August 14, 2018

Archives for April 2015

Cooking Studio Taos Says “I Know Jo, Do You?”

cooking-taos-01By Jo Mixon

Jo & Chef Christopher Maher

I recently had the privilege of taking another cooking class at Cooking Studio of Taos (I have taken several to date) owned and operated by Christopher and Valerie Maher. Make no mistake Chef Christopher Maher is a Rock Star! He shuffles through the lifestyle he has carefully chiseled for himself with natural charisma and ease. The motto at Cooking Studio Taos is, COOK * EAT * LAUGH * LEARN and I guarantee when taking a class, you will participate in all four! First you are invited into their home to learn to cook in their personal kitchen. It becomes obvious from the very beginning of class that Chef Maher has a genuine love for sharing his culinary skills and for bringing people together. His desire is that every student walk away from this experience having learned about the recipes, feeling good about a new technique or two, have the ability to share these acquired skills at home and to have had loads of fun while learning.

Class began with a group chat. Chef Maher encouraged us to enjoy ourselves as we learned the art of cooking, even if we had never cooked before this class. He gave a quick blurb on his background, then went over the recipes he had prepared. He then allowed each of us to choose which recipes we wanted to cook. Next we headed into the kitchen. Each of us took a station, he turned on the music, poured us a glass of wine and the cooking began.

For the next two to three hours we cooked! The class I took this time was an Indian Curry class. I never thought I would be able to capture the essence of this cuisine. I learned how to cook Samosas, Dal Soup, Chick Pea Masala, Raita, and Vindaloo! Yum, yum, yum, yum, YUM! When all of our dishes were ready, the best part was yet to come. We sat down as a group to eat the fabulous food we had just cooked. The entire experience was incredible, we were so proud of our meal. I will do this again!

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Chis Maher developed his affection for cooking at an early age. It has stayed with him his entire life. He is not only a chef but also an actor, entrepreneur, teacher, husband and father. As I have gotten to know him better, I can tell you he wears each of these hats with sincere enthusiasm.

His acting career began in New York in 1978, when he became a regular on the television series Another World. In 1982, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue motion-picture roles. He has appeared in feature films and television. A few of his film credits are Mannequin (1987), Executive Decision (1996) Enough (2002), The Men Who Stared at Goats (2009) and Olive (2011) in which he stars with Gena Rollins. He has appeared in television episodes from Taxi and Hill Street Blues to Law and Order, 24, and NCIS. You can see him now in episodes of newer series like State of Affairs, Legends and Burn Notice. I got very excited a few months ago when I was watching past episodes of The West Wing and there he was on my television screen!

I tell you all of this to introduce you to the man behind the apron. As a Chef he is a past recipient of six 4-Diamond Culinary Awards and is a James Beard Recipient, recognized as one of the great regional chefs of America. He has cooked at the Beard House in New York City, and for many world figures including the Dali Lama and President Bill Clinton… and of course now he knows Jo! (A little humor!)

Chris is available for private cooking classes at his home or yours. He will cater for your next dinner party or event. Plus he has developed an event called the “Secret Supper’s”. I have attended a few of these pop-up five course dinner parties in Taos. They are awesome! Seating is limited for each supper planned. Chef Maher and his wife Valerie, choose a venue for each Secret Supper. Dinner participants do not know the location until the morning of the event when they sends out an email. It adds to the fun!

Having gotten to know the Maher’s over the past year, out of all his successes, what I truly admire and respect most about Chris is his obvious love and devotion for his family. His entire being exudes a father’s pride when discussing his sons, Caleb and Milo and his eyes light up when his wife Valerie walks into the room. This quality speaks volumes for a man who is talented, blessed and hospitable!

For more information on booking a cooking class, attending a secret supper or inviting Cooking Studio Taos to cater or cook at your next dinner party visit them online at or call 575-776-COOK.











Quarterly Chamber Member Breakfast Meeting

breakfast-meetingWe will be having a short membership meeting plus we will be seating the 2015/2016 board members. Also, breakfast burritos and coffee will be served!

When: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 from 8:00 am to 9:00 am

Where: In the foyer of the Chamber at 3407 Mountain View Blvd

Sponsored by Choice Wireless.

Hatcha’s Grill Announcement

hatchas-01Hatcha’s Grill of Angel Fire’s last day of serving at 3453 Mountain view blvd was Friday, March 27th. But not to worry! We are only closing a location and consolidating two of our restaurants.

The people and guests of Angel Fire will still have Hatchas sopaipillas at their finger tips at H2 Uptown on featured nights. H2 Uptown has added enchilada plates, chile rellenos, Kathy’s tamales and many other local favorites.

You will also experience some menu changes at Cafe Expresso to accommodate the working people by offering variety and quicker service!

Hatcha’s Grill is changing it’s name to “HATCHA’S CATERING” so you will be seeing lots of this posted around. What this means is, we want to deliver all of Hatcha’s great recipes to your door or event.

Whether it be for 4 or 4,000 we can deliver! Soon we will be delivering to local businesses. We appreciate all the support over the years! Thank you Angel Fire!

H2 Uptown Hours

  • Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – Open 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Happy Hour 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2015 – Closed
  • Thursday, April 2, 2015 – Open 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Happy Hour 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Friday, April 3, 2015 – Open 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Happy Hour 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Saturday, April 4, 2015 – Open 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Happy Hour 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Sunday, April 5, 2015 – Easter Brunch 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, Easter Egg Hunts 2:00 pm & 4:00 pm, Open 4:00 pm to 9:00 pm, Happy Hour 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Monday, April 6, 2015 – H2 Uptown will be on break performing some spring cleaning and repairs. We will reopen Monday, April 13, 2015.

Cafe Expresso Hours

Open Daily 7:00 am to 2:00 pm

  • Sunday, April 5, 2015 – Closed

Angel Fire Garden Club Receives Honors

joann-laydenAngel Fire Garden Club Receives Honors At State Convention

Pictured: President JoAnn Layden

Thirteen members from the Angel Fire Garden Club attended the New Mexico State Garden Club convention in Silver City last week. JoAnn Layden was busy accepting awards for the club for tree planting, food gardening, photos, longevity for our median and youth activity awards.

The garden club received first place for the Civic Award for the landscaping project at Camp Elliott Barker Girl Scout Camp. Our club received a total of 14 awards! Social get togethers with other garden clubs from around the state capped off a fun and exciting convention.

The Angel Fire Garden Club members look forward to the next annual convention in Ruidoso. The next Garden Club meeting in Angel Fire will be May 11, 2015.


Pictured: Johnese Turri, JoAnn Layden, J.J. Huddleston, Dorothy Thrasher

Welcome New 2015/2018 Angel Fire Chamber Board of Directors

afcocThis year there were four candidate positions open on the Chamber Board of Directors. Last week we had six confirmed candidates. On March 20, due to unpredicted reasons, two of them were no longer eligible. Therefore, according to our by-laws, a ballot will not be mailed out to the membership. The four remaining highly qualified candidates will fill the four available positions. They will serve the 2015/2018 term.

We would like to introduce you to the newest members of the Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Please make plans to join us at our quarterly membership breakfast meeting on Wednesday April 22, 2015, 8:00 am to 9:00 am, when they will take the oath of office and be officially seated on the board.

John E. Hail Jr., Hail’s Holy Smoked BBQ & More


John E Hail, Jr. is the co-owner and co-operator (with his wife, Wendy Hail) of Holy Smoked BBQ & more! He has been a resident of Moreno Valley for 3 ½ years. For the first year John and Wendy were property managers of The Retreat at Angel Fire. He is also an active member and elder of Moreno Valley Community Church.

John grew up on the north end of the Toledo Bend reservoir in Deep East Texas on the Louisiana border. In 1984 he started his 5 ½ year military career in the U.S. Air Force as a Heavy Equipment Operator (later crossed trained to a Pest Control Specialist) in the 27th Civil Engineering Squadron at Cannon AFB, Clovis, NM. Sergeant Hail received an Honorable Discharge in 1990. He spent several years using his military training to advance in a number of jobs and positions. He worked for Ecolab Pest Elimination (Pest Control Specialist), City of Desoto, (Senior Maintenance Tech, Traffic Signal/Sign Tech), Texas Department of Transportation (Roadway Maintenance Tech/Sign Tech), New Mexico Department of Transportation (Highway Maintainer), Mitsubishi Power Systems (Wind Turbine Tech/Lead Tech), and Mesalands Community College (Director/Instructor of Wind Energy Program). John has an Associates Degree from Mesalands Community College in General Studies. He has other training and education from U.S. Air Force, Amarillo College, TEEX (Texas Engineering Extension), OSHA 10 & 30 Hour/ Trainer, and much more.

John and Wendy have seven grown children & eleven grandchildren; Jack (Easton, Ethan, Christian), Jessica (Alyssa, Leah, Connor), Rachelle (Kearstin, Brody), Johnny, Tamara (Hailee), Kimber, and Dustin (Xaylor, Skyleen). He looks forward to serving the community as a board member to promote Angel Fire and the Moreno Valley and increase recognition and revenue through business growth and events. He believes the future of Angel Fire is the continue unity between the Angel Fire Resort, the Village of Angel Fire, the businesses of the Moreno Valley and of course all residents.

Leland (Lee) R. Hopson, Colonel (USAF, Retired), AAFPO Board of Directors


Lee sought to serve on the Board of Directors, simply put, to get more involved in the community. Lee retired from the military in 2007, completing a 35-year Air Force career spanning work in security forces, communications and intelligence, from small units to the Pentagon. He commanded troops stateside and deployed to Southwest Asia. During Lee’s service, he garnered experience as a police officer and desk sergeant; in computer systems and program oversight; in budget development and evaluation; in human resource management; and in infrastructure maintenance and improvement. As a deployed support commander at a remote Kuwaiti base, he was responsible for the infrastructure, from dining facilities to power and utilities to morale and welfare programs. He believes his varied experience will be benefit to the board, the chamber and the Angel Fire community, as a whole.

Lee has a BS in Business and Management and a MS in International Relations. He also has taught computer science at the community college level.

Lee’s hope for his term on the board is Coordination, Cooperation, and Collaboration-Consensus building for the good of the community’s businesses, residences, and guests.

Brenda Johnson, Brenda Johnson Property Management


Brenda has lived in the Moreno Valley for 31 years. She has watched our area go thru highs and lows. She says, “It seems I have always been in customer service most of these thirty-one years.” She became a Real Estate agent in 2004 and a Property Manager in 2006. She has served several years as Treasurer for one the local Churches. She has also served on our local MLS committee since its beginning in the Moreno Valley. During her time in the Valley, Brenda has watched others serve and grow our Village into the amazing community it is today. She remembers how Angel Fire use to work together to bring very successful events and the tourism revenue these events brought to our businesses. She would like to help resurrect this type of community well-being.

As a Real Estate & Property Management Company owner, with plenty of experience as an employee, she is ready to help make a difference. She said, “When I started my business in 2013, someone told me the Chamber was the best advertising money he spent. The statistics the Chamber sends to me at the end of the year are good. They refer member businesses to the visitors who call their office, walk-in the door of their office, email them directly and who browse their website looking for information about Angel Fire. And as a member I am part of the community of businesses who work together to promote Angel Fire and the surrounding areas in a unified positive manner. I have not been disappointed with my investment. And now, as a member of the Board of Directors of the Angel Fire Chamber of Commerce, I WANT to serve and have input in our areas planning for the future.”

Donna Klassen, Incumbent, The First National Bank of New Mexico


Donna Klassen is the branch manager for The First National Bank of New Mexico Angel Fire office and was recently promoted to Vice President. She has been with FNB since April, 2009 starting out as a loan officer at the Raton office before transferring to the Angel Fire office in September, 2011. She has been in banking and mortgage financing for more than 20 years and spent 8 years in the title insurance industry.

This will be Donna’s 2nd term on the Chamber Board and she is also an active member of the Angel Fire Rotary Club. In addition, she is a trained disaster action volunteer; is an active member of the Christian Motorcyclists Association and holds the position of Vice President for the Sangre de Cristo Riders chapter; and served on the steering committee for Grow Raton and was actively involved with establishing the by-laws.