Jennifer Dwyer launched the Albuquerque Chicken Coop Tour two years ago. Her idea was to connect people who raised chickens with people who wanted to know how to do it themselves. That first year, a handful of curious people visited around a half-dozen locations. By 2009 some of the visitors had become chicken ranchers, and new visitors numbered nearly a hundred.
A great flood didn’t carry Edward and Iolanda Johnson from New Orleans to Albuquerque in 2005, but Katrina had something to do with it. That journey would be a logical reason to call their restaurant Noah’s Ark Café, which serves a range of New Orleans specialties—but Edward says that’s not why they picked the name. Perhaps it’s a nod to the biblical boat’s function, stewarding the DNA of the animal kingdom to safe passage. But in the case of Noah’s namesake café, it’s the secrets of Cajun, Creole and New Orleans soul food that are guarded. Closely.