Chef Carrie Eagle, Albuquerque

 

Albuquerque has our very own locally owned Farm to Table restaurant, with Chef Carrie outstanding in her field.
Recently, on the Food Network’s “Chopped” show—Chef Carrie won $10,000 for her trouble to create the best appetizer, entree and dessert.
 

Years ago, when I first started keeping bees, I woke up to how critically important it is for organic farmers to cut out the middle man. Without the ability to directly market their food at local farmers markets, stores, CSA (community supported agriculture) food boxes and restaurants, they take a huge hit financially.

Farmers are never paid what they are worth. It’s a 6am -10pm kind of seven day work week job— with few benefits and lots of hidden calamities. Weather, pests, seed costs, soil amendments, animal husbandry failures are always waiting to happen. Here in the Southwest, lack of rain and water woes top the list. But organic farmers are as fierce as they come—most of the ones I know are in love with the land, the animals and the schedule that allows them to be their own boss. Kind of why I love beekeeping…

Farm and Table restaurant has created a direct line from the field to the kitchen. Literally, I have sat on their patio overlooking Farmer Ric Murphy’s Sol Harvest fields full of delicious fresh produce. After brunch, we browsed amongst the nice neat rows, admiring his handiwork and collaboration with Mother Nature. The vegetable dishes were exquisite.  A nice recent addition are the cows…

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Owner Cheri Montoya, took her father’s farm land in the North Valley of Albuquerque, and created a vision to support local farmers on her land—never mind that she was also creating a first class restaurant. On her website, she quotes Aldo Leopold:

We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.

In the Southwestern high desert, usually known for being a food desert, Cheri has had spectacular success with her model. Instead of shipping all that food in from CA, she has remained stalwart. These days, you need a reservation.

Her collaboration is built upon the following values:

Local Food. We conscientiously design our seasonal menu around locally-sourced ingredients.

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Roasted Beet and Arugula salad with pears, Old Windmill goat cheese and red chile-candied pecans, drizzled with raspberry apple cider vinaigrette.

Respect. We honor the many individuals that make our experience possible – from the hard-working folks who pick our produce in the field to the person who serves each plate.

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hoop house at Sol Harvest, next door to the restaurant

Hospitality. We value each and every guest who walks through our door and strive to offer a great experience for all: fresh delicious food, beautiful setting, and great service.

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Community. We celebrate our community! Chefs, farmers, artists, musicians, scholars, families, organizations, worthy causes, and lots of creative individuals will come together here at Farm & Table to build a vibrant community hub.

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Of course you all probably have your favorite version of Farm to Table restauranteurs in your neck of the woods. Send me a name and what you love about your best locavore foodie place! I want to hear all about it, so on my next cross country tour, I can sample your goodies too.

June is Pollinator month! Bee part of our annual Think Like A Bee swarmfunding campaign. In honor of all good food and the pollinators that make it possible, help  fund our ongoing bee advocacy and education work this coming year. Go to this page and click on the DONATE button.   You may also send any tax deductible donations made out to PES (our fiscal sponsor) c/o Think Like A Bee, 410 Morningside Dr. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108. Thank you!

 

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