Pueblo Harvest’s Ray of Light

IPCC Virtual Culture Guide

When 2020 rolled in, it brought with it a new executive chef for Pueblo Harvest, the premiere New Mexico venue for Native American cuisine. Located at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Pueblo Harvest is a full-service restaurant which can be considered a culinary extension of the museum, continuing to tell the Pueblo story through the medium of Indigenous and Southwestern ingredients.

Executive Chef Ray Naranjo is of Native American roots from the Ancestral Pueblos of the Southwest and the Three Fires tribes of the Great Lakes. He believes in the preservation of the foodways and ancestral knowledge of his people, and strives to continue on this path. By using both modern and ancestral cooking techniques, he attempts to push the limits of what is known, unknown, and forgotten about the Indigenous food culture of North America.

“My goal for Pueblo Harvest Is to give an experience that mirrors the present-day food culture while being inclusive of Ancestral Puebloan ingredients, and the ingredients that would have been available via trade routes from tribes to the south,” Chef Naranjo says. “I will attempt to blend the past and the present to tell a story that will lead us to the future of Native American food cultures.

Chef Naranjo has a culinary degree and more than 25 years of service in the kitchen industry. He has experience in exclusive hotel and casino resorts in the Southwest, with various titles ranging from Executive Chef to Food & Beverage Director. Chef Naranjo has also been presented with several awards in Modern New Mexican Cuisine, with a focus on the chile of New Mexico. He has cooked for tribal communities, celebrities, and former first ladies, but says it’s not who he cooks for that matters most to him, but how they feel, and the satisfaction they get from the dishes he creates.

Want to learn more about Chef Naranjo? You can read the Albuquerque Journal’s in-depth Q&A interview with him here.

With Pueblo Harvest temporarily closed from the pandemic, Chef Naranjo still wants to cook for you by proxy from his home in Santa Clara Pueblo by sharing one of his easy, go-to personal comfort dishes utilizing ingredients native to New Mexico and the greater Southwest. Try the recipe in your own home, and let us know how well you did.

Buffalo Short Rib Posole with Chimaja & Chile de Árbol

1.5 lbs. buffalo short ribs
1 lb. uncooked posole 1 small onion, medium diced
1 oz. dried chimaja 1 oz. granulated garlic
2 Tbsp. Zuni salt (or 1 Tbsp regular salt)
5 Chile de árbol, whole
2.5 qts. water

Add all ingredients to a crock pot and cook for six hours. Serves up to five people.

12 responses to “Pueblo Harvest’s Ray of Light”

  1. Beverky Hart-Rohwein says:

    Yum! Can’t wait to cook this!!!

  2. phil webster says:

    where do you get the dried chimaja and Chile de árbol ?

  3. Jill Garcia says:

    sure looks like comfort food to me! I’d like to see more – my repertoire is getting a little stale and this is inspired and healthy

  4. Benny LoPez says:

    Thank you Chef for an exciting receipt that I can’t wait to try cooking.

  5. Elvis "Tsee-Pin" Torres says:

    As a nativewho likes to Cook and willing to try new recipes. I look forward to it.Keep up the great work!

  6. Christine McDowell says:

    Like to know where to get buffalo ribs and Chimaja don’t know what that is. Herb??

    • Indian Pueblo Cultural Center says:

      You’ll have to ask your local grocers and butchers about buffalo short ribs. If they don’t carry it, they can probably order it for you. Chimajá is a wild herb Pueblo people have foraged for centuries. There is no direct substitution, but many feel celery leaf is the nearest flavor.

  7. Kent Hickman says:

    Sounds great and simple, too! I love this kind of crockpot recipe as I look forward during the day to the meal as it cooks and makes the house smell so good.

  8. Uppie says:

    Thank you Chief Raymond! Be safe and regards to your family!

  9. NIck says:

    Sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing.

  10. […] For the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center (IPCC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 2020 saw a new executive chef join the center’s Pueblo Harvest restaurant, which is committed to telling “the Pueblo story through the medium of Indigenous and Southwestern ingredients.” The IPCC’s site is peppered with recipes from Chef Naranjo (Santa Clara Pueblo), but you can start with this ultimate comfort dish, Buffalo Short Rib Posole with Chimaja & Chile de Árbol. […]