Santa Fe Buzz: March 2012

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, March 2012

You can now stop in to buy some of your favorite local pastries and other treats anytime you want, or at least anytime Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Keegan Crumpacker and his mother Amy Fagan—who are known for their catering business and the baked goods they sell at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market—have now opened their own restaurant. Crumpackers Café and Bakeshop offers everything from classic huevos rancheros and bagel and lox to a breakfast monte cristo (with homemade raspberry rhubarb jam) and a sizable array of paninis, sandwiches and salads. The eatery is also dedicated to using local ingredients wherever possible, says Crumpacker, including the Farmington-grown Valencia flour that goes into all its house-made breads. 5 Bisbee Court, Suite 108, 471.0226. www.crumpackers.com.

Vinaigrette’s monthly wine dinners are a little hush-hush. The gourmet salad-based restaurant doesn’t advertise the events, and so your only chances of finding out about them are if you read its newsletter—or if you’re reading this. Sometime around the third Wednesday of every month, $40 will get you three courses and a flight of five wines. The wines usually highlight a specific grape varietal or growing region (last month’s was wines of Spain). And although the menu is never the same, to give you a taste, February featured ceviche, a spin on the spinach and mushroom salad from the regular menu, and a braised short rib with cauliflower mash. Reservations are required. Also, Vinaigrette only hosts these dinners from November through March, although it’ll likely add one in April this year. Call for the exact date, which had yet to be set at the time we went to press. 709 Don Cubero Alley, 820.9205. www.vinaigretteonline.com.

For those who like a little variety in their evening’s entertainment, the 25th annual Choreographers’ Showcase hits the stage on Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17 (aka Saint Patrick’s Day). Produced by the New Mexico Dance Coalition, the event shows off the skills of some of the state’s best choreographers. There’s ballroom and flamenco alongside jazz, modern dance, belly dance and ballet (plus a few surprises). Tickets are only $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 12, and it all starts at 7:30 p.m. on both nights at the Railyard Performance Center. 1611 Paseo De Peralta. www.nmdancecoalition.org.

Six weeks, six burgers. That’s the challenge New York Deli imposed upon itself from Jan. 23 to March 4. It started with a Kobe burger and was followed by Texas buffalo, Chicago, Greek lamb, south of the border and Paris burgers. Using meats that were all-natural, grass-fed and locally sourced when possible, patties were pressed daily. The results were magnificent. Of course, we wouldn’t be telling you about it if this was all past tense. Due to the success of the burgers, New York Deli has decided to add all of them to its regular menu. And, just for the hell of it, it’s adding a root beer float, too. 420 Catron, 982.8900. www.newyorkdelisantafe.com.

How would you like some grilled swordfish with pomegranate molasses? Or some pan-seared duck breast with melted Idiazabal, mango and smoky cashew butter? Goat cheese and piquillo peppers with fig-mustard vinaigrette? Not only can you taste some, you can have it anytime you want. La Boca Chef and Owner James Campbell Caruso’s new cookbook España: Exploring the Flavors of Spain includes all of these recipes and more. Combining traditional Spanish cuisine with modern interpretations, the book details how to make tapas, soups, entrées and desserts. It won’t be released until May, but you can pre-order it now at www.labocasf.com. If you want a preview, go to a Santa Fe Restaurant Week cooking demonstration featuring some of the recipes on Saturday, March 10, at 3 p.m. at La Boca. Tickets are $40. 72 West Marcy, 982.3433.

In its first year, the Los Alamos Cooperative Market more than tripled its membership, from 500 to 1,800. It also established a bunch of community programs, like the Shop with the Chef cooking classes and the Dinner & Discussion series. These are just a few of the things worth celebrating at the Co-op’s first anniversary party. On Saturday, March 3, from noon to 4 p.m., stop by the Co-op for festivities and food samples. Also look for its “A Taste of Spring” event with Chef Chris McLean from the Bishop’s Lodge on Thursday, March 8, at 6 p.m. Lastly, it’s co-hosting a free workshop on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. called “Sustainable Los Alamos, Your Sustainable Home” at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (3540 Orange, Los Alamos, 505.662.0460). Annual Co-op membership is $30, but you can shop without it. 95 Entrada, Los Alamos, 505.695.1579. www.losalamos.coop.

It’s all any chocolate lover could want. Hand-dipped, macadamia-stuffed, sea salt-sprinkled, sugar- or gluten-free, vegan, truffled, caramel-laced, cupcaked, boxed, toasted … the newly opened CoCopelli Chocolatier seems to have a slice of just about everything. And as if its culinary offerings weren’t enough, it’s launching a number of classes this month. From 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, March 12, and Tuesday, March 13, “All About Tempering Chocolate” will teach you about cocoa content, bean to bar and tempering methods for $75. Then at the same time on Monday, March 26, and Tuesday, March 27, “Cake Decorating Basics” delves into cupcake design and 6-inch cake design, advancing to intermediate techniques on the second day. Classes cost $100, and the price includes supplies and cakes for decorating. Keep an eye on CoCopelli’s events page on its website, since it also plans to offer private lessons, field trips and tours of its chocolate shop in the near future. In the meantime, go and eat something delicious. 3482 Zafarano, Suite A, 438.COCO (2626). www.cocopellisantafe.com.

It isn’t shocking that in the age of text messaging and tablets penmanship is suffering. Here’s an opportunity to shape up the signature of your 6- to 16-year-old with a brand-new fountain pen—and do it all for free. At this year’s Santa Fe Pen Fair, the titular Santa Fe Pens is offering free penmanship seminars for kids within that age range. Only taking on three students at time for 20-minute intervals, the goal is to provide kids with one-on-one attention. As a bonus, students will also get a complimentary new fountain pen. That’s pretty cool. It all happens at Sanbusco Market Center on Saturday, March 10, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, March 11, from noon to 4 p.m. Reservations are required. 989.4742. www.santafepens.com.

Classical music fans will have a taste of Russia this month with a visit from the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra. Presented by the Santa Fe Concert Association, the orchestra is stopping by on its inaugural cross-continental tour of the U.S., following tours in Europe, China and Japan. With Conductor Roman Leontiev at the helm and Alexandre Pirozhenko on piano, the orchestra will perform Wagner’s Flying Dutchman Overture, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Don’t miss it on Tuesday, March 6, at 7:30 p.m. at The Lensic Performing Arts Center. Tickets range from $20 to $72. 211 West San Francisco, 988.1234. www.santafeconcerts.org.

Sharon Niederman’s new guidebook, Signs & Shrines: Spiritual Journeys Across New Mexico, aims to help readers seek out and be inspired by the state’s sacred places. Learn about the Spanish mission churches built upon ruins of Native American kivas. Visit the Gila Cliff Dwellings, experience the “power spot” that is Chaco Canyon. The 13 itineraries included in the book are based on more than 20 years of study and research and include comprehensive information on places’ backstories and rituals. Look for a copy for $19.95 and upcoming book signings at Collected Works in Santa Fe or Bookworks in Albuquerque. www.sharonniederman.com.

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is back in town with a piece from upstart Juilliard graduate and choreographer Norbert De La Cruz III. He was scooped up by the company at last year’s New York auditions, and ASFB is promoting him as the next big thing in choreography. While you’re there getting an eyeful, see Jorma Elo’s Over Glow and Nicolo Fonte’s Left Unsaid, both of which are also on the program. Catch it Friday, March 16, and Saturday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. at The Lensic. 211 West San Francisco, 988.1234. www.aspensantafeballet.com.

If you’re a filmmaker in Taos, or if you like film and live in Taos, this is the month for you. Running concurrently are the Taos Shortz Film Fest and the 48 Hour Film Project. First, the film fest. Now five years running, Taos Shortz is bringing in more than 70 films from all over the globe along with panel discussions and networking parties. And here’s an exciting bit of news: The film fest is applying for accreditation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and if it gets it, anyone who submits a film would have a chance at an Oscar. It all takes place from March 1 through 4. Then from March 2 through 5, it’s the 48 Hour Film Project. Here’s more exciting news. More than 40,000 people from 100 cities compete every year in the film project. The winners from each of those cities will go head-to-head in Taos at Filmapalooza, the project’s grand finale. There are way too many calendar listings, guidelines, prices and other tidbits to list here, so visit www.taosshortz.com and www.48hourfilm.com/filmapalooza for everything you would ever want to know about anything. 

The semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation Awards have been announced, and a number of locals made the list. Like the Oscars, it’s a huge honor to even be nominated, so we’re bursting at the seams for Mark Kiffin and the Compound (Outstanding Service); Ron Cooper from Del Maguey, Single Village Mezcal in Ranchos de Taos (Outstanding Wine and Spirits Professional); Albuquerque’s Jennifer James of Jennifer James 1010 (Best Chef Southwest); Taos’ Frederick Muller from El Meze (Best Chef Southwest); and Martín Rios from Restaurant Martín (Best Chef Southwest). Winners will be announced on May 7, but you don’t have to wait that long to stop in and congratulate them.