After more than 30 hours of driving, Patrick and Dustin found themselves playing frisbee on the shoulder of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
In the flatbed of their traffic-gridlocked rental truck was a freezer with 250 pounds of freshly harvested green chile peppers and another 250-pound stash beside it. In less than 24 hours, they would have to roast half their total haul over charcoal in the outdoor space in Clinton Hill they had reserved to appease 50 socially-distant eager attendees.
The road trip became the inciting incident that kicked off a new community-supported agriculture (CSA)- style food club called Two Suns, a joint venture by Patrick Sandefur and Dustin Flannery-McCoy. Together the two are bringing green chile peppers, a staple of New Mexico cuisine and their childhood diets, to Bushwick at their newly acquired mixed-use art space at 167 Wilson Ave. This Sunday, Dec. 12, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sandefur and Flannery-McCoy are welcoming the community to experience their passion for the art of New Mexico cuisine firsthand.
Sandefur, the owner of The Wheelhouse restaurant on Wilson Avenue, and Flannery-McCoy, a senior editor and director of photography at Complex, are both from different parts of New Mexico, but they have long shared a vision of bringing the flavors of their home state to New York.
Before the pandemic, Flannery-McCoy said he would routinely make trips to New Mexico to bring back chile peppers in his suitcases, a routine Sandefur said was commonplace among those from New Mexico. “I think it’s been a pipe dream for a lot of us to be like, ‘how can we bring back a lot more than what we can carry in our suitcase?’” said Flannery-McCoy, referring to those from New Mexico now living in New York.
“And the answer is to buy a $700, 18-cubic-foot freezer, rent a truck, fill it with chile and drive across the country,” said Sandefur.
According to the pair, Two Suns’ service will include curated boxes of organic meats from Upstate New York, artisan bread from a local bakery and other raw pantry items.
“We also make our own prepared food that brings in the New Mexico side of things, using some of that green chile, which we have sort of a corner on the market for because it doesn’t exist elsewhere in New York, at least in a frozen variety,” added Flannery-McCoy, laughing as he knocked on the large freeze behind him.
The group has a partnership with The Lewis Waite Food Network, a collection of farms in Washington County, New York. The farm offers a diverse array of locally sourced products, a practice that Sandefur and Flannery-McCoy see as more sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Sunday’s event will be open to the public, located in the storefront formerly occupied by Alberto & Son’s, which Sandefur leased in October as a mixed-use art space. Food offered will include posole, carne adovada and green chile stew. Artwork will also be featured and available for purchase.
Subscriptions for Two Suns’ 3-month winter CSA are available now. The first full pick up will be in mid-January. Sign up here.
All photos courtesy of Two Suns.
Featured image: Sandefur (left) and Flannery-McCoy (right)
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