Cowgirl's burger. Yum!

The judging panel included James Beard award-winning cookbook author and food writer Cheryl Jamison; food, the Dallas Morning News' travel and lifestyle editor Cathy Barber; Food & Wine magazine's restaurant editor Kate Krader; cookbook author  Ellise Pierce; and the San Francisco Chronicle's food critic Michael Bauer.

The first annual Santa Fe Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown was a great success and I can't wait for the second one next year! For more info, click here.

Where Else for a Pie Festival But Pie Town?

If you love pie, head on out to Pie Town in west-central New Mexico, to the 33rd Annual Pie Festival on Sept. 14. The event includes a pie-eating contest, a pie-baking contest as well as music, games, races and a crowning of the Pie Queen.

And of course there are dozens of  pies of every kind. Past winners of the baking contest have included sweet potato crunch, pineapple crumble, caramel apple, triple chocolate decadence and peanut peanut butter.

There's also a raffle with some unique prizes, from a three-year-old filly to a handmade quilt, a cord of pinon and juniper wood, and a cow elk tag.

Be sure to bring your appetite! For more info, click here.

Dave DeWitt's Pepper Pantry

Dave DeWitt, New Mexico's Chile King, has just written a series of  paperback books, “The Pepper Pantry,” with recipes, tips and info on individual varieties including habanero, chipotle, ancho, poblano and more. 

He'll be at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market Saturday, September 14 from 9 a.m. to noon to sign copies of his books and talk about growing and cooking chile.

DeWitt has written more than 46 books on the subject. He's also the founder and editor of Fiery Food Magazine and the founder of the annual National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show in Albuquerque.

More Pie Mania

One more event to put on your calendar is the Holiday Pie Mania, a piepourri of tastings, chef demos, a holiday pie auction and a raffle, all to benefit food charities. The event takes place Saturday, November. 9 at Builders Source Appliance Gallery, located at 1608 Pacheco St.

Feast on an array of festive pies and learn how local chefs make their signature holiday pies. Bid on a pie and then take it home, or arrange to pick it up, fresh out of the oven, it time for your holiday parties and gatherings. All proceeds benefit the Food Depot, northern New Mexico's food bank, which aims to end hunger in New Mexico. For details, click here.

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