Category Archives: New Mexico Food Information

First-ever NEW MEXICO–Taste the Tradition Chef Ambassadors announced

Sept. 11, 2018
Media Contact:
Baylee Banks
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
575-646-1864, bbanks@nmda.nmsu.edu

New Mexico Department of Agriculture announces first-ever Chef Ambassadors

Chefs begin term by serving as New Mexico State Fair Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge judges
Las Cruces, New Mexico

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture has named the Chef Ambassadors. This is for the first-ever NEW MEXICO—Taste the Tradition® (NM-TTT) Chef Ambassador Program.

There are two ambassadors. The first is Rocky Durham from Santa Fe. Rocky Durham launched his career in London, England where he opened a restaurant named after his hometown, Santa Fe. Within three years of the first opening, there were Santa Fe restaurants in eight British cities. While living in England, Durham also wrote and presented two television series. The series were Plates from the States and South of the Border. After working professionally in five continents, Durham returned to New Mexico. He is currently an executive chef at the Blue Heron Restaurant at Sunrise Springs Spa Resort in Santa Fe.

The second ambassador is John C. Hartley from Las Cruces. John Hartley is currently serving as a college assistant professor in the New Mexico State University. School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. There he teaches quantity foods courses and managing the school’s 100 West Cafe. Hartley was born and raised in Las Cruces and graduated from NMSU and the California Culinary Academy. Highlights of his career include cooking for President George H. W. Bush and President Bill Clinton. He also cooked for the Pope of the Armenian Catholic Church and numerous celebrities.

The chef ambassadors will serve a two-year term advocating for and promoting New Mexico agriculture. They will work at events such as the New Mexico State Fair and HomeGrown. In doing so, the chefs will receive exposure and recognition while providing a voice for New Mexico agriculture. Their term began Sept. 1 and ends Aug. 30, 2020.

Durham expressed his excitement in promoting unique New Mexico agricultural products and influencing positive financial growth in the agricultural sector.

“As a fiercely proud, native New Mexican and life-long culinarian, I couldn’t be more thrilled for this opportunity,” said Durham. “It is an honor to be selected from such an incredible group of my colleagues and contemporaries.”

Hartley said he is honored to be selected as a chef ambassador for the state of New Mexico.

“I look forward to working with Chef Rocky and the NMDA staff to promote the incredible agricultural products. …and encouraging our youth to become involved with the industry,” said Hartley.

As their first event, the newly-named chef ambassadors participated as judges. They judged the New Mexico State Fair Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge Monday, Sept. 10 in Albuquerque.

The winners of the green chile cheeseburger challenge are as follows:

  • First place and People’s Choice winner: Oso Grill (Capitan, New Mexico)
  • Second place: Fuddruckers

For more information about the NEW MEXICO—Taste the Tradition® Chef Ambassador Program, visit newmexicotradition.com. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @NMDeptAg.

– NMDA –

NMDA hosts Battle of the Salsas at New Mexico State Fair Sept. 8

For immediate release

Aug. 27, 2018
Media Contact:
Baylee Banks
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
575-646-1864, bbanks@nmda.nmsu.edu

NMDA hosts Battle of the Salsas at 2018 New Mexico State Fair

Fairgoers have opportunity to judge over 30 locally-made salsas

Albuquerque, New Mexico – Do you have what it takes to judge the best salsas in New Mexico? All salsa and food lovers are invited to participate in this year’s Battle of the Salsas. This will take place at the New Mexico State Fair.

NMDA will host the Battle of the Salsas from 1 to 3 p.m. during the state fair Saturday, Sept. 8. The event will take place in the courtyard of the Agriculture Building located on the fairgrounds. All New-Mexico-made, commercially produced and shelf-stable salsas are eligible for entry. The salsas must also be already available for sale at the New Mexico Country Store .

Fairgoers have the chance to select their favorite salsa from over 30 samples of New Mexico’s best. Participants will be given a bag of New Mexico-made tortilla chips and a ballot to vote. After the votes are counted, the top three crowd favorites will be selected and announced.

New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte encourages everyone to attend the Battle of the Salsas. Put your taste buds to the test, and see how their picks compared with the overall voting results.

“The best part is that you can purchase this year’s winning salsas at the Country Store,” said Witte. “But you’ll need to get there early, because we sell out fast!”

For more information about the New Mexico State Fair, visit statefair.exponm.com. For more information about the NEW MEXICO – Taste the Tradition program, visit www.newmexicotradition.com.

– NMDA –

NMDA’s Red, White and Brews Happy Hours return to New Mexico State Fair

For immediate release
Aug. 23, 2018
Media Contact:
Kristie Garcia, Public Information Officer,
New Mexico Department of Agriculture
575-646-2804, krgarcia@nmda.nmsu.edu

NMDA’s Red, White and Brews Happy Hours return to New Mexico State Fair

Events will feature local beer and wine at state fair’s 80th anniversary

Albuquerque, New Mexico

With plenty of brews and wines, there won’t be a shortage of flavor at the New Mexico State Fair. It will be the event’s 80th anniversary.

For the fourth year, the New Mexico Department of Agriculture is hosting Reds, Whites and Brews Happy Hours. This is during the state fair, which is Thursday, Sept. 6 through Sunday, Sept. 16. Happy hours will be offered in the courtyard of the Agriculture Building. This is located west of the Manuel Lujan Commercial Building from 3 to 8 p.m.

It will be held:

  • Friday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 8
  • Friday, Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 15

Various New Mexico brews and wines will be available for purchase. The New Mexico State Fair and NMDA teamed up with the New Mexico Brewers Guild and New Mexico Wine. NMDA, “The Frontier of Beer” and “Viva Vino” New Mexico Wine will host the happy hours.

Anyone may attend the happy hours. New Mexico-made, non-alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase in the country store.

“We are happy to continue the collaboration with the New Mexico State Fair …”. “To bring fair-goers a taste of our state’s high quality beers and wines,” said Jeff Witte. “We hope people will take advantage of experiencing our state’s products while enjoying the yearly tradition…”

Reds, Whites and Brews Happy Hours will also feature beef samples provided by the New Mexico Beef Council.

Musicians or bands interested in playing during happy hours should email shacker@nmda.nmsu.edu or call 575-646-4929. This is in exchange for exposure at the fair and promotion through social media

NMDA will also host the Battle of the Salsas Saturday, Sept. 8. They will collaborate with Expo New Mexico on the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge Monday, Sept. 10. The Country Store will once again be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through the fair’s duration. It will offer various New Mexico products for purchase.

Visit www.newmexicotradition.com to learn more about how NMDA supports the New Mexico agriculture industry. This is through its NEW MEXICO – Taste the Tradition program. Find us on social media using @tastenewmexico.

For more information about NMDA, visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu. Like us on Facebook www.facebook.com/NMDeptAg and follow us on Twitter @NMDeptAg.

For more information about the fair, visit www.statefair.exponm.com.

– NMDA –

2016 marks 25th anniversary of state’s organic program

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the state program that inspects and gives certifications. Farms, ranches, and other New Mexico businesses want use this to label their organics.

In 1991, the New Mexico Legislature created the Organic Commodity Commission.  It became known as the Organic Program in 2011 when the legislature relocated the program to NMDA.  The Organic Program offers nationally accredited organic certification. Farmers, ranchers, and food processors throughout New Mexico, as well as application and marketing assistance get certification this way.

Learn more about NMDA’s Organic Program.

New Mexico-Taste the Tradition and New Mexico-Grown with Tradition programs promote local products

The NEW MEXICO-Taste the Tradition® and NEW MEXICO-Grown with Tradition® logo program began in 2000. It helps identify and promote all New Mexico agricultural products. This includes food, fiber, wine, nursery products, and livestock. This is done through the use of one easily recognizable logo. The goal of this ongoing marketing campaign is to create product awareness and consumer loyalty.

For more information, please visit the New Mexico Tradition website.