Thank you for the warm welcome! I love reading your emails, keep 'em coming.

Now that the Oscars are out of the way, Best Pic flub and all (congrats, Moonlight!), we can move on to the next big award of the year: The James Beard Awards!

This year, three local chefs are in the semi-finals. Martín Rios of Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe, and Jonathan Perno of Los Poblanos in Albuquerque are both nominated for the regional Best Chef: Southwest award.

Colin Shane at Arroyo Vino is featured in the Rising Star Chef of the Year category. The Rising Star award is for a chef who is 30 years of age or younger and is seen as being someone who could impact the industry in years to come.

The short list of finalists will be announced March 15, with the final awards coming on May 1st. Good luck to all the nominees. Make sure to cross your fingers that we bring home the gold to New Mexico!

Speaking of Arroyo Vino; their family meal prix fixe nights are back for 2017. The menu for this week's looks delicious: charcoal roasted beet salad, Thai-style Brussels sprouts, cedar plank Atlantic salmon and meyer lemon tart for dessert. It's tomorrow, so get on this NOW.

When: 5 pm Thursday March 2
Cost per person: $39
Reservations: 983-2100

To celebrate women and creativity, Edible Magazine is hosting two of their pop-up dinners this month. The first event is "A Place at the Table." At 6:30 pm Tuesday, March 7 at Heidi's Jam Factory (3427 Vassar Drive, Albuquerque), chef Carrie Eagle will present a dinner that explores all the senses. This event will feature performances by Maryse Lapierre and Aimee Conlee. This event costs $75, so make reservations HERE.

The second pop-up will be "The Art of Conversation" at 6:30 pm Sunday, March 19 at the Savory Spice Shop (225 Galisteo St.) in downtown Santa Fe for $70. An eight-course tasting menu created by Kate Wheeler, Allison Ramirez, Jen DePalo and Stephanie Cameron will be served in the midst of Savory's shelves of spices. Make reservations HERE.

Both events will feature ceramics by Maggie Mae Beyeler, Jen DePaolo, Lauren Karle Ceramics and Betsy Williams. All pieces will be used to serve food, and also available for purchase at the event.

Last summer, Xzavian Cookbey started Freezie Fresh as a small hand cart. He could be seen in the parking lots of La Montañita Co-op or Whole Foods serving his take on Thai rolled ice cream. If you've never had it, you're missing out. A base of custard is poured into a chilled pan. Flavors are blended into the custard and once the mixture freezes it's rolled into curls. It is the height of ice cream perfection.

This summer Xzavian wants to expand into a full ice cream truck. The catch is that he needs our help to get him there. Head over to his Indiegogo campaign to help him bring his dreams to life. And of course we get to eat the ice cream, so ... These are our dreams too. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook to know where he'll be setting up next.

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