Break The Chain Visits Paco’s International Smoked Cuisine

Chef Paco Esteves shows Ryan his technique for creating a pork loin
Chef Paco Aceves shows Ryan his technique for preparing a pork loin

When Break The Chain host Ryan Scott learned that a CIA trained chef was operating in the Duke City, he knew he’d have to investigate.  His sleuthing didn’t reveal any clandestine menus or covert cooking, but he did discover a chef with some pretty deft knife-wielding skills.  Throughout Ryan’s interrogation, the chef maintained no cloak of subterfuge or secrecy.  In fact, Chef Paco Aceves was rather forthcoming about his training and his not-so-secret mission here in the Duke City. 

Chef Aceves’s mission is to introduce Albuquerque to a range of international smoked foods including some of the most popular American BBQ specialties. His eponymous restaurant, Paco’s International Smoked Cuisine is not your typical BBQ restaurant in that it he utilizes smoking techniques to prepare a menu of rotating dishes from various countries.  Oh, and Chef Aceves was trained by the CIA, but not that CIA.  He’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, the other CIA.  The CIA  Chef Aceves attended is America’s most respected school for culinary arts training.

Chef Paco Esteves' proud mom recounts her son's path to the CIA
Chef Paco Aceves’s’ proud mom recounts her son’s path to the CIA

In the third YouTube channel episode of Break the Chain, Ryan joins Chef Aceves in the kitchen where the chef displays his formidable culinary skills in preparing a delicious pork loin.  Ryan also interviews several guests who rhapsodize eloquently about the food at Paco’s.  This entertaining three-part episode can be viewed on the Break The Chain Channel.  This episode should come with a warning that watching it might lead to involuntary salivation and it certainly will lead to a visit to Paco’s.

BACKGROUND: Over a five year period ending in 2010, there was a five percent increase in the number of chain restaurants across the United States. More than 15,000 chains were added to a restaurant landscape already blighted by chains. During that same period, there was a one-percent decline in the number of independent restaurants. Albuquerque ranks 31st per capita in the number of fast food and chain restaurants among cities with a population of at least 200,000. The Duke City has more than 300 fast-food and chain restaurants–56.7 per 100,000 residents. The chain with the largest presence in Albuquerque is Subway.

CIA Trained Chef Paco Esteves urges viewers to break the chain
CIA Trained Chef Paco Aceves urges viewers to break the chain

If your loyalties lie with local restaurants–those owned and operated by our friends and neighbors, you’ll love “Break the Chain,” an enlightening and entertaining new media program hosted by Ryan Scott. Break The Chain’s celebrates locally owned and operated restaurants here in New Mexico.  Ryan’s guests are among New Mexico’s most noted chefs and culinary experts, all of whom will give you some great ideas on where you can go to break the chain.

Obviously Break The Chain isn’t about breaking or bankrupting heavily bankrolled chain restaurants. It’s about breaking the chain “habit,” the inclination many have to visit the ubiquitous and convenient chains. Break The Chain is a celebration of local mom-and-pop restaurants, aiming to show the many outstanding alternatives to the familiar chains. It’s an interactive show in which you can participate and become a part of the experience. Most of all, it’s a fun and lively show you will love.

About Gil Garduno

Since 2008, the tagline on Gil’s Thrilling (And Filling) Blog has invited you to “Follow the Culinary Ruminations of New Mexico’s Sesquipedalian Sybarite.” To date, nearly 1 million visitors have trusted (or at least visited) my recommendations on nearly 1,100 restaurant reviews. Please take a few minutes to tell me what you think. Whether you agree or disagree with me, I'd love to hear about it.

View all posts by Gil Garduno →

55 Comments on “Break The Chain Visits Paco’s International Smoked Cuisine”

  1. My boyfriend says your singing sounds like the noise my cat made when he “accidentally” ran over her, but I think his jealous because I told him your cute. You also sing really good. I have broken the chain to.

  2. Yo Ryan…nice intro to the New Version. Someplace down the road, as a change of pace, maybe ya might consider challenging one of these Foodies herein to strut their stuff by showing off one of their Especial Creations as they cook on their very own home hearth with some of us as tasters!!! Can’t get any more Local than that!!! I just can’t help to think one of them is just itchin to do it!!!!

    Speaking of crisp bacon wrapped, jalapeno poppers, can’t help but think this might whet everyone’s taste buds LOL

  3. Hearty congratulations, Ryan. Break the Chain is even better on YouTube than it was on radio. The Food Network should take notice.

  4. It was very nice to meet Jim and the “child bride”, and dinner was just great. Every table was full and the lamb chef’s special was sold out. I can’t wait to get the episode edited and up on the BTC youtube channel!

  5. Thanks, Bob, looking forward to meeting you, Jim, and Schuyler, I literally laughed out loud. We will be launching the new BTC website in the next two weeks, but not at I’ll let you all know. Hopefully our friend Gil and the lovely Kim will be able to make it tonight, too.

    1. Forgive me, Ryan. I hadn’t noticed the “Break the Chain” link now points to a Viagra site. The link has been removed. Someday you’ve got to share the story behind Schuyler’s reference.

  6. Hey Ryan

    When did you start hawking Viagra on your Break the Chain website? I would have thought you’d provide it pro-boner.

  7. Nice to have an extra excuse to eat at one of my favorite restaurants in this world. We will be there even though the Child Bride lives each day in mortal fear that someone will shove a camera in her face and ask a question. I have assured her that nobody is interested in interviewing her but I am pretty sure that she doesn’t believe me.

  8. Best of Luck! La mejor de las suertes!
    Cheers…Salud…Skol…Na Zdrowie…Slainte….Evviva!…et al.

  9. Hi Gil-
    Just wanted to let you know that Albuquerque the Magazine just released their “Best Of” year-end issue. Break The Chain has a featured article, and you are mentioned in the article. I love you and your blog…keep up the great work! Your MANY fans appreciate it!

    1. Many heartfelt congratulations, Ryan.

      What a well deserved recognition for the radio show that’s revolutionizing food dialogue in the Duke City — and for you, the dynamic force behind it all. Someday when you achieve Food Network fame, we’ll all be saying “I knew Ryan back when…” The sky’s the limit, my friend…in every celestial way.


  10. Hi Gil-
    Just wanted to let you know that the audio from the Tim’s Place episode is up on He is an inspirational and extraordinary young man. Check it out if you have a few minutes!

  11. ABQ Uptown Growers Market is thrilled to have Los Poblanos Organics joining us on Saturdays from 7am until noon at our market in the ABQ Uptown Shopping Center NE parking lot. To find us go east 1 block on Indian School from Louisana, then north at the light at Uptown Loop. We are about a block north of the Trader Joes in the ABQ Uptown Shopping Center. Lots of great local food and crafts, plenty of free parking, and easy accesss for the whole family.

  12. Hi Gil-
    Just wanted to let you know that the audio from the Golden Crown Panaderia is up on! Thanks so much for your continued friendship and support.

  13. Billy is a pretty cool guy, always has a smile and a “what’s up?” for everyone. I LOVE Stone Face. Only been to Billy’s Long Bar once, and enjoyed it. Have never been to Horse & Angel. I think the Green Chile Burger at Stone Face is pretty darn good. The New Mexican Steak Sandwich is excellent (basically steak fajitas in a tortilla with green chile, onion, guacamole, lettuce, etc.).

    There used to be a sandwich called the New York Steak Sandwich. It was a New York Steak on a roll with cheese and green chile. That thing was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. If I don’t get a chance to call in (probably not as I’m usually driving around on Saturday afternoons and listening in the truck), I’d like to know why that went away???? I was bummed when it was taken off the menu.

    On the same note of things that have disappeared off the menu…why do they no longer serve Avalanche beer? Very sad day indeed when I found out they no longer served that fine beverage. Sadly, if I want an Avalanche from the tap, I have to go all the way to Cedar Crest to the Backside Cafe (you should take a drive out there Gil and check it out – good burger, good grilled chicken sandwich, and tasty wings) as no one else in town seems to serve it either…

  14. Thanks, Larry. My only concern (as always) is recommending places that I’ve had great experiences but not really recently – good example is the kickback I’ve heard about Ezra’s taking a nosedive. Very sad to hear but because my last visit was good, it’s hard to know which way to send folks, you know?

  15. But Andrea — I have been known to eat burgers for breakfast. And brunch.

    What the hell, anytime. 😉

    The Dobe Burger is on Pink’s current lunch menu. $10.

    BTW, nice interview with Ryan. I had forgotten that you’re a coffee freak. You might try Oasis in Corrales. And you might just find me there, since it;s within walking distance.

  16. Well…. it is a breakfast show. 🙂

    Closest thing I could do would be to mention the Otis burger at Standard, with the egg on top. Yummmmmm. But yeah, the burger at the Pink Adobe DRAGON ROOM (not the regular restaurant) is phenomenal. They just changed their menu so maybe it’s gone…..

  17. I put a link to the recording itself on my Facebook page. It is .

    I can’t figure out how to download the .mp3 directly to my disk. I can capture the stream, though, but this doesn’t help the non-techies.

    Andrea — I’ll post a link to your recording on Facebook and on Duke City Food, too.

    Question for your show: “What are your five favorite hamburger places in Albuquerque?”
    And, “What are your five favorite hamburger places in New Mexico outside ABQ?”

    Not necessarily GCCBs, but any type. I seem to recall that you were stunned by the burger at Pink Adobe in Santa Fe some time ago. Still a contender?

  18. Hi Everyone!
    The Break The Chain website is now up. The audio of the first show with Gil is on the site. Unfortunately, the producer forgot to hit the record button, so we missed the first two minutes or so of the show. It won’t happen again!
    After listening, please tell me what you think!

  19. Hi Noe,
    The Break The Chain website should be ready to go by Wednesday or Thursday. We do have audio of the first show. I’ll be sure to post when it is ready.
    Thanks so much for listening!

  20. I agree with Andrea, would love to listen to a download as I missed the first half hour.

    Ryan and Gil, the show sounded good. I wanted to call in, but didn’t want to mess with the flow you guys had going. Wish you guys the best on this show.

  21. So, for those of us who didn’t get to listen, was there a recording? Gil, surely with your technical prowess you had something grab a stream of it, yes? I hope? 🙂

  22. Michael, and Anita-
    Thanks so very much for listening! I love Ming Dynasty as well. I’m sure we will feature them on a future show.
    In the future, if you’d like to call in, the number is 265-1550.
    Shhhhhhh, don’t tell anyone…but the song is “Words I Manifest (Remix)” by Gang Starr.

  23. Heard you on the radio (actually, over the internet). You guys sounded great.
    You mentioned all my favorites. I would, however, like to add Ming’s on Eubank for their dim sum menu; that’s a WONDERFUL restaurant that I think would be great for people on a budget.

    Also, to Ryan – I wanted to call in, but you didn’t mention the phone number each time you asked for callers, and I didn’t catch it, unfortunately, the times you did. I wanted to know- what *was* the intro song, since none of your other listeners seemed to know, either?

  24. It was good to hear the show today and listen to Gil who I’ve been reading for years. This program was a good Idea and I’m confident will find a big audience. I almost called in but was enjoying listening, maybe next time. Bravo!

  25. So, we did not make it into town on time. We weren’t back until well after dark. Is this anywhere we can download and listen to? I’d still like very much to hear your take on all this. Congrats again!

    1. You didn’t miss anything, Noe. Break the Chain doesn’t air until Saturday, May 7th at 3PM. I’m recovering from a cold that’s made my voice sound like a cross between Lurch, the Addams Family butler and Daffy Duck. Hopefully I’ll be more coherent by Saturday.

  26. This is great news! We’re constantly on the lookout for “real deal” type places and have a list of where to go for the best of dishes in town. I’ve certainly found some must eats on the blog. Can’t wait for it to air!

  27. Congrats Gil! I’ll be out of town but coming back in on Saturday 5/7, so hopefully I can catch this program. I think it only fitting that you be the inaugural guest, as you personally have opened my eyes to a few places I might not have tried otherwise…places I now go to on a semi-regular basis.

    In fact, my Friday evening ritual is to pull up your blog so that the wife and I can plan where we are going to eat for the weekend.

    1. Thanks, Larry. I’ve often been told I’ve got a face for radio and a voice for silent movies, but Ryan has enough charisma for the both of us. Like you and most of the readers of this blog, Ryan is passionate about New Mexico’s independent mom-and-pop restaurants. Through “Break the Chain” that passion will come across clearly and will hopefully reach thousands of listeners throughout the Land of Enchantment. Listeners will have an opportunity to call in to ask questions or offer their opinions. If they can’t get through on the phone, Ryan will have a blog available through which listeners can send their questions. “Break the Chain” is one of the most exciting endeavors to hit the restaurant scene since the Department of Tourism’s Culinary Trails initiatives. It’s an honor and privilege to be involved in the inaugural program.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.