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“There tends to be these narratives of impending doom around everything. You realize when you’re out there putting in the work and living in this sort of way, that it’s not scary. There’s so much to be enamored with and so much beauty out there to work towards and to work with. It’s hard to not have hope when you’re doing it that way. Our animals, our land, our community, all those sorts of things give us a lot of hope.”

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Johnny Santiago Adao Ortiz-Concha was born and raised in Taos, New Mexico and on Taos Pueblo. His lineage derives of mostly Native American (Taos Pueblo) on his fathers side, and Spanish (mother Spain), and of Mexican origins on his mothers side.

New Mexico is a place of complex history and the cultures Johnny comes from are a direct reflection of that which is reflected in all the work he does. It was on the Taos Pueblo where Johnny’s love of remedios (wild foods) and of food in general was kindled. He learned to eat the wild rose on his grandfathers land from his mother who taught him that his grandfather used to eat them. This formative moment laid dormant until years later kindling his love for food.

Not being enamored with formal schooling, Johnny dropped out of college at UNM and moved moved to Chicago where he became the youngest hire at Alinea at the time (2009). After over a year in the kitchen he moved on to work at Willows Inn with Blaine Wetzel on Lummi Island (2012), and later became sous chef of Saison in San Francisco (2013) under Josh Skenes before creating / shed and returning home in 2016. Johnny is the heart of / shed, where he is intimate with each step of the process. Everything from bailing the hay the animals will eat to the ceramics the food is served on. 



By Johnny Ortiz

I never got to learn from my maternal great grandmother how too cook or how to harvest food from the wild, I never got to learn from my paternal great...

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