RANCHO DE CHIMAYO!
WINNER! 2016 James Beard Foundation America's Classics Award!
Each year since 1998 the James Beard Foundation Awards Committee has recognized our nation’s beloved regional restaurants. Distinguished by their timeless appeal, they serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities. The James Beard Foundation anointed this locally owned restaurant with a James Beard Foundation Award and designate them as America’s Classics.
Meanwhile, Back at the Rancho
Get out of the city for classic culinary rewards in Chimayó
April 13, 2016, 12:00 am
SANTA FE REPORTER
By Ben Kendall
There’s more than one pilgrimage destination in Chimayó. Just down the road from El Santuario de Chimayó, where people come from hundreds of miles on foot to sample the miraculous healing soil, another rehabilitative substance can be found that is perhaps just as divine: burritos. The restaurant, Rancho de Chimayó (300 Juan Medina Road, Chimayó, 984-2100), is a historic hacienda dating back to the 19th century. The rural Rancho has been open for just about 50 years, founded in 1965 by Florence Jaramillo and her husband—and Florence still owns and operates it. Even after a short closing due to a fire allegedly set by a disgruntled ex-employee back in 2008, it continues to be a regional favorite. In fact, the restaurant was recently a nominee for the 2016 America’s Classics Award from the James Beard Foundation, and for good reason. There isn’t anything that isn’t a gastronomic delight within these walls.
The décor is less traditional hacienda and more “whatever I like.” Two dour and mustachioed gentleman stare blankly from a sketch inside the vestibule to the left of the door, burning the back of your head with their gazes. On an inside hallway is an artistic recreation of what looks like somebody’s “glamour shot” photograph. Conversely, all of the waitresses are dressed in brightly colored skirts and billowing white blouses—creating an old Mexico feel in a New Mexican restaurant. The wait staff, the prospect and the food are familiar and yet anything but typical.
I’m led out to a large covered dining area drenched in the remains of the late afternoon sunlight. Small pots of fresh honey (covered with protective cling wrap) sit upon the table beside slightly worn, but still colorful, silk flowers.
It was before the dinner rush, but still busy, with pockets of vacationers and a few older locals huddled over their meals, languid after one or more of the house margaritas ($7.50). I ordered one, too. The Sauza brand tequila was in perfect proportion to the mix and not too sweet. Even one, was sufficiently potent, providing just the right amount of before-repast squiffiness.
Chips and salsa arrived at the table before long, accompanied by some of the finest guacamole ($6.75) that I’ve ever experienced in a restaurant (without having to make it myself). It was simple and rich, without any strange tastes that you might experience from a canned variety found in a restaurant pressed for time or expertise. I was assured that it was handmade every day from only ripe avocados, some salt, pepper and, apparently, love.
The main course was a carne adovada burrito ($13.50)— pork marinated in a spicy red chile caribe sauce and wrapped in a flour tortilla and topped with more adovada sauce and cheese, flanked by what appeared to be housemade refried beans and that Spanish rice. The meat was moist and drenched in sauce. With every bite, the savory/sweet tastes of the pork and chile combined to make a seraphic sensation that lingered in my mouth long after the meal was over. One huge, puffy sopaipilla accompanied the dinner plate; when combined with the burrito, some guac and a blob of honey, they provided a flavor that goes beyond merely satisfying.
For dessert, I ordered piñón mocha mousse ($5.10). I couldn’t finish it, but it was out of this world. The texture was thick and had the requisite amount of bitter chocolate flavor on the back end that balances out the sweet, plus tiny chunks of soft piñón that almost snuck past my tongue.
The service deserves mention. Going against the rule, at least in comparison to Santa Fe, Rancho de Chimayó’s wait staff are prompt, friendly, knowledgeable and altogether accommodating. My server was always on hand to refill water or offer suggestions; he was remarkably friendly and proficient. It was an absolute treat to dine here and would have been even if the food was not as good as it turned out to be.
If you’re the pious sort and wish to prove your devotion to your faith by taking a long walk to some magic dirt, do yourself a favor and also praise the god of burritos. He lives at Rancho de Chimayó.
AT A GLANCE
Open: 11:30 am-8:30 pm (until 9 pm
starting in May), closed Mondays
Best Bet: Carne Adovada Burrito
Don’t Miss: Guacamole
- See more at: http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-11825-meanwhile-back-at-the-rancho.html#.Vw4673X_Fng.twitter
JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES RANCHO DE CHIMAYO RECIPIENT OF THE 2016 AMERICA'S CLASSICS AWARD
JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES
2016 AMERICA’S CLASSICS AWARD HONOREES
New York, NY (February 23, 2016) – The James Beard Foundation announced today the five recipients of its 2016 America’s Classics Award. The America’s Classics Award is given to restaurants that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community. The 2016 honorees join the ranks of nearly 100 restaurants that have received the award since the category was introduced in 1998. This year’s winners will be celebrated at the 26th annual James Beard Foundation Awards, taking place on Monday, May 2, 2016, at Lyric Opera of Chicago.
“James Beard would have loved these restaurants; they represent how America eats,” says Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Each has played a role in bringing their communities together, representing the heart and soul of our national culinary landscape—we’re proud to honor them as classics!”
Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante (300 Santa Fe County Rd 98, Chimayo, NM; Owner: Florence Jaramillo)
Florence and Arturo Jaramillo envisioned this restaurant as a living tribute to the heritage of New Mexico, a way to honor the land and the culture. Arturo Jaramillo is a direct descendant of the first settlers to the Chimayó Valley in the late 1600s, and the hacienda was the home of his grandparents. The menu has expanded over the years. At the core are peerless regional dishes like carne adovada, tamales, posole, pinto beans, sopaipillas, flan, and natillas. The village of Chimayó is celebrated for its particular cultivar of red chile. Ristras of those chiles dangle decoratively from the eaves of the hacienda, a reminder of the import of local goods and local traditions.
The James Beard Awards Gala will take place at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 2, 2016. During the event, which is open to the public, awards in the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards, including Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, and America’s Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country.
Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and further the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.
The 2016 James Beard Awards are presented in association with HMSHost, Lexus, and Mariano's; and the following partners: Premier Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, American Airlines, Lenox Tableware and Gifts, True Refrigeration®; Supporting Sponsors: Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, Breville, Goose Island Beer Company, Lavazza, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, Skuna Bay Salmon, Valrhona; Gala Reception Sponsors: Braveheart Black Angus Beef® from PERFORMANCE Foodservice, Ecolab, Groupon, Royal Caribbean International, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts; with additional support from: Chefwear, VerTerra Dinnerware, and Wisconsin Cheese. The James Beard Foundation also gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Chicago Department of Aviation, Choose Chicago, and the Illinois Restaurant Association.
About The James Beard Foundation
Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org. Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation’s blog. Follow the James Beard Foundation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Rancho de Chimayó on James Beard Shortlist
March 15, 2016, 6:00 pm
SANTA FE REPORTER
By Ben Kendall
The prestigious James Beard Foundation awards have been called “the Oscars of food,” and New Mexico’s own Florence Jaramillo, owner of Rancho de Chimayó Restaurante, has been named one of “America’s Classics.” While the official winner of that category and others will be revealed on May 2, its award goes to an eatery that is “distinguished by timeless appeal … they serve quality food that reflects the character of their communities.” Rancho de Chimayó certainly fits the bill, being a nigh-cornerstone of the Northern New Mexican town also known for its santuario and upcoming annual Holy Week pilgrimage. Despite a brief closing in 2008 due to a fire, the eatery has been in business for almost 51 years.
From the outside looking in, it might seem like a whirlwind, but Jaramillo has known for quite some time. “They called me in the middle of February. I couldn’t say anything to anybody, not my staff, not anybody,” Jaramillo explains to SFR after the news broke Tuesday. “When they first called, I thought somebody was playing a joke on me. I’ve had a lot of locals and old employees from 48 or 50 years ago come in and congratulate me.”
Before she knew it, a writer and a cameraman from the James Beard Foundation were in her restaurant, interviewing patrons and staff.
She says it’s hard to tell that business has picked up with before-Easter traffic. “We get lots of traffic this year any way,” she adds, “with people going back and forth to the church.”
Jaramillo says she hasn’t been sick all winter, but now she’s feeling fantastic. “It’s a really great honor. I’m so happy for my staff and for the restaurant and for all the hard work that we’ve done all over the years. I never expected this.”
- See more at: http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-11700-rancho-de-chimay%C3%B3-on-james-beard-shortlist.html#sthash.VX2UJlSu.dpuf
NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE 1970
This March/April 1970 issue of New Mexico Magazine was the catapult that assisted Rancho de Chimayó in becoming a popular, authentic restaurant in Santa Fe and all of New Mexico.