Chef Michelle Roetzer has prepared her culinary delights for two U.S. presidents, George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as Mexican president Vicente Fox. Now she will do the honors for the third and final event in a series to benefit Partners in Education and the City of Santa Fe Arts Commission. "At the Artist’s Table: Rainmaker Dinner," takes place Tuesday, August 16 at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Roetzer is joining forces with Native artist Ramona Sakiestewa to create an artful and delectable evening in celebration of the Indian Market festivities.
Roetzer and Sakiestewa will bring together the Mexican and American Southwest flavors that are born out of their own family cultures. Michelle’s family history begins in the arid Mapimi desert south of Chihuahua, Mexico with people known for their cultivation of desert squashes and succulent melons. Ramona’s family has been based on the arid mesa-tops of Hopi in northern Arizona where her grandfather described himself as a "sand farmer," coaxing his traditional garden out of the bottom of canyon sandscapes.
The icon for the "drought breaker" or "rainmaker" in the Hopi culture is the dragonfly. The moth is the icon for richness and prosperity. Both of these insects are known for their ability to find water and propagate plants in the desert. Each supports the well being and bountiful harvest of agriculture.
With 26 years of experience as a chef, immense knowledge of regional culinary anthropology and food culture, as well as an entertaining presence, Roetzer is one of the most popular instructors at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.
Born and raised in the American Southwest, Sakiestewa is a self-taught weaver who has adapted techniques derived from her cultural past, dating to prehistoric times of pueblo weaving. Her current portfolio includes tapestry, clay prints, works-on-paper, and architectural design. Sakiestewa’s work can be found in museums and private collections throughout the United States and internationally.
"Both Michelle and Ramona, as a nod to prehistoric cultures that interacted and traded goods from central Mexico to the Four Corner states, have thoughtfully created this menu," says Ruthanne Greeley, Partners in Education Foundation for the Santa Fe Public Schools director. "Each dinner is anchored around the wonderful festivals in Santa Fe. Ramona and Michelle are creating a really special night for our guests."
Several delectable courses, paired with the famous Van Duzer Pinot Noir, showcase the collaborative native artistry of both the artist and chef, and ancient and modern foods of the Americas. The wine is donated by the Van Duzer Vineyards, a family owned, sustainable winery in Oregon.
"At the Artist’s Table" pairs nationally-known Santa Fe artists with celebrated, award-winning chefs who work together to create exquisite evenings for the participants. The dinners explore the art and cuisine of Santa Fe’s diverse cultures – all to benefit local education and the arts.
RAINMAKER DINNER MENU
Smoked trout on corn tortilla cups
Stuffed peapods with chipotle cheese
Flor de Calabazas con hongos w/goat cheese bechamel Van Duzer Estate Pino Noir Rose
Honeyed squash with pepitas and micro radish greens and sunflower sprouts
Roasted Quail with pipian sauce
Roasted seasonal vegetable terrain
Smashed fingerling roasted potatoes
Portobello mushroom Pinchos (vegetarian option) Wine Van Duzer Estate Pinot Noir
Abuelita chocolate flan with burnt orange ice cream
Van Duzer 2008 Vintner’s Cuvee Pinot Noir
WHAT: AT THE ARTIST’S TABLE: RAINMAKER DINNER
Wine and appetizers will be served followed by a meal designed especially for the evening. An extraordinary meal by chef Michelle Roetzer and presentations by both Roetzer and Sakiestewa to benefit Santa Fe Partners in Education program. Guests will enjoy one-on-one conversations with the artist and chef throughout the dinner. In addition, each guest will take home a beautiful print by Sakiestewa.
WHEN: Tuesday, August 16, 6 p.m.
WHERE: Santa Fe School of Cooking, 116 W. San Francisco St.
COST: $250 per person.
RESERVATIONS: Santa Fe School of Cooking, 505-983-4511