Archive for March, 2011

Green Drinks

Posted in General, Santa Fe Non-Profits on March 31, 2011 by Jenny Kimball

In New Mexico we tend to think of ourselves as pretty environmentally conscious and “green.” But a group of us who are interested in sustainability learned earlier this week how the state’s hottest new industry might be a lot more green.

La Fonda was the host for the March meeting of Green Drinks, a nationwide project that brings people together over food and drink to talk about how to “green” our local economies. Green Drinks in Santa Fe is organized by the Santa Fe Alliance, and they brought Holly Roach as guest speaker. Holly and her Green Productions Resource helped “green” productions that have filmed here, such as True Grit, Cowboys & Aliens, Paul, and Have You Heard About the Morgans?

She mentioned a lot of ways that film productions can be more sustainable, such as using recycled or re-purposed materials in food service, costuming, and especially set design; using power-saving lights and centralized water stations instead of bottled water (imagine how much of that a film shoot goes through!), along with more energy-efficient vehicles. Holly suggested that film productions might aim to be “carbon neutral,” like the Academy Award-winning Syriana. She even mentioned a production office that kept goats in back to eat leftover food, with bins around the office labeled “For the Goats”!

Our food and beverage manager Shawn Murphy talked about some of our sustainability initiatives here at La Fonda, which got a terrific round of applause from the crowd. Since we are always looking for ways to make our hotel and restaurant business more green, we were really honored to have the Green Drinks crowd here—over 100 people strong!

La Fonda Staff Give Back

Posted in General on March 25, 2011 by Jenny Kimball

Adrian Montoya, Director of Guest Services, La Fonda on the Plaza

One of my favorite things about the family atmosphere at La Fonda is seeing how the spirit of cooperation reaches far beyond the job, to helping people throughout the community. I was reminded of this by a meeting of the Red Cross here recently. Our Director of Guest Services, Adrian Montoya, is a board advisor for the New Mexico Red Cross, which steps in whenever New Mexicans are forced from their homes by fire, flood, a hard freeze (like we just had) or other disaster to offer shelter, food, and supplies. A Red Cross fundraiser we had here at La Fonda last week raised more than $500 just from our hourly workers, who don’t have a lot of extra money to spend. These types of fundraisers help the organization prepare for when disaster strikes.

Altogether, our employees are on the boards of 20 organizations, and volunteer at 13 others. Our staff gives generously to United Way all year round. And La Fonda supports nonprofits our employees are involved in whenever we can. During the January cold snap, for example, when people lost power and Red Cross shelters were packed, La Fonda rushed over supplies like cups, bottled water, and toilet paper. Adrian tells me the Red Cross has seen a lot of companies pull back on donations during the recession—but not at La Fonda. “That reflects on us because we’re a giving company,” he says. It shows our employees really take the idea of hospitality to heart! Thanks to people like our own Adrian Montoya, who so unselfishly are giving back to our community, Santa Fe is a more just, kind and supportive place to live.

Are You Hungry for a Good Meal at a Great Value?

Posted in Santa Fe Dining on March 9, 2011 by Jenny Kimball

Then look no further than participating in Santa Fe’s Restaurant Week going on in Santa Fe through March 13. Fifty four restaurants are participating, including La Fonda’s own La Plazuela. Follow this link for the menu but since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’ve given you six thousand words to consider.

I dined with La Fonda’s good friend and supporter, Brooke Dulaney. The entire menu looked fantastic but I chose the spinach salad, the carne asada and enchilada and the Mexican chocolate streusel cake.All were delicious! I know I am biased but I think our enchiladas are the best in town.  My wine choice was a great tasting glass of bubbly made locally by New Mexico’s own Gruet winery.  Brooke had the Caesar salad, the pork shank and the cheesecake. She loved every bite of each dish.

Our server was Stormi, who consistently gets rave reviews by our guests.   I can’t tell you how many emails I get telling me she is one of the best waitresses of all time.  You may remember that I profiled her in my blog on January 18th.  During dinner she gave me an update on her progress in La Fonda’s Biggest Loser contest.  Twenty Pounds!  Very impressive!

Albuquerque is also celebrating its own Restaurant Week March 13-20.  So, call or get on Open Table and make your reservation to check out Santa Fe’s restaurant week. It is a great opportunity to sample various courses at extremely reasonable prices.