If the thought of Hatch green chiles roasting sets your mouth to watering, you’re not alone. Beloved enough to count as a regional pastime in the Southwest, the kickoff of Hatch chile season is an event many Baja Arizona residents eagerly anticipate. Now that it’s here, among those savoring the spice is Kris Young, the owner of Red’s Roasters. His freshly roasted vegetables make his stand at the local farmers markets a must-stop, and as the first roaster in town to have this year’s crop of chiles in stock, his perfectly charred, smokey Hatch green chiles have been in high demand. We managed to get him out from behind his roaster long enough to ask some questions of the man who puts the “Red” in Red’s Roasters.
What led you to getting into roasting vegetables?
I was introduced to roasted veggies about eight years ago when I was asked by a local business owner Bob Coccuza to come out to the farmers market every Sunday to help him roast fresh green chiles and many more veggies. I loved it! Never did I think that someday I would own this business.
When did you start Red’s Roasters?
Almost three years ago Bob asked me if I was interested taking over his business. Absolutely, I said! This was a local business with a great following, I had to take it over to keep this Tucson favorite alive. I renamed the business to Red’s Roasters, fitting for a redhead.
What’s the best part of being a local food vendor in Baja Arizona?
Knowing how much Tucson is all about local, it is great to be able to connect with all the great people that visit the farmers markets every week. These connections become friends and even family–that’s one of the main reasons I love it so much. I have lived in Tucson for thirty years and feel extremely blessed to be a proud owner of a local business.
I hear you were the first in town to have hatch chiles in stock. Is the start of hatch chile season a big deal for you?
One of my favorite times of the year is August and September, Hatch green Chile season. So many people are excited for these chiles because of their popularity and short availability. These green chiles are grown in Hatch, New Mexico where rich volcanic soil gives this seasonal favorite their flavor.
What’s your favorite way to use roasted hatch chiles in food? Do you have any recipes you’d be willing to share?
Hatch green chiles are great in almost everything, from salsas to eggs, burgers or cornbread and even soups or stews.
What other vegetables do you roast?
At Red’s Roasters you will find an assortment of roasted veggies from peppers to eggplant. Some local favorites are the roasted poblano peppers, green chiles, tomatillos, and garlic.
Where can people find your roasted goods for sale?
You can find Red’s Roasters every weekend at local farmers markets: Fridays at Trail Dust Town, Saturdays at Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley, and Sundays at Rillito Park.
You can keep up with Red’s Roasters and see what they’re roasting next on their Facebook page.