ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Mixing indigenous ingredients with modern techniques is the focus of a Gruet wine pairing dinner at Corn Maiden Restaurant at Hyatt Regency Tamaya.
“The whole thing is trying to bring the past to the present because, as chefs, we really want to push the envelope,” said Patrick Mohn, Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa. “Modern, indigenous cuisine is what I like to call it.”
Corn Maiden fine dining restaurant at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa has teamed up with Gruet Winery for a unique wine dinner on Thursday, Oct. 3. Laurent Gruet, head winemaker and son of the founder of Gruet Winery, will be in attendance to discuss Gruet’s specialized wines and the pairing experience. Gruet selected the wines featured on the special menu and Mohn came up with courses to complement the wines.
“What I really tried to do with this is expand it more to North American indigenous cuisine because we have a wealth of ingredients that a lot of people don’t use that are native to North America,” Mohn said.
The dinner begins with “Mother Goose and the 3-Sisters,” a type of appetizer comprising goose confit, scarlet runners beans, micro popcorn, pumpkin and cedar smolder. It will be accompanied by Gruet’s Sauvage Blanc de Blancs, a bone-dry sparkler with mineral aromas and flavors of bright citrus.
The second course, “From the Desert,” is an homage to where Mohn grew up in northern New Mexico. The course incorporates tumbleweeds grown by Urban Rebel Farms and purslane weed that serve as greens with a prickly pear cactus fruit vinaigrette. Sage blossom, goat cheese and piñon round out the dish. It will be paired with Gruet’s Rosé made with Pinot Meunier grapes.
“If you look at some cookbooks about indigenous cuisine, they used to forage tumbleweeds because when they’re less than 6 inches high, they don’t have the spikes on them yet and they’re actually really edible,” Mohn said.
The piñon will be used in a granola to resemble soil, dirt or rocks.
“We’re even playing with getting Chia seeds and putting them in the dressing, so it looks like prickly pear seeds, and drizzling that over the goat cheese so it almost looks like a little prickly pear fruit.”
Next is the “Fly Fishing” course made up of trout topped with a salmon caviar Hollandaise, and served with wild rice, fennel, amaranth topped with maple vinegar air (light foam.) It will be served with Gruet Chardonnay.
The fourth course, “Modern Primal,” will feature a Santa Fe cut of Campfire American Wagyu with tap root chards, Jimmy Nardelo Peppers, pepita mole and juniper coal. It will be paired with Gruet’s Pinot Noir.
“We have rotisseries in Corn Maiden and the rotisseries have a fire that comes from underneath and ceramic tiles,” Mohn said. “We’re going to put corn cobs on those ceramic tiles because one of the old traditional things especially in the Dakotas that the Natives would do is they would corn cob smoke meats so it has a really nice sweet flavor to it.”
The experience wraps up with a “Corn 3 Ways” dessert featuring a sweet corn crème brûlée, a chocolate tamale and a chokecherry corn ice sweetened with honey from Tamaya’s onsite bee hives. It will be accompanied by Gruet’s Doux.