Candolin Cook

Writer, Editor, Historian

United States

Candolin Cook is an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based freelance writer and editor specializing in history, food and drink, travel, and popular culture. From 2015 to 2020 she was the editor of Edible New Mexico magazine, part of the Edible Communities network. From 2011 to 2020, Candolin was also an associate editor for the New Mexico Historical Review, one of the oldest and most distinguished historical journals in the country. In addition to her editing duties there, she wrote the journal's "Southwest Talks" department, interviewing leading scholars of Western and Latin American history about their careers, research, and lives in the West.
In 2023, Candolin earned a doctorate in US History from University of New Mexico, where she specialized in the history of the American West. She is currently a regular contributor to Edible New Mexico magazine, The Bite newsletter, New Mexico Magazine, and Spanish Traces. She is also working on her first book, based on her dissertation, "The Wild Ones: Violence, Vengeance, and Sensationalism in the Borderlands" (2023).

The Bite
Natural Wine, Unfiltered - The Bite

Candolin Cook dives into natural wine, riffing on its appeal and talking with two of the people bringing more of its fizz and whimsy to the Land of Enchantment.

The Bite
Food Fight! - The Bite

Candolin Cook reports from the front lines of a homegrown cooking competition. Two esteemed chefs, Fernando Ruiz of Escondido in Santa Fe and Israel "Izz" Rivera of The Shop in Albuquerque, were set to face off in the first round of the quarterfinals of the cooking competition known as 505 Food Fights.

Edible New Mexico
Santa Fe, The Next Generation - Edible New Mexico

By Candolin Cook · Photos by Stephanie Cameron Left: Piña Picante and La Renia cocktails. Right: Jay Carroll, La Reina's proprietor. From Mabel Dodge Luhan and the Taos Society of Artists to Dennis Hopper and the counterculture movement, there exists a rich history of creative and influential outsiders finding inspiration in, and subsequently transforming, northern New Mexico.

Edible New Mexico
In Good Company - Edible New Mexico

I was never a huge Sex and the City fan, but one episode I caught years ago has stayed with me, strangely. In a scene from "They Shoot Single People Don't They?" Samantha finds herself alone at a fancy restaurant after being stood up by her dinner date.

Edible New Mexico
Ted Talk - Edible New Mexico

By Candolin Cook · Photos by Stephanie Cameron "I love that you are tailgating at the bat cave!" laughs microbat biologist Laura Kloepper while making her way across a field of lava rocks toward our dinner spread. "We don't go anywhere without food," shouts back edible publisher Stephanie Cameron.

Edible New Mexico
A Hard Bill to Swallow - Edible New Mexico

Exchanging a WIC check at the Española Farmers Market. Photo courtesy of the New Mexico Farmers' Marketing Association. In certain ways, Socorro County can be considered New Mexico's heartland. It is in the center of the state, about fifty miles south of Albuquerque hugging I-25 and the Rio Grande.

Edible New Mexico
Fire in the Belly - Edible New Mexico

photos by Stephanie Cameron Common Fire's igloo-shaped Le Panyol oven, constructed out of white clay from France's Rhône Valley. Fr om Japanese robata to Pueblo hornos to Southern barbeques, live-fire cooking methods have been utilized by virtually every culture and cuisine since the dawn of homo sapiens.

The Sand and the Stars

By Candolin Cook · Photos by Stephanie Cameron A blend of washed out and neon colors accent Truth or Consequences's mid-century architecture. Dwight Yoakam's "A Thousand Miles from Nowhere" played on repeat in my head as edible owner and publisher Stephanie Cameron and I drove down County Road AO13 in the desert basin known as Jornada del Muerto or "Journey of the Dead Man."

Edible New Mexico
More Than A Meal - Edible New Mexico

By Candolin Cook · Photos by Stephanie Cameron I wasn't really in the mood for soup on a hot August evening at Sazón, but my server Diego Martinez kept pushing the chef's signature dish, Sopa de Amor. "It is so special, not like anything you've had before," he assured with the finesse of a true salesman.

Edible Communities
Pressing Matters: Making Tortillas in Santa Fe

Paloma's Nathan Mayes makes the masa. "What's the dumbest idea you've ever had?" I ask Chef Nathan Mayes inside Paloma's brightly sunlit galley kitchen. "Installing a gigantic tortilla machine I brought from Mexico in this tiny kitchen," he replies. And the best? "Taking it out," he says with a laugh.

Edible New Mexico
Cowboy Up! - Edible New Mexico

By Candolin Cook · Photos by Stephanie Cameron "We believe the creator gave us the horse as a gift of transcendence bridging the spiritual world with physical world," says Rick Iannucci. Shortly after dawn on a crisp October morning, I find myself partaking in a yoga class on the porch of a rustic bunkhouse just south of Santa Fe.

Edible New Mexico
Food Fighters - Edible New Mexico

A year ago, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight Carlos Condit walked into Albuquerque restaurant The Shop and asked for an opportunity do some kitchen prep to expand his cooking skills. The Shop chef/owner Israel Rivera thought he was joking. "I knew exactly who he was. I'm a big UFC fan and a fan of Carlos.

Edible New Mexico
Where the Wild Things Are - Edible New Mexico

After leaving Chicago, Ortiz cooked for The Willows Inn, a destination restaurant situated on a small island off the coast of northern Washington. There, he expanded his knowledge of terroir and seasonality through foraging and farming. At twenty-three, he secured a sous chef position at Saison -yet another three Michelin-star establishment-in San Francisco.

Edible New Mexico
New Home, Sweet Home - Edible New Mexico

In the small village of Magdalena, owners Michal Gola and Osiris Navarro have integrated with the community as they have rejuvenated the diner. Transplants from Seattle with international roots, they have crafted their menu with feedback from the locals, and, in the process, have created a local gathering place that has offered connection in isolation times.

A New Mexico Classic: The Compound Turns 50

On the afternoon of May 30, 2000, chef Mark Kiffin stood in the dining room of the historic adobe property known as The Compound, inspecting his impeccable waitstaff. This was the opening night of Kiffin's incarnation of The Compound, a legendary and beloved Santa Fe restaurant, established in 1966 by Will and Barbara Houghton.

The Bite
Pasta Perfect - The Bite

Candolin Cook talks noodles over noodles with Chef Michelle Michelotti-Martinez.

Edible New Mexico
Good Vibes - Edible New Mexico

Left: Bluenose bass with roasted carrots and potatoes and a cauliflower puree. Right: The Mayan Monk with mezcal and Green Chartreuse. The first time I stepped foot in Palace Prime, located on Santa Fe Plaza, I felt woefully underdressed.

Edible New Mexico
Peak Flavors - Edible New Mexico

Candolin Cook heads to northern New Mexico for an inside look at four-season farming and some of the chefs who are highlighting local winter produce.

Edible New Mexico
Season of the 'Wich - Edible New Mexico

By Candolin Cook In Spanish, the word tuerta/o means a person with one eye (or only having sight in one). The restaurant is named in honor of Liam Kimball's one-eyed cat, Lydia. Pictured: Ninny Threadgoode Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. Photo by Stephanie Cameron.

Edible New Mexico
Late Summer 2020: Essential - Edible New Mexico

​It's been three long, heartbreaking months since a new issue of edible New Mexico has been on stands. This period has seen the novel coronavirus wreak havoc on bodies, businesses, and our way of life. In New Mexico, the virus has hit Native communities especially hard.

Edible New Mexico
Retreat Yourself - Edible New Mexico

By Candolin Cook A dozen miles north of Taos, nestled in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, sits a destination rooted in agriculture and steeped in history. Taos Goji Eco Lodge is an inn and forty-acre farm boasting an unusual crop, rustic charm, and cozy accommodations.

Edible New Mexico
Eat with your Hands, Speak with your Food - Edible New Mexico

"I'm boring!" insists Toyin Oladeji, chef/owner of Talking Drums, as I pepper her with questions about her life and business. She is too modest. Although the soft-spoken, Nigerian-born grandmother of three lacks the braggadocio of many American-born chefs, the bold flavors she creates in her spice-forward African and Caribbean dishes suggest she is anything but insipid.

Edible New Mexico
For the Love of Brunch - Edible New Mexico

During this time of year, when the days are short and the air is icy, it's often difficult to get out of the house and connect with friends. For many of us, this winter has been especially dark. So for this installment of Cooking Fresh, my husband and I decided to let some light in.

The Bite
Sea to Table - The Bite

Candolin Cook visits Above Sea Level to learn more about where "local" fish comes from.

Inspiration from the Garden

By Candolin Cook · Photos by Stephanie Cameron From my first plate at Santa Fe's Arroyo Vino, an amuse-bouche of seasonal crudités, I knew I was in for an incredible meal.

Edible New Mexico
In Good Taste - Edible New Mexico

"Get the steak sandwich!" shouts Bodega Prime chef/owner Noela Figueroa to a patron seated at the lunch counter. The man looks up and gives a familiar smile and wave to Figueroa, who is holding up her own half-eaten Aleppo spice-rubbed steak sandwich for him to see.

A Powerful Plate: Agni Ayurveda Helps Bring Balance to Mind and Belly

Confession: I love food, but food does not always love me. For me, succumbing to cravings for milkshakes, meatballs in red sauce, or chicken tikka masala can only lead to heartache-or heartburn-and a digestive system that rues the day I ever laid eyes on those green chile cheese fries.