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STOP#15: LA COCINA de MELA (We’re back!!!)

Extensive menu of traditional New Mexican food, featuring Mela’s red chile.

Mela grew up in a family of sheepherders: with her five sisters, she learned to cook large quantities of food. Mela continued this tradition after marrying Onesimo Montoya. As you look at the photograph, imagine Mela Montoya cooking for nine children, seventeen grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Mela could cook! And she taught her daughters and sons how to cook.

In 1987, while working at the information booth at the Galisteo Studio Tour, Mela’s daughter, Anna, was asked, “Where is the real native New Mexican food that the New Mexican advertised?”

Anna spoke with her mother. From that conversation, Mela’s kitchen was born. Mela’s five daughters, her sister, Rosina, her cousins, and the rest of the family helped make tortillas, sopaipillas, beans, posole, tamales, bizcochitos, and, of course, Mela’s Red Chile at the Galisteo Community Center during the next Studio Tours.

Mela’s sister, Rosina, (who passed away July 29, 2014) and her daughter, Berna, along with her family, helped each year. Mela was the force behind the event until September 14, 2010 when she passed away. Their beloved father, Onesimo, passed away April 14, 2012.

Mela’s children, Geri, Jimmy, Angie, David , Ted and Anna, and Rosina’s daughter, Berna, along with their families, will return this year to keep the tradition of Mela’s Cocina alive. They invite you to the Galisteo Community Center where the smells of Mela’s Red Chile and other authentic New Mexican dishes greet you.

“We miss our parents terribly, but we feel their presence when we work together”


Delicious and healthy contemporary fusion dishes

signature Korean BBQ tacos, burritos, and seasonal agua fresca.