Loca's Pork Green Chile
More a savory, spicy soup than a stew, this dish is on the menu every day at Work & Class restaurant, in Denver. Chef and co-owner Dana Rodriguez grew up with this dish, a specialty of her father's, on a small farm in Mexico without electricity or running water. Through sheer grit and talent, she rose through the ranks of the Denver restaurant world, from dishwasher to chef at her own establishment. "The green chile is called 'Loca' because that's my nickname," says Rodriguez. She earned the name years ago as the newly promoted sous-chef at Rioja, one of Denver's top restaurants, where she was heckled for months by the staff--until she blew up and let some obscenities fly. From then on, she ran the kitchen in peace.
Our suggested wine pairing: Wine by Joe 2015 Pinot Blanc (Willamette Valley; $14).