A Boost for Botanicals (For Restaurant Management)

The Ice Cream Bar, San Francisco

A Boost for Botanicals
by Tania Casselle

A swallow of sassafras, a nibble of nettles, or a thirst for thistles?  No, these aren’t requests on your doctor’s prescription, but some of the things you could be having in restaurants these days.  Botanicals are hot on menus.

Chamomile crème brûlée and herbed ricotta dumplings with nettles have graced the menu daily at Poppy in Seattle. Chef Jerry Traunfeld, who’s also the author of books including The Herbal Kitchen, says he uses botanicals like these because they’re delicious. Health benefits are simply a plus.

→  Full Clip at Rmgt Restaurant Management April 2012.

Still Hungry?

Professional Gardeners in the Kitchen

Who better to share their recipes than the people who help us grow the ingredients? These gardening experts and enthusiastic home cooks nurture their produce from seed to table. They stepped out of their greenhouses and into their kitchens to reveal a few of their favorite food tricks, and twists on traditional recipes.

Read the full Still Hungry? article with four recipes: Cincinnati Chili, Vegetarian Blue Corn Posole, Cream of Green Pea Soup with Lettuce, and a Pumpkin Pie which turns the accidental purchase of the wrong milk into the secret ingredient that makes this pie a hit.



Tasty Traditions

Tasty Traditions
Book review and author profile by Tania Casselle

Potica bread, latkes, and beef stewed in Coke. Perhaps not the first dishes that spring to mind when you think about New Mexican food, but author Sharon Niederman knows better. She shares the story behind her new book New Mexico’s Tasty Traditions: Recollections, Recipes and Photos.

The people she meets would probably not describe themselves as foodies. They’re just regular folk who eat well, whether in neighborhood diners, at a ranch cookout, or by following time-honored recipes handed down in the family.

Read the full Tasty Traditions feature for Local Flavor magazine, February 2011.

Artisan Farmers: On the Road in Farm Country

Artisan Farmers: On the Road in Farm Country

Take one food producer and farming specialist: Lisa Fox of Southwest Chutney. Add one writer: Richard Harris, author of 41 books, most of them travel guides. Stir, blend, and send them out to tell the story of New Mexico’s farmers. The resulting dish was the book Artisan Farming: Lessons, Lore, and Recipes.

But perhaps the most interesting part of this recipe is hearing these two authors from very different backgrounds talk about what they learned on the road. Read the full Artisan Farmers article for Local Flavor magazine, May 2010.

El Meze Restaurant in Taos

Moor Flavor

I’m sitting on the patio of the new El Meze restaurant in a historic hacienda under Taos Mountain. It’s sunset, the atmosphere is as mellow as my glass of Rioja. Waiters hush past carrying bowls of fried green olives stuffed with Spanish blue cheese, and steaming sopa verde piled high with mussels. Then chef Frederick Muller swings out of the kitchen, looking Matador sharp in his black chef coat, and shares a few words with each table. All I can say is: Welcome back Fred. It was worth waiting seven years for this.

Read the full PDF feature on El Meze and Chef Frederick Muller, formerly of Taos’ legendary Fred’s Place, and the Moorish influence on New Mexico’s cuisine.  For Local Flavor magazine.

This article won the New Mexico Press Women’s Award 2009 for Food Writing.



From Seed to Plate: Cafe Pasqual’s Santa Fe

From Seed to Plate

When you’re dining in Cafe Pasqual’s this harvest season, play special attention to your veggies -they might be freshly picked by chef Katharine Kagel, whose big passion this summer is her vegetable garden. “It’s my pleasure, my play, my joy.”

Feature by Tania Casselle on Chef Katharine Kagel of Cafe Pasqual’s, Santa Fe.

Anyone for a bottle of Three-Buck Chuck?

As the doors opened at Trader Joe’s first New Mexico store on August 16, a crowd of Santa Fe shoppers lined up eager to stock their shelves. The opening, however, also met with the sighs of a few Santa Feans — some with retail stores of their own — who said they’d be happier keeping local business local.

Read the full Anyone for a bottle of Three-Buck Chuck? article on Trader Joe’s at New Mexico Business Weekly online.

Grand Junction’s Wine Country (for Latitudes)

“If you forget everything you were ever told about wine, remember this,” says Bob Witham of Two Rivers Winery. “When wine comes in, secrets come out.”

Travel and wine feature by Tania Casselle on Grand Junction’s Wine Country, Colorado, for Latitudes, the inflight magazine of American Eagle airlines.  Full story at Latitudes

Taos Restaurant Group

Taos Restaurant Group

A small but influential empire is flourishing out of Taos, N.M., as Chef Joseph Wrede and restaurateurs Nat Troy and Michael Yaccino combine their business smarts and culinary kudos in the Taos Restaurant Group. Talking about Joseph’s Table, The Old Blinking Light, and new acquisition: Lambert’s of Taos.

By Tania Casselle for Local Flavor magazine (Feb 09)