Deli, Good Food, Specials, Travel, ZCoBbers

New Mexico Inspired Breakfast At Zingerman’s

Here at Zingerman’s, we offer annual scholarship opportunities to staff for expanding their food knowledge, or any other subject that could broaden their expertise and benefit our organization. Scholarships to study charcuterie, olive oil, marketing, and beyond have been awarded previously. A recent recipient Nestor Bonilla, a Zingerman’s Delicatessen supervisor, used his award to tour New Mexico’s chile farms and delve into the regional cuisines of Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  

In a recent interview, Bret Moore captured the heart of Nestor’s food focus.

Nestor’s vision centers on three P’s: People, Produce, and Process.

  • People
    Nestor’s whirlwind twelve day tour of New Mexico includes visits to “historic haciendas, ranches, and native pueblos” so that he can “get to know New Mexico’s food by getting to know its people, communities, and families”.
  • Produce
    A chef at heart, Nestor spends a large part of his trip exploring the “unique native crops that bring flavor and flair to [New Mexico’s] dishes,” such as red chiles and blue maize . A man with a specificity of vision, Nestor locates himself in the City of Hatch, home of the chile, where he studies chile cultivation and use.
  • Process
    Hoping to gain a greater sense of the culinary traditions of the region, Nestor makes space for learning about the tools of the trade, such as adobe hornos and molcajetes. An accompanying map charts Nestor’s progress as he eats his way across New Mexico, citing stops at Los Chileros de Nuevo México, the Sante Fe School of Cooking, and the Taos Adobe Ovens. Zingerman's Deli New Mexico BrunchDuring his travels, Nestor made many connections. Whether he was visiting farmers’ markets or Indian reservations, he struck up conversations with locals, who were very eager to give him restaurant recommendations. With Native American, Mexican, and Spanish influences, New Mexican cuisine is one of the oldest regional cuisines in the United States, utilizing ingredients like blue corn, potatoes, pork, beans, and, of course, chile. He quickly learned that if you want to eat in New Mexico, there’s one question that needs to be answered:

“In every restaurant, they ask you if you want red or green chile, and if you want both, it’s called ‘Christmas Sauce’”, says Nestor, who was blown away by all the chile products, including everything from chile jam to chile pasta, that he encountered during his travels.

Along with food advice, Nestor also garnered a few invites to chile farms , where he learned a lot about the crop and was gifted bags and bags of chiles. 8,000-10,000 acres of chiles are harvested annually in New Mexico, according to New Mexico State University’s agricultural department. This tour of  chile farms included a visit to Los Chileros, a small, family-owned company that produces dried chiles, rubs, and powders, which are sold nationally.

A big part of Nestor’s job in the Deli kitchen is creating new dishes. Nestor says he was excited to taste the flavors and spices of authentic New Mexican dishes and bring back what he learned to the Deli menu and the Ann Arbor food scene. His love for interpreting the flavors of the American Southwest has brought tortilla soup to our winter menu, as well as popular monthly specials, like Mole Negro con Pollo.

Deli cook Nestor Bonilla and the team will be preparing a delicious New Mexican-inspired breakfast for a limited time at the Zingerman’s Deli Pueblo on the Patio, Saturday and Sunday, June 15th and 16th, 2019, 7am-12pm.

Menu Available For Purchase

    • Blue Corn Jalapeño Muffins
    • New Mexican Breakfast Egg Bowls:
      • Huevos Rancheros: charro beans, rice, braised kale
      • Choripapa: chorizo, potato, refríed black beans, braised kale, queso fresco
      • Carne Adovada: roasted green chile, potatoes, marinated pork, pico de gallo, braised kale
    • Sauce Bar: ranchera, red chile, green chile, chile cascabel
      Zingerman's Deli New Mexico Brunch