April 23, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Spring Cuisine Scene

New Mexico's Breakfast Burrito Byway, Savor Saturday at Il Piatto, authentic Indian food at SITE Santa Fe and Cafe Fina and 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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Help Build New Mexico's Breakfast Burrito Byway

The results are in for New Mexico's best  breakfast burrito nominees, with 402 restaurants across the state vying for one of 50 coveted spots on the New Mexico True Breakfast Burrito Byway, a new food trail cooked up by the New Mexico Department of Tourism. Now, it's up to you to vote for your favorites and you can vote for up to 10 nominees once a day through Sunday May 18.

These are the same folks who concocted the wildly popular Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail a few years ago, and people still call from around the world to inquire about  it. So it made sense to tackle another iconic New Mexico food with a breakfast burrito byway, which will be available on the tourism department's website as an interactive map after  the voting is complete.

Santa Fe has a number of contenders on the list, which was created earlier by people who nominated their favorite New Mexico-owned restaurant serving a breakfast burrito made with tortillas, eggs and chile, but restaurants across the state are in the running as well.

Click here to vote and may the best breakfast burritos win!

Savor Saturday at Il Piatto

Celebrate Santa Fe's vibrant food scene at Savor Saturday, a festival devoted to local food and wine at Il Piatto Italian Farmhouse and Kitchen on Saturday April 26 from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Kokoman Fine Wines, Real Butcher Shop and Favorite Brands, Bountiful Cow and Above Sea Level! are partnering with Il Piatto in this event.

The open house features a fantastic menu from il piaatto's chef/owner Matt Yohalem, including Spicy Duck Wings with Gorgonzola Crème; Whole Hog’s Head with Smoked Pork; BBQ Octopus-Stuffed Tomatoes; Eggplant, Mushroom & Smoked Gouda Napoleon; Baccala Fritters; Prosciutto Wrapped Duck Livers and River Trout Roll with bok choy slaw. Guests can also enjoy Above Sea Level!'s a Smoked Salmon Platter, The Real Butcher Shop's charcuterie and Bountiful Cow's fresh cheese.

Sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Hope to see you there!

Paper Dosa Pop Up Dinner at SITE Santa Fe & Cafe Fina

India is a long way from here, but that's no reason to miss out on incredibly delicious, authentic Indian food expertly prepared by a renowned chef from southern India who now lives in Santa Fe. SITE Santa Fe joins creative agencies ANAGR.AM and 12FPS to host a nine-course South Indian feast prepared by chef Paulraj Karuppasamy on Tuesday, May 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. In SITE's Dining Room, where diners can experience SITE's current exhibit, FEAST: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, in a more intimate and personalized atmosphere.

The menu features fresh herbs and spices and exotic ingredients, along with traditional cooking techniques, from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and other places around India. Drinks have been carefully chosen to match each course, including an original ginger cocktail, fine wine and local beers and traditional South Indian Chai. And, through sound, light and video installations, the Dining Room will be designed to illuminate this unique tour of India's ancient cuisine. For more info, click here.

In case you miss this dinner, Karuppasamy is creating a pop-up dinner at Cafe Fina on Saturday, May 17 beginning at 6 p.m.

To buy tickets for the SITE dinner, click here. No reservations needed for the Cafe Fina dinner.

SweetWater Harvest Kitchen's Thai Night

If it's Wednesday, it's Thai Night at SweetWater Harvest Kitchen, where you can savor dishes from Cambodia, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines prepared by guest chef Kim Nath, who hand-pounds and grinds all spices and uses only natural and organic ingredients. The menu includes Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls with red and green cabbage and carrot and bean sprouts and a tamarind peanut sauce; Cambodian Rice Crepes made with coconut milk and served with Thai herbs and tamarind peanut sauce; Thai-Cambodian Curry; Cambodian Grilled Lemongrass Chicken; Pad Thai and more.

Thai Night is by reservation only, so call (505) 795-7383 right now if you plan on going tonight!

SweetWater Harvest Kitchen is the only restaurant in New Mexico serving wine on tap, which is fresher than bottled wine and has a better flavor since it's served from a keg.

Sweetener Harvest Kitchen also hosts Slack Key Saturdays from 6 to 8 p.m., featuring the live music of sweet, tropical sounds of John Serkins on Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar. “Gentle, relaxing, and good for the digestion,” according to the restaurant's website.

Click here for more info.

Edible Santa Fe's Albuquerque Cooking Classes

Edible Santa Fe, part of the acclaimed James Beard award-winning Edible Communities, has partnered with Albuquerque's Talin Market to offer a series of cooking classes that cover exotic grains, curry, beer as a culinary ingredient and the cooking of Azerbaijan

This is a great way to learn some new cuisine with top chefs and to also explore the aisles of Talin, where you'll select ingredients for the evening's cuisine. You'll also learn about some of the popular and specialty food items, and get a history and culture lesson as well. The students will get to taste everything they cook and also will receive recipes and shopping lists.

Classes are held at Talin Market from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and the first takes place Tuesday, April 29, when Shawn Weed, senior executive chef at the University of New Mexico, explores nontraditional grains such as kamut, bulgur, amaranth, and millet and their unique tastes and qualities.

On Wednesday, May 7, Weed leads a class that focuses on the flavor profiles that can be incorporated into recipes with beer. You'll learn to make a Hefferveisen Mustard, White Bean Ale soup and Porter cupcakes with Peanut butter icing. Make some delicious recipes that will feature their unique tastes and qualities. 

Learn to make curry in the class Weed teaches on Thursday, May 15 that focuses on the many styles and types of curries. You'll start with the basics, learning how to blend spices, and then you'll use those spices to make curry in many different forms.

Santa Fe Culinary Academy co-founder and chef Rocky Durham takes you on a culinary journey to Azerbaijan on Thursday, May 27, when you'll make dishes so famous, they now form an integral part of the lives of the people in the neighboring countries. Specialties include chykhyrtma, khashil, dolma, bozbash, piti, pilau and bozartma, 

Click here for details.

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