Local Viewpoints
2:49 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

New Mexico Group Responds To Bourdain's Slam Of The Frito Pie

Before Anthony Bourdain stepped into his “Frito-pie minefield,” FUZE.SW, the upcoming food+folklore conference at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, was already scheduled to address New Mexicans’ passion for all things chile and the now unjustly maligned Frito-pie.

We bet that if Bourdain’s show was taped after he had heard a few of these folks speak at FUZE.SW, he would have avoided his paso en falso:

Take the panel New Mexico’s Favorite Indulgence: Frito-Pies moderated by Chef Rocky Durham, with Maricel Presilla (a 2012 James Beard Award-winner and prominent Hoboken restauranteur), Dave DeWitt (one of the foremost authorities on chile peppers, spices, and spicy foods), Paul Bosland, Ph.D. (a.k.a Dr. Chile at New Mexico State University’s renown Chile Institute), and Estevan Arellano, a chile grower on his family’s farm in Embudo, NM. Sorry Texas, and Mr. Bourdain, but we’re keeping the Frito-pie.

Or, the panel looking at the intense in-state chile rivalry in North v South: The Chile Wars moderated by Carmella Padilla, author of The Chile Chronicles, again with chile experts Dave DeWitt, Paul Bosland, Maricel Presilla, and Estevan Arellano. Nothing canned about this topic.

And that’s not all. These two panels would have piqued his attention and informed his show:

The Big Debate: Local Ingredients, Foreign Chefs, and the Question of Culinary Cannibalism looks at just how we got the frito-pie in the first place, among other topics, moderated by Rob DeWalt, Senior Editor of New Mexico Magazine and longtime food writer, with Jeffrey Pilcher, Ph.D., food historian from the University of Minnesota and author of Planet Taco, Gustavo Arellano, syndicated columnist of ¡Ask a Mexican!, Maricel Presilla, and John Sedlar, Esquire Magazine’s 2011 “Chef of the Year.”

Cooking Culture: Recipes, Tales and Traditions moderated by James Beard Award-winner Cheryl Alters Jamison, with Chefs Juan José Bochenski, Martín Rios, and James Campbell Caruso looking at the stories and traditions informing cookbooks and how they both perpetuate customs and mold new ones. All things “day-glow orange” will be addressed here.

In fact, we invite him to attend FUZE.SW—as participant or as a guest. Mr. Bourdain?

About FUZE.SW 2013

This is Santa Fe’s first-ever food conference of its kind taking place at the Museum of International Folk Art the weekend of November 8—10, 2013. James Beard Award-winning authors and chefs from across the US will gather with leading historians, archaeologists, cultural commentators, and folklorists to discuss and demonstrate how traditions and techniques from diverse heritages have intersected to create a culinary tradition uniquely New Mexican (and transported globally).