Food and Wine Events

No place in the universe has a more beloved, and specific, local cuisine than New Mexico. It’s a land whose state question is “red or green (chile)?”  New Mexicans take their eating seriously.

There is also nothing quite like digging into a buffalo burger served with lip-smacking salsa and tortilla chips; or grilled veggies, like corn on the cob sprinkled with Hatch red-chile mix and must-have frijoles ranchero-style, served with crisp apples harvested from the upper Mimbres Valley.

Homegrown New Mexico cuisine is a mosaic of all cultures. Combining the corn and chile from its Native American ancestors, along with the spicy preparation styles of the Spanish-speaking people, New Mexico’s cultural ingredients intermingle and complement each other. This New Mexico mosaic has been collecting pieces since Coronado's expedition.

So, in a locale with such firmly entrenched local food traditions, is culinary change possible? Drop by one of the state’s swankier restaurants in Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Taos or Albuquerque and you’ll see green chile kicking up an escargot dish, blue corn making it into the tempura batter used for flash-frying calamari, and the chorizo appearing alongside a rotisserie special of rose-salted beef rib-eye and lavender-salted shrimp.

Don’t let this quest for the different deprive you of the incredible taste of the traditional, however. For a taste sensation that is out of this world, dive into a simple bowl of green chile stew laden with chunks of meat, beans and potatoes.

Only a delightfully unpredictable, distinctly New Mexican cuisine could possibly keep pace with the relaxed pace, romantic charm, boundless blue skies, breathtaking sunsets and endless starry nights found only in the Land of Enchantment.

Hatch Chile Festival

As summer cools down, the Village of Hatch heats up with the annual two-day Hatch Chile Festival celebration of its world-famous crop, attracting more than 30,000 visitors from all over the United States. Festival goers can sample famed chile recipes, watch the crowning of the chile festival queen, join in a chile ristra contest or just sit back and enjoy artisans, parades, food, carnivals, contest, music and much more. Brought to you by the Hatch Valley Chamber of Commerce, the event takes place at the Hatch Municipal Airport, one mile east of town on State Road 26. Admission is $10 per car.

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South Valley Chile Festival

Each fall, the South Valley Chile Fiesta takes over Gateway Park, located at Bridge and Isleta SW. Events include live entertainment, arts & craft vendors, food, beer garden, kid’s activities like an interactive mural and rock wall, and new this year, chile plus vendors offering chile inspired foods and crafts. The popular chile and salsa sampling wrist bands will be available for $5. This is a cash only event. The event is free. Parking is by Park N Ride from the old Herrera bus lot, located at 1140 Sunset Road off Sunset Blvd and Bridge Blvd. SW. Only handicap parking will be available on site.

Hot Chili Days Cool Mountain Nights

Since 1905, Red River has played host to visitors in search of cool mountain temperatures, and August, should be no exception, with food, tunes and fun lined up and ready to go at Larry Joe Taylor's annual “Hot Chili Days and Cool Mountain Nights.” This three-day event combines live music all weekend with Larry Joe Taylor & Friends with multiple cook-offs in Brandenburg Park, include the CASI "Red River Red" cook-off, the New Mexico State Green Chile Championship and the Lone Star BBQ Society cook-off. Music venues all over town, like the top of the mountain, the Lost Love Saloon, Brandenburg Park, and the historic Motherlode Saloon., will be participating. Music fans love this event because of the "up close and personal" concert venues and the unique access to world-class singers and songwriters.  It is not uncommon to see renowned musicians sitting around the fireplace at the Lodge, pickin' and strummin', sharing their gifts with everyone around.  Bring your guitar and hop in on the action.

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National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show

The National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show returns to the Sandia Resort and Casino Events Center every March.

This unique show attracts attendees and buyers from around the globe and more than 10,000 general public attendance. Exhibitors in the show can take advantage of this opportunity to meet and greet new buyers, introduce their line of products or services, and reaffirm their commitments to their current customers who will be attending the show.

If you like warmth on your palate and have never experienced the Fiery Foods Show you should put it on your short list of places to go and thing to do. Great books, clothing, and decorator items – anything related to chili peppers – you’ll find at this hot annual show.

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Pork & Brew

Rio Rancho’s Pork & Brew BBQ State Championships - named one of the best 100 events in the nation by the American Bus Association – takes place early July at the Santa Ana Star Center.  Activities and entertainment include magic, live music, activities for the children, and – of course – food, food and more food. Don’t forget the beer - as Pork and Brew has some fine choices from New Mexico microbreweries. Come out and enjoy this terrific family friendly event!

The Pork & Brew is sponsored by the Rio Rancho Convention & Visitors Bureau, and is a fully sanctioned Kansas City BBQ Society event - one of the top 10 events on the Society calendar.  Winners of the cook-off go on to participate in Kansas City, MO at the Nationals.

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Southern New Mexico Wine Festival

Celebrate the rich history of New Mexico Wines with the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival. Samples wines from wineries around the state, shop vendors from all over the southwest, eat, listen to live music and attend sessions at the University of Wine to learn more about food and wine pairing. The event is open all three days - Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from noon - 6:00 pm.  Ticket purchased is good for any one of those three days. Attendees must be 21 years old or accompanied by parent or legal guardian.  Please bring valid photo ID.

Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest

“...The premiere food festival for chocolate, coffee and gourmet foods.”

With over 120 vendors showcasing, sampling and selling chocolates, candies, fresh roasted coffee, cakes, teas, beer, wine and much more, this is the largest chocolate and coffee consumer marketplace in the nation. Over 17,000 chocolate & coffee lovers come to eat, drink, shop, discover, dance and learn. Professional cooking demos, coffee seminars, live music, chocolate eating contests, cow milking demonstrations, and baking contests (open to all), provide plenty of non-stop entertainment.  Free bouncers and face painting for kids and something to satisfy the chocolate and coffee lover in us all. 

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The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta

The Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta is an annual five-day weekend of events featuring the culinary artistry found in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s many excellent restaurants coupled with the sophistication and wines of national wineries.

By bringing 90 national wineries to Santa Fe to partner with 75 of Santa Fe’s best restaurants, a five day schedule of food and wine events is created featuring cooking demos, wine seminars, winery luncheons and dinners. The weekend culminates with the Grand Tasting at the Santa Fe Opera where all 75 participating Santa Fe restaurants and all 90 wineries serve samples of their best food and wine.

One event, The SFWC Fiesta Live Auction raises money to sponsor Santa Fe restaurant community events. Proceeds from the live auction help sponsor culinary classes such as restaurant service classes, wine and cooking classes. As well the Live Auction helps sponsor other community events involving our restaurants and chefs such as Santa Fe’s Cooking with Kids program and Santa Fe Restaurant Week.

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