My car broke down this week. I'm walking everywhere. The resultant change to my routine has meant that I have begun to notice the signs of spring popping up around town. On Paseo de Peralta, for instance, the crocus are in full bloom. There seem to be a few more bunnies of the Santa Fe Unversity of Art & Design campus. The quality of light has taken on a warmer tone.

Better start thinking about your gardens.

This is super late notice, but there is a great fundraiser happening tonight at the Inn of the Anasazi. In partnership with Southern Wine & Spirits, EDV and the Liquid Muse, the Anasazi Restaurant will host a special community dinner to benefit Cooking with Kids, a local organization that empowers children and families to make healthy food choices through hands-on culinary education.

Prepared by Executive Chef Edgar Beas, the five-course meal will feature French-inspired dishes including caviar with cauliflower bisque and caramelized apples, confit garlic agnolotti and lamb culotte with tapenade and charred onions to complement a curated selection of French wines. In addition to wine pairings with each course, guests will also receive a cocktail upon arrival sponsored by the Liquid Muse and infused with OM Liqueur.

Where: Inn of the Anasazi (113 Washington Ave)
When: 6:00 TONIGHT!
Reservations: 988.3236

Cost: $175 (Benefits Cooking with Kids)

The 16th Annual New Mexico ProStart Invitational was yesterday at the Santa Fe Convention Center. More than 100 high school students from across the state competed to demonstrate mastery of restaurant leadership skills — culinary and management — in a fast-paced competition to win a share of $3.2 million in scholarships.

In 60 minutes each team prepared a three-course meal using only two butane burners with no access to electricity. Teams were evaluated on taste, teamwork, safety and sanitation. Management teams developed a business proposal for an original restaurant concept and presented to a panel of industry judges, who challenged them to address the issues restaurant managers face on a daily basis.

The high schools competing were: Alamogordo, Artisco Heritage, Cloudcoft, Clovis, Deming, Eldorado, Questa, Rio Rancho, Sandia, Santa Fe and Taos. I'll let you know who won next week.

The first-place team in each category will be crowned state champions and represent New Mexico at the National ProStart Invitational in Charleston, South Carolina April 28-30.

The New Mexico Restaurant Association works with 27 high schools across the state to introduce 1989 students to career opportunities in the restaurant industry through the National Restaurant Association's ProStart program.

Speaking of whom, the New Mexico Restaurant Association is busy this week; in partnership with The New Mexico Kitchen Cabinet they presented Florence Jaramillo owner of historic Rancho de Chimayó, with the first annual Women's Restaurant Award. The NMRA has decided to rename the award in her honor.

March is National Women's History Month, and according to the National Restaurant Association, there are more women in restaurant management and ownership positions than virtually any other industry, providing career opportunities for women from every race, class and ethnic background.

"Sixty-one percent of adult women have worked in a restaurant at some point in their lives, using their jobs as a springboard to a meaningful career in hospitality, a way to fund a college education, or a skill base for any professional pursuit," said Carol Wight, NMRA CEO. In addition to the award, the New Mexico House of Representatives is designating March 8, 2017 as Florence Jaramillo day in the state.

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