Culinary Schools in New Mexico (NM)

Over the course of its relatively long history, the Southwestern state of New Mexico was occupied by Native American populations then became a part of the Spanish colony of New Spain, then a province of the Republic of Mexico, and finally a US territory. This variety of cultural influences is strongly reflected in the unique cuisine of New Mexico, which is a blend of Native American, Mexican and European culinary art.

It is important to note that New Mexican food is not the same as Mexican food, and it is also distinctly different from the foods of Arizona and Texas. The primary difference is the featured role of green chile in New Mexican cuisine. The reason that red chile is generally preferred over green chile is that red chile can be dried, lasts a long time, and is easily transported whole or powdered. Green chile, on the other hand, is a fresh vegetable and must be used or frozen immediately upon harvest, and thus tends to remain a regional specialty. The other important elements of New Mexican cooking are beans and corn.

Recent years have brought changes in the cuisine. The availability of foods from around the world, coupled with experimentation by innovative chefs, have led to the development of what is called "New Southwest Cuisine." Some of the foundations of this cooking are the use of fresh, locally grown foods, the introduction of a number of exotic chiles, and the incorporation of indigenous crops and wild game to produce new combinations based on traditional foods. Because of the variety of exotic dishes that New Mexico has to offer, studying to be a chef in this state promises to be exciting and rewarding.