The deliciously fresh flavors of New Mexico, from famous green chile to interesting protein options such as bison, are savored by locals and visitors alike. Thanks to several restaurants and organizations, local New Mexico ingredients are getting their turn in the spotlight.
Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Campo Restaurant
Located in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, Los Poblanos Historic Inn is a relaxing bed-and-breakfast with a rich agricultural history. In the 1930s and ’40s, it was a model experimental farm and home to the original Creamland Dairies, as well as other crops and livestock, including a greenhouse and purebred rams.
Today, the Inn continues that tradition with an organic farm, a lavender product business and a field-to-fork restaurant called Campo.
“Campo represents the rich history of Los Poblanos while looking ahead to the future,” says Lauren Kemner, marketing manager. “Our team is dedicated to being great stewards of the land through our organic farming model, which pays homage to our historical agrarian roots. Being located on an organic farm, our artisan practices and attention to even the smallest detail naturally become part of the guest experience.”
Visitors can savor the freshest ingredients – literally straight from the farm – at Campo. Kemner says the cuisine is rooted in seasonal organic ingredients, which they source from their own land as well as local farmers and herdsmen.
“Los Poblanos cuisine is constantly evolving with the seasons and celebrates the food indigenous to New Mexico’s Rio Grande River Valley,” she says. Additionally, even the kitchen staples, including butter and sugar, are ordered through a local grocery cooperative, which directly supports the local community.
In 1999, Los Poblanos added lavender to the farm and showcases the ingredient in the restaurant’s food, including in signature dishes.
“One signature dish at Campo is our roasted chicken stuffed with lavender and herbs, which tells the story of this sustainable crop we’ve added,” Kemner says.
They also source certified organic lamb from northern New Mexico and serve it with a mole sauce.
Kemner adds that while highlighting the fresh flavors of the ingredients is very important, Campo also ties in the heritage of the state and its various cultures.
“We’ve coined the term Rio Grande Valley Cuisine, which features the best ingredients grown locally, as well as our unique mix of cultures – Hispanic, Native American and a variety of European influences,” she says.
Guests that visit Los Poblanos can experience fresh food in many different forms, whether at Campo, in a cocktail or at Farm Foods, which is located at the Farm Shop entrance.
Ashley and Chantelle Wagner are cousins and the fourth generation of their farm family. Growing up on the farm, the duo wanted to help promote local agriculture after they noticed that several restaurants weren’t using local produce.
“It just seemed so outrageous to us,” Ashley says. “We noticed that locals weren’t using local foods, and that was a problem from a sustainability standpoint and supporting the community.”
To remedy that problem, they formed Farmer’s Daughters. The company started as a partnership with local farmers, helping them get their ingredients into restaurants, eventually evolving into a farm-to-table business. Farmer’s Daughters now partners with New Mexico-based Heritage Hotels to host several farm-to-table dinners per year.
“We partner with chefs at the hotels and collaborate with them on what’s going to be in season,” Chantelle says. “We’ll get in touch with local farmers and ranchers based on what’s on the menu and buy their produce to supply the dinner.”
She adds they also have a local farmer speak at the event, giving them a platform to share their story and to promote the beautiful side of agriculture.
Depending on the theme, different local ingredients will be featured at the dinners. In the past, both green chile and bison have been showcased.
“It’s really important to educate people about the importance of preserving agriculture,” Ashley says. “Especially in this day and age, people should buy local because you know exactly where it’s coming from. They can even learn to grow it themselves and feel empowered from the farm.”
Through its dinners, Farmer’s Daughters is a champion of that mission – educating while bringing the community together through delicious, farm-to-table food.