Shake it up at the New Mexico Cocktails and Culinary Festival!

You are invited to participate in the fifth annual NM Cocktails & Culture Culinary Festival which takes place May 31 – June 2 in Santa Fe. The main events of the festival are the opening party, TACO WARS, the grand cocktail-and-food pairing event called the Chef & Shaker Challenge, and the brand new, statewide NMCC Culinary Week, June 2 – 9.

If you decide to participate in Taco Wars or Chef & Shaker Challenge, the $150 NMCC Culinary Week registration fee is waived. Let me know if you have any questions! Deadline to register is extended to GSFRA and NMRA members until March 12. Space is limited.

Through these events, we have raised thousands of dollars for the SF Animal Shelter, Cooking With Kids and the Helen David Relief Fund which helps bartenders facing breast cancer. This year, we are proud to announce Santa Fe Youth Shelters and Family Services as an additional benefactor of Chef & Shaker Challenge.

More information, rules, guidelines and REGISTRATION FORM are at this link:


Taco Wars

(May 31): This is the opening party of the NMCC festival, and this hugely popular, creative and fun taco competition sells out every year! Restaurants each have a table and present their version of a “street taco.” Creative examples have ranged from chicken Parmesan to Hawaiian pulled pork to cauliflower to traditional New Mexican. Guests taste all the sample-sized options and vote for Top Taco! The winning chef receives a Nambe plaque and a $250 donation to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter on behalf of their business, along with 20% of ticket sales. Past winners include: Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi and the Palace Restaurant & Saloon. (Runners up: El Callejon and Rowley’s Farmhouse Ales) Music by Nosotros band. Expected: 375 guests. Please provide sample sizes (about half of regular taco size).

Chef & Shaker Challenge

(June 1): This is the Grand Tasting Event of the weekend! The chef-and-bartender team from each restaurant work together to create food-and-cocktail pairings. Restaurants are paired with festival sponsor liquor brands by random drawing at the pre-event chef meeting. Guests choose “People’s Choice” and a panel of esteemed culinary experts chooses “Judge’s Pick.” Each winner receives a Nambe plaque for their venue and a donation for to Cooking With Kids ($250), and the Santa Fe Youth Shelters and Family Services ($250). 20% of ticket sales is also split between those two organizations. A live auction benefits the Helen David Relief Fund benefitting bartenders facing breast cancer. Past winners include: Hotel Andaluz MAS Tapas Y Vino, Artichoke Cafe, Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Terra at Four Seasons. Expected: 275 guests. Please provide bite-sized sample sizes, and all cocktail ingredients EXCLUDING base spirit (provided). Cocktail samples will not exceed 3 oz pours.

NMCC Culinary Week

(June 2- 9):The original, statewide culinary week for a NEW generation of foodies and cocktailians featuring special events in participating restaurants and other venues around New Mexico. Tasting menus range from $35 – 55 with optional cocktail, beer, cider and other drink pairings and run for the duration of NMCC Culinary Week (June 2-9). Culinary Professionals  such as private chefs, culinary teachers and caterers will host special classes, tasting events, food / drink photography workshops, the NMCC Art Show, and pop up dinners. The participants will be listed on the website as well as on this page. Coming soon! Like this page to get updates.

Need more information?

If you have ANY questions, please email Natalie Bovis: