Fall Food Fare | The Return of Tecolote

Gourmet Girl - October 18, 2014

Tecolote Returns, FUZE.SW & Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, Cheesemaster Class & more...

 Photo Courtesy: Izanami

The Return of Tecolote

Just about everyone in Santa Fe will be thrilled to hear that Tecolote Café has found a new home in the Saint Michael’s Village West Shopping Center with plans to open this fall. After 34 years, the popular restaurant—which has been featured on The Food Network and is famous for its cinnamon rolls, atole pinon pancakes and bakery basket—closed earlier this year due to a dispute with the landlord. Owner Katie Adkins, daughter of Tecolote's founders Bill and Alice Jennison, said then she planned to re-open,  and this week she issued a press release on the Tecolote Facebook page announcing the new location.

Adkins was only 3 when her parents opened their restaurant, named after a village in northeast New Mexico that once was a stop along the Santa Fe Trail. Her father, a fan of history, chose the name after discovering it had been a supply center during the Civil War. Tecolote is the Aztec word for owl, so you can expect to see the same kid's drawings, ceramic figures and other owl imagery in the new location that was displayed in the restaurant's original Cerrillos Road location.

Tecolote will open in the space that formerly housed the Yummy Cafe, with plans to expand to the neighboring Cinema Cafe, and will serve breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday.

FUZE.SW @ Museum Hill

Be sure to bring a big appetite to this weekend's FUZE.SW Food + Folklore Festival, a smorgasbord of culinary delights, from panels, keynotes and cooking demos to a food truck lunch, a Frito Pie 'n' Brew Tasting, a Buffalo Feast and more. The conference takes place Sept. 12-14 on Museum Hill, featuring James-Beard award-winning chefs and authors as well as food scholars, historians and other culinary notables.

This year's theme, Sitting at the Same Table, focuses on Native American foodways and how traditional indigenous practices can influence our contemporary culinary traditions. Events include a panel on tacos with chefs Mark Kiffin and David Sellars and a panel on Native American Food Traditions and Food Identity, moderated by chef and James Beard Award-winning cookbook author Lois Ellen Frank, The Grandmother's Lunch features traditional foods prepared by Pueblo and Hispano grandmothers and the Buffalo Feast Dinner at Museum Hill Cafe showcases dishes made with New Mexico buffalo, green and red chile and fresh ingredients from the Santa Fe Farmers Market.

Don't miss the free Marketplace, open to the public all day Sunday, Sept. 14, featuring tastings of jams, empanadas and other foods made in New Mexico, as well as Native American dances, cooking demos, cookbook signings, a green chile roast, tours of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, food trucks and more! See you on The Hill!

Cheeseburger Challenge

Cast a vote for your favorite green chile cheeseburger in the 2nd annual Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown!  The online voters have spoken, selecting six finalists to compete in the smackdown—Second Street Brewery, Luminaria Restaurant & Patio; Terra Restaurant, Amaya Restaurant, Fuego, Anasazi Restaurant; and Cowgirl BBQ – winner of last year's People Choice Award. The lucky #7 winner ended up as a tie, so the Mineshaft Tavern and Fuego were adding to the slate, bringing the number of competitors to eight.

The Smackdown takes place Friday, Sept. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Santa Fe Farmers Market and a panel of national food critics will select the Reigning Chomp while attendees will choose the People’s Choice Award.

Cheesemaster Class

Get a taste of the new Cheesemongers of Santa Fe before the artisan cheese shop opens later this month at Celebrating World Cheeses with the Cheesemaster, a cooking class at Las Cosas. Cheesemonger's owner John Guitierrez will share his love and knowledge of cheese and the class will make Summer Heirloom Tomatoes with Buffalo-Mozzarella Caprese, Zucchini Tomato Comte Gratin, Robilino (al forna-baked Piemontese robiola wrapped in prosciutto), Fondue Normande, Polenta with Pan-Roasted Mushrooms, John's Famous Green Chile Farmhouse Cheddar Beer Biscuits and Grilled Peaches with Honeyed Whole Milk Sheep Ricotta. September 16, 6 to 9 p.m.

Changing Chefs at izanami

izanami's kitchen is changing hands. Kim Muller — whose creative Japanese gastro-pub fare helped earn the restaurant a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant just a few months after it opened — is leaving. She's on to other adventures, and we will miss her here. But, on International Sake Day, izanami's new executive chef, David Padberg, will launch his latest addition to the menu, omakasa (chef's choice). Diner's can choose from a five- or eight-course tasting menu paired with sake.

I think this is one of the most beautiful dining spots in Santa Fe. Perched on the patio, overlooking the sweep of mountains, you feel as if you're in a remote Japanese village, with views that are phenomenal, to match the food. I look forward to trying Padberg's new items and hope that Muller's creations will still be available, too.