September 4, 2013 at 9:57 AM

September Food Fun

Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, Wine & Chile, Bacon Fest & 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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Events at the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta. Photo by Kate Russel

Santa Fe's Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown

Alright all you green chile lovers. Time to get ready to vote in the first ever Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown this Saturday, Sept. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market Green Chile Harvest Festival in the Railyard. Seven finalists will compete for the Best Burger Award, chosen by a panel of celebrity food judges, and for the People's Choice Award, to be decided by the public. (You must buy a ticket in order to be part of the judging for the People's Choice Award and they're available at the door.)

The finalists are: Bert's Burger Bowl, Real Burger, Cowgirl BBQ, Agave Lounge, Luminaria Restaurant and Patio, Terra, and Dr. Field Good's Kitchen. Voting for the top burgers took place online for the top six contenders and then KOB FM's Carlos Duran chose the seventh contender after sampling 12 burgers that hadn't been chosen as the top six finalists.

This is a great chance to show your support for your favorite Santa Fe green chile cheeseburger, and to sample some mighty fine creations. May the best burger win! For more info, click here.

Days of Wine & Chile

The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is fast approaching, and if you want tickets for the biggest event—The Grand Tasting—you're out of luck as they've sold out. But the fiesta, held September 23-27, offers plenty of other delicious events, including a Guest Chef Luncheon & Sommelier Throwdown with four chefs—Coyote Cafe's Eric DiStefano, 315's Louis Moskow, Tanti Luce 221's Tom Kerpon and Bouche's Charles Dale—creating food paired with world-class wines by master sommeliers, course by course. It's up to the guests to choose the winners of the throwdown.

Also Matthew Accorrina of San Francisco's Michelin-starred SPQR, will prepare a four-course meal at the Coyote Cafe, and the Santa Fe School of Cooking will lead a walking tour tof prestigious Santa Fe restaurants. Susana Trilling, whose known for her passion for Oaxacan cooking, will present a guest chef demo and tasting at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

Much more is on the fiesta's menu, including wine seminars, guest luncheons, a golf tourney, a Reserve Wine Tasting and wine auctions.  Click here for more info.

A Bacon Bacchanalia

Now this is something you won't want to miss. The Southwest Bacon Fest, held Saturday, November 3 on the grounds of the Albuquerque Balloon Museum, features bacon served in an array of glorious ways by more than 25 food vendors. There's also live music, entertainment, bacon film screenings, bacon art, bacon photography, bacon poetry contests and bacon games. There's even a family fun area with...get this...piggy back races along with games and activities.

A festival highlight is the bacon contest, in which chefs, cooks and bakers will submit their bacon entries for the Best Bacon Bite. The winner receives a trophy and entry in the World Bacon Championships, held Nov. 7-9 in Las Vegas. For more info, click here.

Cooking it up at Los Poblanos

One of my favorite places to stay in Albuquerque is the Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, nestled among 25 acres of lavender fields, cottonwoods and lush formal gardens along the Rio Grande. Los Poblanos was designed in 1932 by architect John Gaw MeemMeem, the founder of Santa Fe Style and it offers a wonderful getaway from Santa Fe.

In addition to staying at the inn, you can now take hands-on cooking classes starting October 6, with a menu devoted to Savory & Sweet, followed by Fall Cooking on November 3, Holiday Feast on December ; Artisan Bread on January 4 & 5, Valentine's Day Sweets on February 2 and Spring Harvest on March 2. For more info, click here.

Dining at La Fonda's Bell Tower Bar

La Fonda recently underwent some renovations and has re-opened its Bell Tower Bar, offering food service for the first time. You can order lunch and light fare from a menu created by La Fonda's Executive Chef Lane Warner that includes ham, green chile and Swiss cheese panini bites, baked brie drizzled with orange blossom honey, green chile sliders with roasted tomato aioli and green onion jicama slaw and spicy, red chile hummus.

The new bar has an additional 500 square feet of space and a new bill that rings each time someone orders the Bell Ringer, a specialty margarita.

Food is served from 11 a.m. To sunset, weather permitting. Click here for more info.

James Campbell Caruso in Albuquerque

Albuquerque's Hotel Andaluz is a big hit, a AAA Four Diamond Hotel. And now, with a big announcement, the hotel is poised to become a major culinary destination in the Duke City. La Boca's much-heralded chef James Campbell Caruso is about to take over the hotel's restaurant and launch MASA, a tapas bar and restaurant that will offer food service throughout the hotel, including the lobby and rooftop bar. Along with tapas, Campbell Caruso's menu will include appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. This will be a welcome addition to Albuquerque's hot food scene!

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