May 28, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Food Fun in Santa Fe

Santa Fe cuisine hits the headlines, Galisteo Bistro changes hands & more

By Lynn Cline

Gourmet Girl

Lynn Cline is a former food editor and the author of two books – Romantic Days and Nights in Santa Fe and Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1915-1950. She also loves to cook, when not dining out.

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Santa Fe's Cuisine is Big News

Santa Fe has long been celebrated as an arts mecca and a place of pristine natural beauty, but lately our fair city has been in the headlines for its unique cuisine scene. We've been in the culinary news before, for continual James Beard award nominations, the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail and the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, but the recent praise reaches new heights.

Consider the May 18th broadcast of CBS Sunday Morning, a long-running, acclaimed program hosted by Charles Osgood, who visited Santa Fe earlier this month to record “By Design: Santa Fe Style.” Each year, CBS Sunday Morning airs a show devoted to design in a place picked by Osgood, who's been the show's host for 20 years. This year he chose Santa Fe. “It has a great reputation," Osgood told KRQE News 13. "People have been telling us when they realized we were doing a design show, ‘You really gotta go to Santa Fe.'"

Osgood and crew spent a week filming in Santa Fe, and their very first stop was La Casa Sena to sample some green chile muffin and other food as well as a glass of vino. He also visited museums, the Santa Fe Opera and other treasures of our town.

“It’s a great way to be a tourist, taking it all in,” Osgood said. “I can’t imagine anything that would be more pleasurable as work than to get to do what I do. I have to pinch myself, how did this ever happen? But I’m really happy that it did.”  Read more about Santa Fe on CBS Sunday Morning here.

USA Today's recent article, “Santa Fe Brings More than Chiles (sic) to the Table,” spotlights the Santa Fe School of Cooking, the Santa Fe Farmers' Market and a host of restaurants, including 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar, La Boca, Santa Fe Bite, Tomasita's, the Cowgirl and Terra. “Santa Fe's unique location has shaped a culinary scene unlike any in the country,” the article begins. “In general, Northern New Mexican cuisine is a specific regional style revolving around chiles, red and green, but even though Santa Fe is the epicenter of the state's chile trail, there is a lot more to the food scene here, from fine French to Italian, with plenty of influences from the native Pueblo Indians and neighboring Mexico, which long occupied the territory.” Click here to read the full article.

US News & World Report also lauded Santa Fe for its craft beer scene in a recent article, “8 Underrated Beer Cities,” noting that the city is home to New Mexico's oldest microbrewery, Santa Fe Brewing Company. “Stop by the brewery for a tour or tasting and sample the award-winning Chicken Killer Barley Wine, which is best known for its intense flavors (this beer is brewed with twice as many ingredients as the company's other varieties) and high alcohol content (10 percent),” states the article, which also cites “the smaller — but no less impressive — Blue Corn Brewery,” (which) offers a selection of six house beers and a rotating selection of four specialty beers. Sample the End of the Trail Brown Ale and the Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, both silver medal winners at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival.” And Santa Fe's first ever Bike & Brew Festival, which debuted earlier this month, also gets a nod. Other places on the list include San Diego, St. Petersburg, Myrtle Beach, Omaha, Kalamazoo, Santiago, Chile and Capetown, South Africa. See the full article here.

The New Marble Brewery

Speaking of craft beer, the Marble Brewery, which used to draw a crowd on its San Francisco Street balcony overlooking the Plaza, has re-opened after closing, has just re-opened in the Luna Complex at 505 Cerrillos Rd. Here, you can sample 15 different ales, including Wildflower Wheat, Double Indian Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Reserve Ale 2014, which is aged in bourbon barrels for months to acquire vanilla, bourbon and sweet wood notes. Click here for more info.

The Circus is Coming!

The Santa Fe Mountain Center hosts its annual fundraiser on Saturday, June 7 at 6 p.m., but this year, to celebreate the center's 35th anniversary, the crew there is collaborating with Wise Fool New Mexico and La Boca's James Campbell Caruso to present a gala event,  "Le Cirque de L’ Aventure." Held beneath a big tent at the center's Tesuque headquarters, the evening includes a lavish dinner prepared by Caruso as well as a live auction and dancing.

The menu features passed tapas including Ahi tuna skewers with blood orange aioli, potato and herb croquetas and graps and olvies. A buffet offers grilled artichokes with Spanish goat cheese, orange zest and fresh mint, grilled shrimp with mojo, Tortilla Espanola, harissa-grilled chicken and poached Spanish-style salmon. The dessert platter features truffles, white and black cookies and fresh strawberries.

The Santa Fe Mountain Center is dedicated to promoting personal discovery and social change among youth, families, and groups through the use of creative learning experiences in wilderness, community, and cultural environments.  Sounds like a wonerful evening for a great cause! Click here to order tickets.

Goodbye to Galisteo Bistro's Founders

The news was alarming at first—Rob and Marge Chickering, who opened Galisteo Bistro in 2009, had decided it was time to move on from their popular dining spot, which they opened in 2009. But things sounded better when we heard that Florida businessman Brant Keller and his grandson, Tómas Allan Keller, would take over the eatery and keep the menu mostly the same , so you should be able to still enjoy Rob Chickering's signature braised lamb shanks, chicken Braciole, seafood pasta Romesco and crab cakes Flamenco. The Kellers will add some new specials that featured Cajun, Mediterranean and Greek cuisine as well as a few new seafood and vegetarian options. They'll also use local and organic foods as much as a possible and have already joined the Farm to Table program. Brant Keller will run the front of the house and his grandson, who trained at the Cordon Bleu, will helm the kitchen. The reigns will change hands in early June so you still have a chance to stop by and say goodbye to the Chickerings. Check out their menu here.

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