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Dinner series features products from local farms, dairies and ranches

A new dinner series at Hotel Albuquerque will feature farm- fresh offerings from local producers.

The collaboration between Farmer’s Daughters and Heritage Hotels’ Hotel Albuquerque started with a Cuban-themed “Havana Nights” dinner on July 14. The event featured yellowtail tiradito, made from sliced yellowtail, A to Z Family Farm cucumber apple salpicon, aji amarillo, and Pajarito Valley Farms yellow watermelon vinaigrette. Also on the special menu was pernil asado con mojo made with mojo-marinated Polks Folly Farm pork shoulder and much more. Themes will change for each dinner offered in August, September, October and November.

“This first dinner decided to go toward family style,” said Hotel Albuquerque executive chef Gilbert Aragon. “We build menus around what is in harvest at local farms, dairies and ranches. You (got) a taste of Havana with a New Mexico (flair). I wanted it to be interactive and have people pass around dishes and have a Cuban summer feel. The next menu we’ll do courses and I will be more elegant with it and have these dishes come out and go for a five-star approach. Bright, beautiful dishes kind of thing.”

In the fall, Aragon plans to do an Octoberfest dinner with local breweries and feature in-season produce such as pumpkin and squash and other high-quality ingredients.

“We really want to stress we are not going to do just a dinner,” said Ashley Wagner of Farmer’s Daughters. “It is an interactive dinner experience. They are getting a cocktail hour first. There is live music every event. There is going to be a different surprise activity. We want to appeal to all the senses. All the produce is local. We feature local farms on the menu, and Chef Aragon will be talking about food and ingredients he used. The menus are based on what’s in season. We are working with a bunch of different farms. No two dinners will be the same.”

Farmer’s Daughters was founded by sisters Ashley and Chantelle Wagner.

“We come from a family of farmers,” Chantelle Wagner said. “We are fourth generation of farmers. About two years ago, we started our business, Farmer’s Daughters. We would get local produce. From there we partnered with other farms and started doing dinners, really nice dinners, and hosting those events. We also do community events. Also the focus is on educating kids and getting them excited about farming and get them outside.”

Collaborating with Farmer’s Daughters was a natural fit for Heritage Hotels.

“I think there is a real organic synergy,” said Shawn Buckley, director of social media and communications for Heritage Hotels & Resorts Inc. “The mission of Heritage Hotels is to actively promote culture. Farmer’s Daughters is a local brand with a kind of dedicated following of their own. We’re merging that with our outreach and collective effort. It’s a nice synergistic engagement. We are privileged to host Farmer’s Daughters and the farm to table dinner series.”

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