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A PLACE TO SAVOR From far left: Former Grand Canyon river cooks Blake Spalding and Jen Castle; their restaurant, Hell’s Backbone Grill & Farm in southern Utah, near Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; Spicy Green Chile Juniper Lamb Posole.


SOUL FOOD


James Ranch Durango, Colorado


When the James children told their dad they wanted to return to the family’s 400-acre cattle ranch just north of Durango, David James told them to bring something to the table. “Dad started with beef and now we’ve become a food hub,” says Dan James. Jenn and her husband, Joe Wheeling, run the organic garden; Julie and her husband, John Ott, tend approximately 500 hens; Dan and his wife, Becca, raise Jersey cows and turn the milk into cheese. The ranch’s bounty gets sold at the on-site market and daughter Cynthia and her husband, Robert Stewart, use it in burgers and grilled cheese sandwiches sold from their ranch food cart. jamesranch.net


Blue Cattle


Truck Trading Co. Springville, Utah


When Molly Anderson couldn’t fi nd a good vanilla in American markets she drove over the border to its birthplace, Veracruz, in search of the best beans. “Mexican vanilla beans are much more nuanced than vanilla grown anywhere else in the world,” says her daughter and partner, Amy Rasmussen. Anderson works with a family in Veracruz who has grown vanilla for more than 100 years. The farmers cure and dry hand-picked beans for 90 days just like the Aztecs. The beans are then cold-pressed, following a secret family recipe that yields a smooth, rich vanilla extract. Even Martha Stewart is a fan.


mexicanvanilla.com tle


For these artisan food makers, a taste of the Southwest starts with a passion for quality ingredients BY JEN MURPHY


New Mexico


Piñon Coff ee Co. Albuquerque, New Mexico


Coff ee beans are often associated with exotic lands such as Ethiopia or Guatemala. But the aromas from a pot of New Mexico Piñon Coff ee evoke the Land of Enchantment. Nuts from the piñon pine, New Mexico’s state tree, are roasted and ground together with coff ee beans to create a sweet, hazelnut-like brew. The namesake blend was originally sold from the back of a red pickup truck. Twenty years later, New Mexico Piñon Coff ee Co. is the state’s largest roaster, off ering more than 50 fl avors. The best-seller, biscochito, tastes like the anise and cinnamon state cookie it’s named after. nmpinoncoff ee.com


Wingfi eld


Bread Co. Camp Verde, Arizona


After Rachelle Pozza dreamed of people in pioneer bonnets she moved to Camp Verde, Arizona. “At the time I didn’t understand what it meant,” she says. “Then I learned that my family had been pioneers here.” A mother of seven, Pozza fi rst started baking simply as a way to feed her family nutritious foods. Three years ago she opened a bakery in Wingfi eld Plaza, where her great-grandfather once had a mercantile shop. Pozza mills her own fl our and bakes loaves such as pecan sourdough and whole-wheat pumpernickel. “A lot of European clients say they haven’t tasted bread like this since they’ve been home,” Pozza says. 928-301-9300


JULY/AUGUST 2015 • DORADO 45 ingfi


ILLUSTRATIONS BY CLAIRE McCRACKEN


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