My grandmother, Inez Armijo Gallegos, was from a small town named Reserve in southwest New Mexico, on the Arizona border. It is located at the base of the Tula Rosa mountains in the Gila National Forest. The mountains got their name from the rose-colored reeds that grew along the banks of a river in south-central New Mexico. Her son James was born in Reserve in 1941 and 6 years later the family- Inez, My Grandpa Santiago, my Dad James, and my Uncle Moises- moved to Bingham Canyon, Utah. It was just after grandpa served in WW2 and there was much good work to be had in the copper mines of the Salt Lake Valley's Oquirrh Mountains.
My Dad learned how to make every dish my grandmother ever made and throughout his whole life- as a Marine, a miner, a father and husband, an entrepeneur- never forgot what made his cooking something beyond special: It was what my Grandmother learned in that small town nestled among the piñon pine, juniper and sagebrush. I strive to reproduce this for my special guests at my flagship restaurant, three TEN main, every Monday night.
Chef Derek James Gallegos