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Monday, 18 February 2013 11:30

A Rich History of Chocolate

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displayLast Tuesday, Farm & Table commemorated the amazing archeological findings at Chaco Canyon of 2009 by hosting a indulgent dinner that explored the amazing flavors and uses of cacao in six chocolate-rich courses.

Cacao as been enjoyed for its decadent taste and sensuous properties for thousands and thousands of years. And now, thanks to the discovery of Dr. Patricia Crown and her team of anthropologists at UNM, we know that ancient cultures were enjoying cacao as far north as the present-day Southwest.

At the dinner, Dr. Crown, our guest of honor, said a few brief words on her groundbreaking findings, and while chocolate historian Mark Sciscenti and Nicolasa Chavez guided us through a short history of chocolate.

Cacao is one of the world's most ancient foods, used by the Mayans and Aztecs as early as 600 B.C. - 2,600 years ago. The ancient peoples would ferment, roast and grind the raw cacao, and mix with water and spices to create a rich, decadent sipping chocolate. (For most of history, chocolate has been consumed only as a drink - just within the last 200 years has it developed into solid form.)

In Mayan and Aztec cultures, cacao was an indulgence reserved only for those in the highest positions in society. It was served ceremonially on very special occasions, and sipped from ornate vessels - a little like champagne in modern society. Before Dr. Crown's findings in Chaco Canyon, the farthest north cacao had been discovered was northern Mexico - but now we know cacao traveled over 1,200 miles across the trade chain all the way to New Mexico, and that the ancient dwellers of Chaco Canyon used cacao in ceremial rituals very similar to the Mayans.

Ancient indigenous cultures and and, later, explorers of the Americas revered chocolate for its transcendent, medicinal properties and, science has now shown, with good reason. Chocolate contains many nutrients that contribute to cardiovascular health, and cacao flavanols have been proven in studies to increase cognitive function. Cacao has also been proven to have stress-relieving properties - in addition to stimulants like theobromine and caffeine, cacao also triggers the release of dopamine and the endorphine phenylethylamine. Don't be surprised if a bit of good, raw cacao gives you a heady little buzz!

We thought a food with such a rich history deserves a rich dinner to celebrate it! Here are a few of our favorite dishes from the dinner:

 

hamachi

Cocoa-encrusted hamachi and hamachi sashimi with a cacao nib vinaigrette

 

 pasta

Pasta di cacao

 

tamale

Duck tamale with house-ground cacao mole

 

churros

Rosewater sipping chocolate with sugared rose petals, white pepper ice cream, and mini-churros

Monday, 04 February 2013 16:27

Taste the History of Chocolate

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cacao-nibs-sweetIn 2009 group of University of New Mexico anthropologists led by Dr. Patricia Crown discovered cacao residue in ancient clay jars from Chaco Canyon, the purpose of which had previously stumped researchers.  The evidence showed that the dwellers of Chaco Canyon used sipping chocolate in a very similar way to the ceremonial practices of the Mayans.

The discovery made chocolate history around the world, proving unequivocally that the Native Americans of present-day New Mexico were drinking ceremonial cacao through trade with Mesoamericans from over 1,200 miles away, more than 1,000 years ago! The knowledge was truly groundbreaking, shedding light on politics, religion and power structures of the ancient people.

The history of cacao in the early Americas is a fascinating one, and we are celebrating this rich history with our upcoming special dinner, in which we invite you to "Taste the History of Chocolate." Executive Chef Jaye and her culinary team will take you on a journey that explores the flavors of cacao over six decadent courses - each course will be paired with a wine that complements the chocolate creation.  

Patricia Crown, who led the 2009 archaelogical discovery in Chaco Canyon will be our guest of honor at the dinner, and will say a few words on the history of chocolate and her team's findings.  Mark Sciscenti, noted chocolate historian, will also do a brief chocolate demonstration.  

We hope you will join us for this indulgent and informative dinner!

 

Taste the History of Chocolate
a 6-course exploration of cacao
February 12, 2013
One Seating: 6:00pm
$85 / person

Seating is limited. Reservations can be made by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 505.503.7124.

Sunday, 20 January 2013 17:00

Bubbles

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happynewyearWe are kicking off 2013 with a special dinner on Tuesday, January 29th.  Our next celebratory dinner will tickle your nose and excite your tastebuds with an exploration of BUBBLES. Chef Jaye and her team have dreamt up a magical evening of local ingredients and molecular gastronomy, with flavors that sparkle, fizzle and pop.  And, of course, plates will be paired with glasses of bubbly that perfectly compliments the effervescent cuisine.  Add a little sparkle to your cold winter evening!

As always, seats to our special dinners always sell our very quickly, so reserve yours soon!  

Here's to 2013!

January 2013 | "Bubbles" Dinner
Please join us for a special five-course, fixed-price dinner exploring bubbles at Farm & Table. Courses will be paired with sparkling wine.
Tuesday, January 29th, 2013
6:00pm
$75/person
Seating is limited. Please RSVP by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 505.503.7124.

 

: sneak peek of the wines :

 

Cristalino Cava—Spain | Bodega Norton Brut Rosé –Argentina
Gruet Demi Sec – New Mexico | Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco – Italy | La Marca Prosecco – Italy

Monday, 14 January 2013 13:39

Happy New Year!

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hoophouseHappy New Year from Farm & Table!  We hope all of you had a restful and rejuvenating holiday!

We returned to our regular hours hours Wednesday, January 16th, and we have hit the ground running!

Winter may seem like a sleepy time on the farm, but out back inside the hoophouse and hibernating underneath the remay Sol Harvest Farm is still a living, growing, changing thing.  Farmer Ric has done an amazing job preparing for these cold months and as a result, there will never be a week when Farmer Ric is not harvesting - wow. This week, Ric brought ten pounds of greens in to the restaurant!  

We're also rolling out lots of additions and changes to our winter menu.  Last week we featured three new hearty entrees and two decandent desserts - and we will have even more new items in the weeks to come. Why so many menu changes? We're working hard keep up with the availability of many seasonal, local items.  And by utilizing lots of potatoes, greens, winter squash, and hearty staples of starches and grains, even in the dead of winter we are STILL featuring a that menu Chef Jaye estimates is about 90% local. That's an amazing feat by Chef Jaye and her kitchen and we are so proud!

You can check out some of our local sources on our Facebook page - or take a look at our new menu on our website.

2012 was certainly an amazing year - thank you all for being with us as we grew and learned in our first year.  We can't wait to see what blessings 2013 will bring.

Friday, 30 November 2012 14:12

We're Ready For Our Close-Up...

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localstyleAlbuquerque the Magazine just named Farm & Table Best New Restaurant! We are so honored by the award and proud of everyone in our Farm & Table family for their amazing contributions!

New Mexico Local Style has been chatting with the Best of the City winners all week long, so on Thursday Chef Jaye went on the show to teach Nikki how to make one of our fall favorites: pecan-encrusted winter squash.

Yum! You can check out the recipe for yourself below, or watch Chef Jaye in action on the Local Style website. Or come down to Farm & Table and try them for yourself!

Farm & Table Pecan-Crusted Winter Squash

  • 5 lb winter squash (we’ve used acorn, butternut, and hubbard. Feel free to experiment)
  • 1 T whole cloves
  • 1 cinnimon stick, crushed
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 c crushed pecans
  • 1 c panko
  • 2 c rice flour
  • 1T cinnamon, ground
  • 1 t nutmeg, ground
  • 1 t allspice, ground
  • 2 ea eggs
  • 1 T water
  • Oil for pan frying.

wintersquash

Preheat oven to 375. Halve squash and season with salt and coat with oil. Drop a few cloves and a few pieces of crushed cinnamon in each half. Roast squash cut side up until slightly softened, but still al dente. Approximately 15-40 min depending on thickness of squash. Allow to cool.

Cut squash into 1” wedges. If skin is tough, remove with a pairing knife. Cut to finger size pieces.

Whisk together eggs and water. Mix pecans and panko.

Dredge squash fingers first in flour, then egg wash, then roll in pecan mixture to coat. Set aside on a rack.

In a heavy bottomed, high-sided skillet, preheat oil ½” of oil until glistening. Fry crusted squash in batches that aren’t crowded in the bottom of the pan. Turn for even cooking. Drain on rack and salt well.

Keep squash warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

 

Brown Sugar Sherry Dipping Sauce

  • 1 c sherry
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • ¼ lb butter
  • ½ c heavy cream
  • 1 c toasted pecans

Reduce sherry by half. Whisk in brown sugar bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter and cream. Stir in pecans. Salt to taste. Serve warm. If making in advance, reheat gently in a thick pot over a low flame stirring often, or warm over a double boiler.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 12:56

Gratitude

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Thank you – dear friends – who have become part of the Farm & Table family…as a guest, a farmer, cook, server, dishwasher, advisor, purveyor, volunteer, landscaper, contractor, investor, loan officer, family, friends of family, friends of friends… YOU. You are what make Farm & Table a success.

Thank you Jaye for leading with vision and purpose – diligently aimed towards Farm & Table’s mission. For working so many hours with true dedication. Thank you.

Thank you to my culinary team – a group of true artists who show their passion for food every day. A team that seriously blows me away with their dedication and talent. You are tremendously appreciated.

To my dishwashers and porters – who do so much more. You put in extra hours to help in so many ways – I am so proud to have you on our team.

Thank you to my front of the house team. You are a group of intelligent individuals who give a damn about what you do! Thank you! You are the very best team, and I couldn’t be more proud of the way you represent Farm & Table.

Thank you, Farmer Ric. With your steadfast vision and work ethic that makes producing thousands of seedlings into hundreds of pounds of delicious, organic produce look simple. We all know it is not. You are amazing. Thank you to all Ric’s volunteers who work countless hours – cradling our farm with good intention with every weeding, seeding, and harvest. Your love is evident in the food that we eat. Thank you to Aimee – your beautiful flower arrangements, your work on the farm stand, your presence and friendship is valued.

Thank you to all of our farmers…so many of you now. You are each incredible. Your hard work and dedication to food is mind-blowing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to keep our coolers stocked with the very best produce.

Thank you to ranchers, who raise your animals with pride. Feeding them with quality feed. Producing the best tasting meat. Thank you for your uncompromising dedication.

Food artisans – producing cheese, sausage, honey, milled wheat and corn, and jam. Your love for what you do is evident in the taste of your food. Thank you.

To my mom and dad for supporting me, my dreams for Farm & Table, and its success. For being a catalyst for a resurgence of respect and honor for land, farmer, and water – right here where our family has been for so many generations – Alameda. For saving these 12 acres of precious land and allowing me to live out my dream. For supporting me with love, time, and patience.

To my sisters. You have supported Farm & Table with your talents, skills, and patronage. Thank you for connecting Farm & Table with your friends, extended families, and loved ones. Thank you for being a part of this dream… I am so grateful.

Thank you to my friends. Your support, love, and encouragement helped thrust this idea forward. Your involvement made the impossible, possible. Sea shells and honey….like mana from heaven.

Thank you to Noah & Eden – my wonderful children who are a part of this joyful experience every day. Who have adopted the Farm & Table crew as an extended family, and who remind Joseph & I when it’s time to leave the restaurant and return to the sanctuary of home.

Thank you to Joseph who continues to be the yin to my yang. You work so many hours – from managing expansion projects, fixing equipment, picking up lunch for the staff, to running the floor on our busiest nights. Thank you for connecting with Farm & Table guests on a personal, genuine level – making sure they know how important they are to us and how much we appreciate them.

Thank you GUESTS. You are the reason we exist. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to turn the spotlight to our bigger community and supporting small farmers and food artisans. For appreciating our food. Thank you for your patronage – and believing in us. You are a part of this movement of local food – and indeed a member of the Farm & Table Family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

With the most sincere gratitude, I thank you.

- Cherie

Monday, 12 November 2012 14:24

October in Pictures

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October was a bumper month here (to borrow a phrase from the farm), with all sorts of events and celebrations to commemorate local food month and the harvest! Here's a look back at some of the amazing things we did and participated in during the month!

On October 14th we participated in the 5th Annual Local Food Festival and Field Day.

Sol Harvest came out with their farm stand...

october pictures

 

And Chef Jaye did a fabulous cooking demonstration of her roasted winter squash and jujube salad:

october pictures

  

On October 20th, we had our first-ever Harvest Festival and Marigold Festival!  

There was live music and fresh food all day long...

october pictures

 

october pictures

 

Workshops, and demos and games for everyone...

october pictures

 

Dia de los Muertos arts and crafts for the kids...

october pictures

 

And fresh local produce (including pumpkins!) to buy at the Farm Stand:

october pictures

 

Then we ended the month with Moveable Feast, a roving, city-wide event with several restaurants hosting special dinners to highlight the local harvest.

At Farm & Table, 40 guests partook in our Moveable Feast with amazing creations like a mushroom and winter squash napoleon...

october pictures 

And a pistachio-encrusted lamb served with red chile broth and sweet potato flan...

october pictures 

Even the centerpiece was edible!

october pictures

 

It was a magical evening.

october pictures

 

We had an amazing time celebrating the month of October with you this year – and we can't wait to do it again next year!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 19:10

First Frost

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first frost It was COLD this past weekend – cold enough to give us our first frost. First frost on the farm is an important time, because, as Farmer Ric says, it marks the official shift in the seasons and the absolute end of the summer growing season.

But that doesn't mean there isn't lots to do to wrap up the season and get ready for the cool-weather crops that are coming. Farmer Ric has been hard at work preparing for the transition: harvesting the end of the summer crops that would not have made it through that first frost, like chile, eggplant, and tomatoes, and protecting the remaining outdoor crops from the cold, windy nights by covering the rows with remay - “which is like a blanket for plants,” says Ric.  (There are some beautiful pictures of Farmer Ric with his remay on Facebook.)

Ric has been especially busy in the hoop-house. Our passive-solar hoop-house – the same in concept as a greenhouse – will keep Ric's crops warm and protected and help extend the growing season all the way through winter. Farmer Ric has all 1,400 feet of the hoop-house packed full of kale, rainbow chard, bok choi, radishes, turnips, carrots and more.

The first frost can feel sad, because it marks the end of the summer, and WOW has summer been good to us. But like Ric says, it's just another shift – another change in the seasons. And, for us, a chance to reflect with gratitude on what the past season has given us, and look ahead as its end clears the way for something new.   

Thursday, 25 October 2012 13:57

Another Local Face: Jesse with Amyo Farms

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Today, meet Jesse.  Jesse owns Amyo Farms, another local supplier for Farm & Table.  In addition to selling to local restaurants like us, Amyo Farms' produce is also available at the Downtown and Nob Hill Growers' Markets (the latter of which he helped found) and through the farm's CSA.   Amyo Farms has been a huge part of Albuquerque's local agriculture.  For more information, you can visit Amyo's website.

 

local face jesse


Jesse's favorite thing he's harvesting:  Peppers, because of the great flavor and huge variety.

Jesse's favorite thing about owning Amyo:  "The money, of course!" he jokes with a smile.  "Really, the freedom." 

Come back every day this week as we continue to celebrate Moveable Feast and Local Food Month by introducing you to more local faces at Farm & Table!  Also, don't forget that tonight is Artichoke Cafe's Moveable Feast!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 15:08

The "Moveable Feast" Continues at Farm & Table

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Moveable Feast restaurant weekcontinues, and tonight is our night! 47 guests will come together for a community dinner of five courses of local food, prepared by Chef Jaye and her team. We can’t wait! (And if you missed this dinner, not to worry, we’ll be hosting more special community dinners in the future. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to join our mailing list and be notified when they happen.)

And continuing our celebration of local food, here’s another local face that makes the place hum.

Meet Sarah (and her dog Chi Chi). Sarah is a work-share volunteer for Farmer Ric at Sol Harvest Farm. She volunteers for 5 hours a week in exchange for a harvest box.

moveable feast at farm and table

What Sarah loves about working at Sol Harvest: “It forces me to make a space each week to be outside. And it gives my dog a chance to run around on the farm.”

Sarah’s favorite thing she’s harvesting: Rainbow chard, dino kale and easter egg radishes. “Harvesting is great because you get to see the result of your labor.”