Dressing the Parts
Ignited by a passion for New Mexico’s history, wildlands, and creative people, Kate Nelson has contributed stories to the magazine that ranged from historic hotel renovations to the modern art of Albuquerque. In 2015, she brought home a silver Writer of the Year honor from the International Regional Magazine Association. This spring, she joined the staff as managing editor, and considers it a return to her rightful roots, which include award-winning stints at daily newspapers before a detour into PR and marketing for the New Mexico History Museum.

“When you’re immersed in a story like the Santa Fe Opera, the emotional rewards are addicting,” she says. “I was a rehearsal pianist for high-school musicals, and it thrilled me just to stand backstage and watch the pros at work.”

NM’s Wide World of Forks
Four-time James Beard Award–winning author Cheryl Alters Jamison serves on the board of Cooking with Kids, a Santa Fe nonprofit that interests youths in international dishes. Jamison is well known for her authoritative writing on the foods of New Mexico and the American Southwest, but loves to travel the world in search of fascinating meals. However, it’s become pretty easy for her to satisfy her cravings for international cuisines in New Mexico. While she gave up some of her secret dining spots in “NM’s Wide World of Forks,” she left out a few, including Mu Du Noodles in Santa Fe and India Kitchen in Albuquerque. Jamison and her late husband, Bill, authored many cookbooks, including The 50th Anniversary Rancho de Chimayó Cookbook and The Restaurant Martín Cookbook. Find her at excitedaboutfood.com.

Hidden Gems
Former New Mexico resident Andrew Collins crisscrosses the state during his frequent visits, discovering intriguing new places to hike, eat, learn, and explore. “During my first month living in New Mexico, I drove my old Saab on very rough NM 165 from Sandia Park, ‘the back way’ down to Placitas. I nearly busted my oil pan, but I also came upon the amazing Sandia Man Cave. I’ve been hooked on turning down dubious-looking but picturesque scenic dirt roads ever since.”

Space limitations forced him to omit several “hidden gems,” among them Horseman’s Haven Cafe in Santa Fe (“my favorite huevos rancheros anywhere”), the Bolack Museum in Farmington (“a compellingly bizarre trove of taxidermy, farm equipment, and vintage electric-power bric-a-brac”), and the Black Range Lodge in Hillsboro (“a completely serene hideaway on one of the prettiest mountain roads in the state”).

Dressing the Parts
Minesh Bacrania spent a decade working as a nuclear physicist before the camera captured his heart. Leaving a career at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he dedicated himself to perfecting the art of the portrait and finding the perfect, fleeting moment. His self-taught skills have landed him gigs at this magazine, along with Food Network Magazine, Boston Magazine, and the Huffington Post. A native of Florida who has also lived in Seattle, he moved to New Mexico in 2005 and now embraces every freelance opportunity that carries a dash of adventure. Whenever possible, he brings along his seven-year-old son to experience New Mexico’s people and places up close. “Drew’s first big assisting gig was helping me set up a group portrait of the Santa Fe Opera’s orchestra. That was fun.” Learn more about him at bacrania.net