March 2022 - EXTRAS: New Mexico Flavors in World Cuisine - Chef Johnny Vee


Courtesy of John Vollertsen

The event, New Mexico Flavors in World Cuisine, takes the wonderful ingredients and flavors that we love about our New Mexico Cookery and includes them into some ethnic dishes from around the world. The International menu includes dishes like Red Chile Chicken Shawarma with Chipotle Tahini. Executive Chef Johnny Vee talks more about the event and his love of New Mexican flavor.

What is it about New Mexico flavors that brings such joy to your recipes?

Growing up in Rochester, New York made for some pretty bland and dull food in my youth. As I moved around the world--I spent 8 years in Sydney, Australia-- and discovered the wonderful world of spices and chiles, I realized there was a plethora of flavors I needed to explore. Certainly chiles, cumin, Mexican oregano and all the other seasonings we associate with our New Mexican cuisine fulfills that quest I had for tastier food.

Tell us about the event and what attendees can expect?

All of our classes are hands-on so after an introduction to the history of our cuisine and lessons on our chiles and seasoning we use, we discuss each recipe's techniques and talk about any equipment we will be using during the food prep. Then a complete meal is enjoyed while we recap the cooking. With our next event, New Mexico Flavors in World Cuisine, we take the wonderful ingredients and flavors that we love about our New Mexico Cookery and include them into some ethnic dishes from around the world. Our "Norteño" International menu include: Red Chile Chicken Shawarma with Chipotle Tahini, Green Chile Cannellini Dip with Grilled Fennel, Caribe Chile Baba Ghanoush with Flour Tortillas, Shrimp & Jalapeno Potstickers, Santa Fe Cured Smoked Salmon with Blue Corn Blini, and for dessert; Sopaipilla Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce.

What is the best dish you tasted that incorporated the best of New Mexican flavors?

I think of Carne Adovada as the dish that best represents the wonders and depth of flavors, It is also our "State Dish"

What New Mexico town do you feel embodies true New Mexican cuisine?

What is so great about our state is no matter how big or small the town you might visit there are going to be terrific eateries that will serve perfect examples of our local dishes; from the simplest of taco truck to the fanciest restaurant on Santa Fe's Canyon Road. I am a food writer as well as chef and am delighted to explore all the great food on offer in the Land of Enchantment!

How can folks find out more about the event?

All of my public classes, including “New Mexico Flavors in World Cuisine on Friday, March 18th, are listed on my cooking school website atwww.lascosascooking.com/collections/list-of-classes. You can register online or call Las Cosas directly at 505-988-3394. For any further questions or to arrange a private class in our school or in your home email me directly at chefjohnnyvee@aol.com I look forward to cooking with you!