May 29, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Notes from the Field

Savor the Flavor, breaking restaurant news, dining with the stars and 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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"New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate y Mas" 

Savor the Flavor

Celebrate New Mexico's distinctive, world-famous cuisine with cooking demos, beer and wine tastings and delicious food to sample and buy from local vendors during Savor the Flavor this Sunday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Milner Plaza on Museum Hill.

The event, presented by the Museum of International Folk Art and Delicious New Mexico, includes a cookbook fair featuring New Mexico authors Deborah Madison, Bill and Cheryls Alters Jamison, Dave DeWitt, Candace Walsh and others. You'll also enjoy outdoor horno baking demos, Santa Fe Culinary Academy's Rocky Durham's cooking demos, a tasting of New Mexico wines and beers and more.

Savor the Flavor is free and includes admission to "New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate y Mas," currently on exhibit at the folk art museum. For more info, click here.

Restaurant News

It is with great sadness that I report to you the closing of Le Pod, the Airstream eatery that served up amazing French crepes. It was quite an experience to stand in a dusty parking lot in the middle of the high desert and savor crepes served out of paper cones that tasted exactly the way they do in the streets of Paris. Santa Fe doesn't have a whole lot of food trucks, even though they're all the rage in most cities today, so the closing of Le Pod is a double whammy. You'll find Le Pod's former chef/owner Jean-Luc Salles heading up the seafood department at Whole Foods. Maybe, if we ask him nicely, he'll make those crepes at Whole Foods and we won't have to suffer withdrawal symptoms anymore…

In other restaurant news, the Legal Tender, housed in the Lamy Railroad & History Museum, closed its doors on Memorial Day after museum officials notified the owners that their restaurant didn't fit with the museum's vision. This was a popular place, run by a nonprofit and, except for the kitchen crew, staffed by volunteers who were paid only in tips. A petition that circulated attempted to stop the closing, but to no avail. This is the second time that a Lamy restaurant had to close its doors in recent years. Legal Tender's chef Michael Gintert  had to close his popular and innovative Lamy Station Café, housed in an old railroad dining car, a few years ago due to county zoning issues. Once again, despite all his happy customers he's had to close down his restaurant. Perhaps it's time for Gintert to look in Eldorado or Santa Fe. There were a lot of signatures on that petition, indicating that he has a loyal following. Hope to see him re-open somewhere else soon!

Finally, the owners of Bobcat Bite, who announced plans to close their famous burger joint in June, will open a new restaurant on July 1 in Garrett's Desert Inn on the Old Santa Fe Trail.  They plan to call it The Bite! Great news for fans of their world-famous green chile cheeseburgers!

(Thanks to Santa Fe Travelers for info on the last two restaurant items!)

Sustainable Food and Agriculture

Rancho Encantado hosts an important public event next Wednesday, June 5, with a Farmers’ Symposium and Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Local farmers and experts will discuss sustainable food and agriculture in the Santa Fe area and chef Andrew Cooper of Terra, the resort's acclaimed restaurant, is an advocate of fresh and local food and he will create small plates using meat, cheese an produce that' all locally sourced. This is a great way to learn about growing and eating sustainable food in the high desert.

Call (505) 946-5814 for reservations.

The Stars Flock to Santa Fe

It's been a busy time for star-gazing at Coyote Café and Geronimo, as some major celebrities were in town to enjoy some of Santa Fe's finest cuisine.

Julia Roberts joined Tommy Lee Jones and his wife for dinner at Geronimo, while Johnny Depp also came in for dinner at Geronimo. (Darn it…I keep missing Johnny every time he's here shooting a movie). Over at Coyote Cafe, Ewan McGregor came in for a meal, as did Amanda Siegfried, and chef Robert Irvine dined with Lou Diamond Phillips. Hmm...wonder what brought Irvine, of the Food Network's "Dinner: Impossible" and "Restaurant: Impossible" shows, to town. At the Coyote Rooftop Cantina, Charlize Theron joined her mom and her adopted son for meal, and Neil Patrick Harris stopped by, too.

Depp is in the area filming "Transcendence," a sci-fi thriller also starring Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman and Rebecca Hall. Theron and Siegfried star in "A Million Ways to Die in the West," now shooting in the area and directed by "Family Guy's" Seth McFarland, who also stars. Also in New Mexico are Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper and Noah Emmerich, all working on "Jane Got a Gun." Perhaps they'll show up this week for dinner at a restaurant near you...

Wow… is Santa Fe Hollywood East or what? Sam Shepherd usually dines at the Coyote three times a week, as well. Thanks to co-owner Sarah Chapman who provided the information.

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