19 Sep 2020

Digest This!: Edible Invasive Species, Melanie Gisler, Jason Roback, and Chef Louis Moskow

Sep 19, 2020 At 315 Restaurant

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.

Watch full program here

SITE will be presenting Digest This! at restaurants during a prix fixe meal related to the presentation. Please reserve directly with the restaurant. Call 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar  at (505) 986-9190 to reserve! $45 per person for the lunch.

Why Eat Invasive Species?

Invasive species are plants and animals that aggressively colonize new habitats, out-competing native species and negatively impacting our environment and economy. The Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) has been combating invasive species and protecting natural areas since 1999 in the Pacific Northwest and since 2015 in the Southwest. The IAE raises awareness about invasive species in a unique, yet satisfying, way–through food! Each year in Oregon, IAE hosts an Invasive Species Cook-off, “Eradication by Mastication”, using our appetites as an innovative conservation tool (done with respect to all creatures). Creative chefs compete to prepare the most sublime dishes from wild-harvested invasives. IAE’s companion cookbook called “They’re Cooked” features recipes for kudzu, Japanese knotweed, wild boar, bullfrog, Asian carp, and more, giving cooks everywhere some fresh ideas. For the first time ever, they are bringing Eradication by Mastication to New Mexico by participating in the Digest This! with SITE Santa Fe. We have locally harvested edible invasive species around New Mexico and will share stories and a video of one of these harvesting adventures, cooking tips, and a delicious dish prepared by Chef Louis Moskow to taste on the patio of 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar. Our goal is to raise awareness of the threats invasive species pose to native ecosystems. You can help protect native species and habitats, one delicious bite at a time…

Melanie Gisler is a botanist and Southwest Director for the Institute for Applied Ecology. She has worked in conservation for 30 years, leading regional programs to improve the supply of native plant materials, recovering endangered species, restoring degraded landscapes, and building ecological education programs. Melanie has made both a career and pastime out of harvesting, whether collecting native seed for genome preservation and habitat restoration, or wild plants to simply and eat and enjoy with her family. Tagging along with her husband Steve on hunting trips for invasive bullfrogs, purple varnish clams, starlings, and nutria in Oregon gave her the spark to launch IAE’s Eradication by Mastication Invasive Species Cook-off event in 2012. And in 2014, she co-authored They’re Cooked: Recipes to Combat Invasive Species. Raised by an artist and an engineer in the Sandia Mountains of NM, she relishes this multisensory story-telling event linking art and ecological science.

Jason Roback is a former field biologist who has been teaching biology and environmental science teacher at Sandia High School in Albuquerque for the past 20 years. He is also the creator and caretaker for Sandia’s outdoor environmental classroom, dubbed “Coati Pond.” In his teaching, he draws on his various experiences working on research projects in the Southwest – everything from Gila monsters to white-nosed coatis. Coati Pond is a microcosm of the state’s ecosystems hosting a wide diversity of plant, animal, and mineral samples from around New Mexico. Jason’s experience running a small native plant nursery during the summers gave him a higher appreciation for the beautiful complexity of our varied ecosystems and the very real threat that invasive species pose. He has waged a one-person war on invasives in his school’s pond (primarily bullfrogs) for over 15 years.

Being born into a food and wine family set the stage for Louis Moskow’s career path. Before graduating the CIA in 89 Louis worked as a cook in local Restaurants in Westchester, New York while attending cooking school high school . He always knew he would someday become the chef of a restaurant, but never dreamed of owning his own.  When he was 27 he joined Bistro 315 where he was the chef, and eventually the owner. He transformed one of the rooms into a wine bar, remodeled the dining room and changed the direction of the menu. The newly named 315 Restaurant and Wine Bar has been favorably reviewed by Gourmet, Bon Appetite and Wine Spectator, and was voted Santa Fe’s restaurant of the year. Now in its 25th year in business 315 continues to serve locals and visitors to Santa Fe a well seasoned approach of the freshest locally sourced ingredients available.

SITE Santa Fe’s Digest This! is an interdisciplinary series of public programs pairing “bite-sized” talks with a tasting prepared by a local chef. 2020 Digest This! programs invite local experts and innovative chefs to explore the immigrant or refugee experience through their own lives and/or the work they do in our community relating to the exhibition, Displaced: Contemporary Artists Confront the Global Refugee Crisis.

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.

2020-09-19 0:00:00 2020-09-19 12:00:00 America/Denver Digest This! Another amazing event at SITE Santa Fe 315 Restaurant SITE Santa Fe info@sitesantafe.org