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HRTM benefit to feature Chicago chef who attended NMSU

Chicago-based chef Andres Padilla will be the featured chef at the second annual Guest Chef Dinner & Silent Auction, a benefit for the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University.


Chef holds ingredients in a kitchen.
Andres Padilla, a chef at Topolobampo restaurant in Chicago, will be the featured chef at the second annual Guest Chef Dinner & Silent Auction, a benefit for the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management at New Mexico State University. The event will take place Jan. 31. (NMSU photo by Andres Leighton)

The five-course meal and silent auction will take place Thursday, Jan. 31, in the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine, housed in NMSU’s Gerald Thomas Hall, starting with a reception at 6 p.m. Dinner with paired wines and cocktails will be served at 6:30 p.m.

Padilla, a 2003 HRTM graduate, currently works as the chef de cuisine at the celebrated Topolobampo restaurant in Chicago. Topolobampo is an award-winning restaurant owned by the celebrity chef Rick Bayless. It won the James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Restaurant in 2017.

In 2015, the Chicago Tribune described Padilla as the “backbone of the day-to-day operation” at Topolobampo. “Padilla’s kitchen really shines in creative dishes such as porchetta-style lamb in pumpkin mole, and a tartlet brimming with smoked quail, grilled artichoke and roasted chayote,” the Tribune reported.

HRTM Director Jean Hertzman said Padilla will bring his signature flair to the menu for the HRTM dinner and auction event.

Hertzman said the silent auction will include a variety of gift baskets, restaurant certificates and hotel stays from HRTM supporters, including Salud! de Mesilla and Heritage Hotels. A private dinner for 12 in the Bobby Lee Lawrence Academy of Wine also will be auctioned.

The dinner is $130 per person and $920 for a table of eight. All proceeds will benefit the HRTM Alumni Endowed Scholarship Fund and Student Travel Fund.

“The travel funds will be used to take students to the National Restaurant Show in Chicago in May and HX–The Hotel Experience in New York City in November,” Hertzman said. “There is no better way to expose students to all aspects of the hospitality industry and network with hospitality leaders and alumni.”

Reservations are required. Dinner tickets may be purchased at the HRTM office in Gerald Thomas Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets also may be purchased by contacting Katrinka Espinosa at kespin@nmsu.edu or 575-646-5566.