30 Sep 2020

Digest This!: Mezcal & Mariachi

Sep 30, 2020 At Paloma Santa Fe

This September, SITE Santa Fe teams up with some of Santa Fe’s most exciting restaurants to present Digest This! in-person on patios and virtually through livestreams. These programs look at the concept of displacement by focusing on cuisine and chefs displaced from their native lands to New Mexico, edible invasive species, and the public programs are displaced themselves at local restaurants instead of in the museum. The 2020 Digest This! programs are made possible in part with support from the New Mexico Humanities Council.

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SITE will be presenting Digest This! at restaurants during a prix fixe meal related to the presentation. Please reserve directly with the restaurant.
Call Paloma at (505) 467-8624 to reserve a table for four! $85 pp ++ for the evening.

Mezcal is the large umbrella term for any spirit made from agave (Tequila included).  There are almost 200 subspecies of agave, and over 30 of those can be utilized in the making of mezcal.

As mezcal importer William Scanlan III likes to say, mezcal is like “liquid Mexican folk art…. and each mezcal represents the maestro mezcalero’s interpretation and style of how that particular agave should taste.”  It is this aura of authenticity that we find so special in small-batch mezcals.

Mariachi, the quintessential regional Mexican folk-derived music, has become symbolic of Mexican music and culture. Stewart Ottersberg will talk about the history of this form of music followed by a performance.

The founder of Heavy Métl Premium Imports, William Scanlan III, graduated from Southern Methodist University, where he majored in Spanish Colonization of Mexico and minored in Latin American Studies, both of which fueled his passion for Mexico and its culture. After receiving an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Saint Edward’s University, Scanlan began traveling throughout Mexico and fell in love with Mexican folk and contemporary art. On one art collecting trip to Mexico he ended up in Oaxaca, a small town in the foothills of the Sierra Madre, where he tried small batch mezcal for the first time. Scanlan soon became a mezcal enthusiast and moved to Mexico, where he met with industry experts, attended mezcal-related conferences, and studied flavor nuances at tasting seminars to learn more about the production and culture of mezcal. He was amazed by the quality, unique flavors, and deep traditions of mezcal—often produced by the same families since the 1800s. Having learned both Spanish and English at a young age, Scanlan was able to communicate with the local owners of well-made, respected brands in the mezcal market. Scanlan wanted to grow these brands in the United States, but felt there was no way to maintain their authenticity without allowing the families to control the quality. As a result, he founded Heavy Métl and began importing rare, high-quality mezcals. The decades spent perfecting their craft and the care for superior ingredients can be found in every sip. Today, Scanlan continues to travel to Mexico and works with lifelong mezcal producers to bring high-quality mezcal batches to the United States through Heavy Métl Premium Imports. Scanlan’s interest in Mexican folk art also connects to his love of mezcal. Over the last eight years, he has amassed an impressive collection of mezcal-related antiquities, including many cantaros de barro negro, which were used to store and transport mezcal; hand-blown glass vessels; and other mezcal containers like decorative clay changos that were sold at dispensaries as keepsakes.


Launched in 2015, Heavy Métl Premium Imports is a mezcal imports company based in Austin, Texas, that focuses on bringing authentic, high-quality artisanal mezcales to the United States. The company was founded by mezcal enthusiast William Scanlan III. Heavy Métl works with small batch artisanal mezcales, many of which are produced by the same families since the 1800s, to ensure quality and authenticity. The company’s line of products include Mezcal Real Minero, Rey Campero, and Mezcalosfera by Mezcaloteca. Caballito Cerrero , Chacolo and Sanzekan. Recently, Scanlan has taken Heavy Metl in another direction and has begun adding other distilled spirits from Mexico like the recently added Clande Sotol and Uruapan Charanda (a sugarcane distillate from Michoacan).

PM Wine Distribution focuses on representing winemakers that make wine in a traditional fashion. They put a lot of weight on farming practices and expect minimal intervention in the cellar. Since authenticity is what’s most important to them, it was a natural progression to extend the same ethos to the spirits side of our portfolio. They find that mezcal, when made in limited quantities by traditional methods, is the perfect spirit to express and embody authenticity in its highest form.

Owner Marja Martin has been in love with food, cooking, and design since she was 17 years old. Growing up in Dallas, Texas offered many chances to visit Mexico, particularly San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Morelia, and Oaxaca City. Marja was chef and owner of Marja Custom Catering here in Santa Fe for 18 years. She brings her genuine love of people, enthusiasm for entertaining, and respect for Mexican food, design and hospitality to Paloma.

Nathan Mayes is chef and partner at Paloma.​ Growing up in Austin and Santa Fe, Nathan worked in several acclaimed restaurants in both cities, as well as in New York. Nathan loves and respects Mexican cuisine and values the integrity of ingredients and the craft of cooking from scratch.


Amuse – Salpicón Tostada
Shredded hanger steak salad with sungold tomatoes and avocado with pickled onions and grilled nopales. Served with a pepita ancho chile salsa.

1st – Watermelon Hibiscus Gazpacho
Hibiscus – melon broth with grilled canary melon, lemon cucumbers, purple basil and mint. Served with grilled blue corn Tlayudas.

Main – Grilled Swordfish
Thin filets of marinated swordfish with poached tomatoes, roasted peppers, and mole verde

Dessert-Mexican Vanilla Bean Brulee with Macerated Stonefruit and Basil

This evening includes chef’s seasonal tasting menu, a specialty cocktail made with Rey Campero Espadin, a flight of three mezcales from Rey Campero (Tobala, Tepeztate, and Madrecuishe) and a Mexican garnacha (Fluxus Tinto) with the swordfish course. 

Seating is for 28 people  7 tables of 4 people each for a total of 28 seats

With support from the New Mexico Humanities Council, we are making this content available to you online for free.  We are happy to make this event accessible to a diverse range of socio-economic levels.

2020-09-30 0:00:00 2020-09-30 12:00:00 America/Denver Digest This! Another amazing event at SITE Santa Fe Paloma Santa Fe SITE Santa Fe info@sitesantafe.org