Mark McCollum: One of a Kind

God set the whole program of life up around water. No water no life. Anyone who has been around Mark McCollum for any amount of time has heard him say that.
Mark McCollum
Mark moved to NM when he was only two weeks old and has seen his share of dry times. He has always wondered if he would have to live through a drought like those his father and grandfather endured in the 1930s and  50s, and the answer was yes. He is pleased to be able to say he lived through it and is no longer living in it.

Mark and his beautiful little wife Kim live on the family ranch south and west of Ft. Sumner where they raised son Ryan, a veterinarian and member of the Army Special Forces and a wonderful daughter, Megan, both of whom, along with their spouses and grandchildren have provided him are his greatest source of pride.

Mark and his brother Ted, his invaluable business partner, are involved in many aspects of the beef industry. Both are quick to point out that they can’t think of a single facet that has not and will not be affected by the Beef Checkoff.

That is why Mark had no hesitation when asked to serve on the NMBC .

He wishes everyone in the industry would take a close look at the benefits brought about by the Checkoff funding. He has no doubt when the BSE scare hit and  export markets went away that had we not had the programs and people set in place by those Checkoff dollars, we would have never regained our market share as quickly as we did.

We still have major challenges, so his desire is to see the Checkoff fee increased to $2.00 per head. Who out there is running their business on the same amount of money they were twenty years ago? The NMBC that’s who, and other beef councils all over this great nation. Every dollar counts in today’s tight economy, but the return on that additional dollar has such great potential. He wishes everyone would get behind the additional funding so the industry could grow to yet another level.

Mark looks forward to meeting and hearing from producers across the state and nation, both dairy and beef operators, in hopes of carrying forward and strengthening the industry via this wonderful tool, the Beef Checkoff.

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StreetFoodBlvd.: The Art of Tasty

Although StreetFoodBlvd opened only a month ago, it has already been discovered by followers of  Albuquerque’s food truck scene. That’s because word is out that chef Raul Maestas, one of the creators of the fondly remembered Dia de los Takos, is aboard. Raulstreetfoodblvd blog1 and his cousin, Ted Sandoval, both natives of Las Vegas, NM, are now taking their passion for the Norteño flavors they grew up with to new heights with their fun and flavorful “505 Menu.”

With this menu, Raul blends his experience cooking at upscale spots like the Hyatt Tamaya and Bien Shur with his native cuisine to produce distinctive offerings like the “Takone Twist,” a deep-fried tortilla cone stuffed with carne adovada or enchiladas and savory pico de gallo, and the Boulevard Nacho, topped with a special blend of carne adovada,  a fried egg and tomatillo pico de gallo, that has become wildly popular.

Raul, who has worked in Hawaiian restaurants, is introducing Burque to Hawaiian food too, with his “Loco Moco,” two beef patties on rice, smothered with gravy. “I like beef in many ways,” he says. “You can do so much with it – sear, braise, roast – there’s no limit to what you can do.”

He plans to take StreetFoodBlvd in a multicultural direction, serving Asian as well as Hawaiian and traditional northern New Mexico dishes that “infuse the old with blvd nachos blog 2something new.”

“I want to send people to their happy place,” he says. “Food is an art. I like to make it and serve it like art.”

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Celebrity Judge Swami Rob

Swami RobKZRR 94 Rock Morning show host Swami Rob loves his burgers. He especially loves to order them at Bob’s Burgers, but he can also be found in his Chevy munching at Sonic and Jack in the Box. When he isn’t dining on his burger faves, or on the air, Swami Rob is working out with his personal trainer, being ruled by his two Boston terriers, playing his bass guitar with his cover band all over Albuquerque, and rooting for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, and Texas Mavericks. He’s a family guy who is involved in things like home landscaping, and being a hubby and a new daddy to his baby daughter.


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The Supper Truck: Put Some South in Your Mouth

A big element of the food truck attraction is the trucks provide an informal stage for creativity and intriguing cross-cultural taste combinations. Nowhere is this playful sensibility this more out there than on board Amy Black’s Supper Truck.

A woman with Southern roots, she’s introduced Burque to her evolving brand of Supper blog1Southern fusion food, most famously, to her shrimp and grits.

“I definitely love food and cooking and eating good food and being creative,” she says. When she arrived here two years ago from Charleston, SC, where she’d witnessed the rise of the food truck scene, she was ready to put her love of food and her business and marketing background to work setting up her own business. She reached out to Santa Fe Community College’s Culinary Arts program. There she found her chef, Jessica Keller.

She now has eight employees and recently moved to a larger commissary kitchen to keep up with the demand. “The favorite beef dish is our brisket tacos,” she says. First, the brisket is marinated in a dry rub of coffee and brown sugar, then it’s slow smoked until it’s really tender, then it’s sliced and served with a hoisin BBQ sauce, pickled red onion, cilantro, and grilled corn tortillas.”

“I love cooking with beef because it’s an all-American classic. There are so many ways you can do it, from the casual gourmet burger to share with friends, to the elegant filet topped with gorgonzola sauce.”


Cooking tips from Amy:Supperblog2

Use good ingredients


Don’t be afraid to experiment

Eat your experiments

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Celebrity Judge: Ryan Sagittarius

The host of the midday program on 100.3 The Peak, Ryan Sagittarius doubles as promotions manager for CCM&E. As a diehard Dallas Cowboys fan reputed to have blueRyan photo-2 blood coursing through his veins, eating beef and loving it come naturally to him. When lunchtime comes and he yearns for a burger, he often heads out in his Ford for the nearest Wendy’s.  Whenever possible, he kicks around with city soccer teams, works out to stay fit for the game, and when the day is done cruises home to enjoy time with wife Emily and daughters McKenna and Finley.

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Soo Bak Foods, Korean Seoul Food: Keep It Fresh and Keep It Simple

Anyone who follows food trucks in the 505 has tried, or intends to try, the Korean versionSoo Bak Foods owner John served by John Katrinak. He may be best known for his Korean-New Mexico fusion  dish of  green chile cheese fries with bulgogi grilled beef, topped with dandelion greens, but “it’s all good.”

This self-taught chef from the Washington, D.C. suburbs holds a BA in political science with a minor in history, but he always wanted to cook. Family history plays a big part in his journey. His grandmother lived with the family. “She tended a garden and was always cooking traditional dishes with ingredients that were in season,” he says. “I grew up knowing how important food is to family, and to preparing meals cooked in large quantities. I was always helping Mom and Dad prepare big holiday dinners.”

“Food has a lot of emotion,” he says. “It brings us together at the table. Sharing a glass of wine and a meal connects us.”

And his ultimate goal is to open a restaurant.

“I really like beef for its versatility and straightforward flavor,” he says.Soo Bak at brewery

“I’m looking forward to the Throwdown particularly because my mom is coming to town,” he says. “I want to do her proud and show her how much I’ve learned from her.”

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Nikki Stanzione, well known in the 505, is the host of the 2 KASA FOX popular morning Nikki Stanzione blogshow, “New Mexico Style.” The daily one hour live lifestyle show focuses on her passions: Fashion, Pop Culture, Health, Beauty and, yum, Food. “Food is a big passion of mine, and I love trying new restaurants,” she says. She is also known a reporter on both Local AccuWeather Channels, announcing breaking weather news, regional forecasts, global weather and detailed local forecasts for over 50 cities a day in the US,  rising to all occasions with live hits on severe weather for FOX News Channel, in addition to writing and reporting weekly entertainment news and monthly tip segments. Nikki also hosts on QVC, specializing in technology and electronics presentations.


Nikki began her career in Musical Theater across the NY Tri-State area and went on to anchor local cable news shows, in addition to reporting and producing segments for a local cable magazine show during her college years. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication and Journalism.  Following graduation, Nikki was regularly featured on the soap opera “All My Children” and went on to recur as “Cynthia” on “Young and the Restless” upon her arrival in Los Angeles.  In addition, Nikki starred in several independent films and commercials and has been the MC/Host and DJ for numerous live events, including “Tulapalooza” (concert featuring Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore) the T-Mobile Concert Series, and NBA All Star Events, as well as hosting “The Scrapbook Lounge” pilot for HGTV. She especially enjoyed reporting live on the red carpet for various television productions and awards shows. While hosting “My Games Fever,” Nikki also starred in the ensemble cast of “Laffing Matterz,” a musical comedy theater show in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. She has most recently trained at Talent Dynamics in Dallas, Texas with Sandra Connell and Lou Michaels and studied acting in Los Angeles with Leigh Kilton Smith.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, watching her many favorite TV shows,  singing, and dancing.

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