ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Angel Fire isn’t just for winter anymore.
And to drive a stake – or perhaps “steak” might be better – through that notion, the town and Angel Fire Resort will stage a foodie extravaganza as a summer coming-out party.
The Angel Fire Food and Wine Roundup (angelfirefoodandwine.com) on Aug. 25-27 will feature a smorgasbord of eats to set diets aflame for those who are 21 and older.
“It is food, fun, friends and a good excuse to eat, drink and be merry,”said organizer Kate Collins, a Santa Fe wine guru. “This is the first of what is hoped will be an annual event.”
There is no question about what the featured attraction will be, she said.
“It’s carnivore-driven,” Collins said with a chuckle. “There are plenty of food events happening all over the state, but there doesn’t seem to be one that is meat-driven.”
This roundup is certainly specifically heavy on beef and pork.
Angel Fire Resort is owned by the Allen family, which also owns the A Bar N Ranch in Texas. It specializes in wagyu beef that is highly marbled with softer fat so it has higher percentages of monounsaturated fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and is lower in cholesterol than traditional beef.
Not only is it more flavorful and tender, but it is perfectly suitable for a well-balanced and healthy diet, Collins said.
A Japanese cattle breed, wagyu is genetically inclined to produce beef that is densely marbled, and at the A Bar N, the wagyu was crossbred with Black Angus cows to create “American wagyu with optimum marbling, tenderness, flavor and health benefits,” Collins said.
On the pork end of things, Collins said, Albuquerque’s renowned Kyzer Farm is delivering the pigs.
Kyzer avoids antibiotics and raises the animals to ensure high-quality pork. Additionally, the farm uses no growth hormones and no food containing pesticides.
Although meat is the star of the show, several food celebrities are lending their talents to the event, as well.
Santa Fe’s James Beard Foundation award-winning cookbook writer Cheryl Alters Jamison and local chef and fungi expert Tom Bowles will lead a hunt up Angel Fire Mountain in search of local porcini and chanterelle mushrooms.
And later, Jamison and Bowles will lead a cooking demonstration using them.
“One thing about these particular mushrooms, they are particularly distinctive-looking and not as easily confused,” Jamison said, noting the dangers of eating toxic mushrooms. “We’re taking great care that what everybody is getting is edible. We’ll turn it into lunch with a smoked mushroom salad and risotto, other dishes.”
Also known for her grilling, barbecuing and marinating and rubs methods, Jamison said she will be providing demonstrations on each and discussing the pros and cons of each cooking method and each seasoning style.
“When Kate asked me if I would give them some advice, I thought it sounded like an interesting event,” Jamison said. “For the character of the area, it’s a little different life, so it will focus on beer and spirits too. There’s a little more focus on outdoor cooking and a little Western and Southwest flair to it.”
Jamison was also able to enlist the aid of friend Meathead Goldwyn, author of the New York Times best-seller “Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling.” He will demonstrate his take on barbecuing and grilling.
Other local, regional and nationally recognized chefs will be on hand for various demonstrations and cooking feats, with all delivering a vast repast for the Round Up Grand Tasting on Aug. 26 at the Angel Fire Resort Park.
There’s also a chance to get out for a little exercise the morning of Aug. 26 in the Bulls and Broncs charity golf tournament. Money raised will go to benefit the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, Make-a-Wish New Mexico and Riding on Faith, Collins said.
“I’ve been getting a lot of calls,” she said. “I’ve had the most marvelous, delightful, conversations with people from Colorado, Oklahoma, West Texas, Dallas, San Antonio, Abilene. It’s fun to hear how excited and curious people are. You start talking about it, and it’s infectious. It’s not huge. It’s not Aspen, and it’s not Austin. It is this personal touch that people like. That’s how folks in Southwest and West Texas like to be treated.”