Archive | Cuisine KaChing with David Wolf

Cuisine KaChing features up close interviews with Cuisine Professionals about how they do “the business of food”.

Lavender from Los Poblanos with Aimee Conlee

Bees_lavender-fields_7-2014_Web1-940x563Recently, I returned to the well-know Los Poblanos property in Albuquerque’s North Valley, just east of the Rio Grande.

On my last visit, I spoke at length with Executive Chef, Jonathan Perno about his creative process and vision their restaurant and wholesale operation.

This, time I set out to learn more about the wholesale side of Los Poblanos.  So I for the interview, I found myself sitting inside a cozy little packing and storage building building on the north end of the property, talking  about the unique and varied Los Poblanos Lavender Products with Project Manager, Aimee Conlee.

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Farmer Ric Murphy & Sol Harvest Farm


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Farmer Ric Murphy and his wife, Aimee Conlee are the founders of Sol Harvest Farms a small urban, organic farm in Albuquerque, NM offering local, seasonal, year-round fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers! 

Built from a foundation of their locally grown  “leafy greens” products, their fast-growing business exemplifies an ideal, efficient, community focused farm-to-table operation. Sol Harvest grows seasonal fruits, aimee1vegetables, herbs and flowers all year-round.Sol Harvest serves local restaurants, independent grocers and sells what it grows at the Downtown Growers Market near downtown Albuquerque.

Today, they are growing “organically” through their heartfelt connection to community, keeping a pulse with the local demand.

Recently, I spoke with Farmer Ric Murphy about their story, their challenges, their success and their vision for Sol Harvest. The story starts with a powerful team with complimentary skill sets, and an eye for opportunity on a local level.

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Foodology with Gregory Gould

GouldOur guest is Gregory Gould, Albuquerque based foodologist, food scholar and activist.

Foodology is the interdisciplinary study of food from the perspectives of economics, sociology, anthropology, history, agriculture, medicine, nutrition, biology, religion and politics.

Gregory Gould presents lectures and workshops on food history to provide better information on issues related to Diabetes prevention and obesity.

See our previous feature about the work Gregory Gould is doing here:

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Cuisine Ka-Ching: Tastee with the Apple at the Core

Greg Hackenbracht of Tastee AppleGreg Hackenbracht Grows a Tastee Apple…

Family-owned and operated since 1974 in the historic Village of Newcomerstown, Ohio, Tastee Apple, Inc. has sold over 250,000,000 apples with candy, chocolate, caramel, and other toppings.  Entrepreneur, Greg Hackenbracht joins us on this segment of Cuisine KaChing. Greg started the Company along with his father, John, when he was only 19 years old.

For 40 years, Greg, along with his management team has been guiding the enterprise with his focus on quality, innovation, culture, process and profit with a passion for constant improvement. And, they’ve frown the Company organically by simply listening to their customers.

The only U.S.A.-based company in the industry certified by the Safe Quality Food Institute, all of the apples go through a unique, seven-step rating process to guarantee the quality and freshness of the fruit. They work with several select apple growers from Missouri, Washington and other locations, favoring the northern-most suppliers because they tend to produce a firmer, longer lasting apple, one that is most optimal for their particular process. Only fresh packers are used

Perfectly-ripe apples are “dipped” in made-from-scratch, small-batch, kettle-cooked caramel or a candy coating. After the apples cool, they are rolled in gooey toppings like milk, dark or white chocolate and then rolled in fresh peanuts, pecans, cookies, or pretzels. The candy and caramel apples are then carefully packaged, stored and shipped to stores throughout the country to enjoy with family and friends.

The company has achieved a fascinating balance of “home-made-from-scratch quality along with process-manufacturing and massive scale.

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Cuisine KaChing: Executive Chef, Jonathan Perno at Los Poblanos Farm

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I recently visited with Executive Chef, Jonathan Perno at Los Poblanos Farm. A native New Mexican, Jonathan trained at the California Culinary Academy and spent time at Postrio under Wolfgang Puck, Splendido and Alain Rondelli in San Francisco, Sweet Basil in Vail, Colorado, Splendido at The Château in Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Metropolitan in Salt Lake City, Utah. His résumé also includes the requisite European culinary tour, a return visit to work at La Tante Claire in London.

In addition, he spent a year in Berkley, California at an organic farm learning raised bed farming.

Jonathan is the perfect fit for Los Poblanos. His first few months here found him doing everything from harvesting honey from our bees for his homemade chocolates to preparing a 6-course chef’s meal for an anniversary dinner for 75. He is a strong advocate of the Farm to Table philosophy and the Slow Food Movement. While he’s absolutely content to let the fresh ingredients take all the credit, Jonathan has already impressed the most critical of foodies with his own unique perspective on food.

The Los Poblanos land was originally inhabited by the Anasazi (ancient pueblo Indians) in the 14th century. Many of the original settlers in this area were thought to have come from Puebla, Mexico, a citizen of which is called a “Poblano.” The land became part of the Elena Gallegos land grant around 1716. The original ranch land was owned by Ambrosio and Juan Cristobal Armijo through the 19th century but was reassembled by Albert and Ruth Simms in the 1930s. Los Poblanos today encompasses the original headquarters of the 800-acre ranch owned by the Congressman, Albert Simms, and his wife, Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms that extended to the crest of the Sandia Mountains. Our historic inn was their private residence and the center of operations of their dairy, farming, nursery, art businesses, and dynamic cultural and educational endeavors. In 1932, Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms commissioned architect John Gaw Meem and numerous WPA artists and craftsmen to renovate the ranch house and create the Cultural Center for political and community events and recreation with gardens designed by Rose Greeley.… Read the rest

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