The chef at Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm in an Albuquerque-area village has been named a finalist in the Best Chef: Southwest category of the prestigious James Beard Awards.
Jonathan Perno runs the Campo restaurant at the inn and farm at 4803 Rio Grande Blvd NW in Los Ranchos De Albuquerque, New Mexico, about a mile west of the Fourth Street alignment of early Route 66. The city of Albuquerque surrounds three sides of the village.
Perno, a native of New Mexico, has been a semifinalist six times for the Beard Award. He’s regarded as one of the finest chefs in the Southwest.
Albuquerque Business First reported about his 2019 semifinal berth:
Perno trained at the California Culinary Academy and cooked at Postrio under Wolfgang Puck and Splendido and Alan Rondelli in San Francisco, as well at Sweet Basil in Vail, Colorado. He also served as the executive chef at Metropolitan in Salt Lake City. In March, he’ll celebrate 12 years at Los Poblanos.
“We’re so proud of Jonathan and the continued recognition of the Campo culinary program, which includes everyone from the farmers to the bakers,” said Matthew Rembe, executive director at Los Poblanos, in a statement. “For a native Albuquerquean to be recognized year after year by the ultimate culinary award is a testament to his passion, hard work and dedication to his craft.”
Las Pablanos also described Perno in this way:
He is a butcher, farmer, beekeeper and has trained many cooks to become great chefs, many who now run kitchens of their own. He collaborates with organizations locally and nationally that are dedicated to improving the quality of food, soil and culinary technique.
The 25-acre Los Poblanos was designed in 1932 by noted architect John Gaw Meem, the so-called “Father of Santa Fe Style.”
Lisa Becklund, chef at Living Kitchen Farm & Dairy near Depew, Oklahoma, in February was named a semifinalist for the James Beard Award but didn’t advance to the finals. The restaurant sits about a half-mile south of old Route 66 in a log cabin.
Becklund also is opening a sit-down restaurant, FarmBar, at 18th Street and Boston Avenue in Tulsa that should open by summer. It would be less than a mile south of Route 66.
One notable past Beard Awards semifinalist is chef John Sharpe of The Turquoise Room at La Posada in Winslow, Arizona, right off Route 66. Sharpe is retiring later this year.
Many of these restaurants, however, remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic but likely will reopen in May or June.
(Image of Danish pancakes with homemade applesauce and farm-raised bacon for breakfast at Los Poblanos by averya219 via Flickr)