From left: Tony Nethery and Johnny Orr “relish” working together
The Return of Tony Nethery—After a stint as sous chef at OLA Steak in Miami, Fla., Tony Nethery has returned to the Duke City. The former Monte Vista Fire Station executive chef says that working under OLA's Chef Douglas Rodriguez was an amazing learning experience, but that, ultimately, he and his wife wanted to raise their new baby back on New Mexican dirt. Nethery is the not-so-silent business partner of Johnny Orr, the chef and owner of Relish Cheese Market & Sandwich Shop. With plans for a second Relish location in Downtown Albuquerque, Nethery knew that he had to come home and look after his other "baby," too. Although he's only been back a few weeks, the team is already hard at work on the new shop's menu, which won't open until sometime in October. Until then, you can find Nethery slinging sandwiches in the Northeast Heights at Relish (8019 Menaul NE, 299-0001).
The Bleu de Gex-Files—Did you know that Roswell is home to the world's largest mozzarella cheese manufacturing plant? That Chavez County supports a billion-dollar-a-year agricultural industry? And did you know that, come this weekend, Roswell will host New Mexico's only chile and cheese festival for the 13th year running? I kid you not. Experience chile con queso like never before this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 23-24, at the Roswell Convention and Civic Center. (Bleu de Gex, by the way, is a soft blue cow's milk cheese from the Jura Mountain region of France. Its flavor is vaguely reminiscent of herby, pastoral mushrooms—a perfect little cheese in the theme of this month's featured ingredient! ... Sorry, I'm a nerd.)
Sandwich Bonanza!—If, like me, you're simultaneously repulsed by and attracted to the weird culinary underworld of competitive eating, you'll be thrilled to know that Albuquerque is finally getting a taste of the "sport." Competitive eaters from all over the nation will congregate at Expo New Mexico's Ford Pavillion on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m. The food of the hour? Grilled cheese sammies. Stacks of them. Albuquerque snackers can compete for $1,750 in prizes on this leg of the Goldenpalace.com World Grilled Cheese-Eating Championship. The 15-city circuit is part of a $50,000 fundraising campaign for hunger-related and disaster relief efforts. For more information on this and other competitive eating events, check out the International Federation of Competitive Eating at ifoce.com
Wines of New Mexico—Andy Sandersier will discuss and sign his book, The Wines of New Mexico, this Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Borders on Wyoming. If you missed him at this summer's New Mexico Wine Festival, this is another excellent opportunity to pick the brain of a real New Mexico wino—er, aficionado.
Lindy's Diner (Central and Fifth Street, 242-2582) is Now Open Until 3 a.m. on the Weekends—Your next bout of late-night munchies shouldn't have to end at Diego's Roach Coach or the International Village of Waffles. Lindy's just announced that they plan to stay open until 3 a.m. or later on Fridays and Saturdays. Between them, Paco's Kitchen and the fantastic crêpes and panini at Richard Agee's upscale food cart, La Creperie (usually located outside of Burt's Tiki Lounge), you'll never have to chow down on a greasy streetside wiener in this town again. Unless, you know, you're into that sort of thing.