Letter: Taos Pueblo, Red Willow Center present a grand food event


Along with about 140 others, I attended the Taos Pueblo Red Willow Center food event. A farm tour was followed by dinner at the Pueblo community center on Friday evening. It was a delightful down to earth food event! The meal prepared by Native American chefs Karlos Baca and Brian Yazzie was freshly harvested from the Red Willow greenhouses. The traditional three sisters foods (beans, squash and corn), were featured along with carrots, a kale and wild rice salad, bean and chicos, garlic mashed potatoes, a pork dish and a wonderful porridge which included amaranth and sumac.

Previous to the dinner, I toured the Red Willow Center with Bill Bockbrader, mechanical/maintenance/gardener for the center. Nick Karhu is the production manager. The two of them plus additional staff and volunteers, have done an amazing job. The center boasts three heated greenhouses, where they grow vegetables year round. There are also outdoor fields. The greenhouses are heated by a simple but yet very intelligently engineered wood burning furnace.

Red Willow Center presented a three-day event (Oct. 19-21) that brought together well-known chefs Karlos Baca of, A taste of Native Cuisine, and Brian Yazzie of the Sioux Chef Network, along with local Native chefs, to cook and discuss cultural and systemic issues related to food.The Red Willow Center Farmers Market is open every Wednesday, year-round, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s located across from the Taos Pueblo casino on Star Road.

- Gulcin Gilbert, Pilar