January 19, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Winter Food Events in Santa Fe

"...there's no such thing as a case of the winter blues here in Santa Fe!"

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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Beat the Winter Blues in Santa Fe

Who says winter is a slow season? Take a look at all the food-related events scheduled in the next few months, and you'll agree…there's no such thing as a case of the winter blues here in Santa Fe!

Santa Fe Winter Fiesta

This 10-day festival, held January 27 through February 5 in venues all around the city, offers an exciting array of concerts, parties, culinary events, comedy and dining, shopping, hotel and ski discounts.

The second annual Winter Fiesta, presented by SantaFe.com and the City of Santa Fe, includes a performance by the Second City Touring Company's Laugh Out Loud Tour, the Blue Crawl, a tour of Santa Fe's bars, a salsa competition at El Farol, a reggae party, a screening of "All.I.Can," an extreme ski movie, a Big Game party, a Winter Fiesta Baille and concerts by D Numbers, The Strange, The Features and other bands, WinterBrew, a craft brew and comfort food festival, features beer from 28 New Mexico breweries, along with food from local restaurants.

Be sure to purchase your 2012 Winter Fiesta Adventure Pass for just $10 to receive discounts to events, specials, offers and Ski Santa Fe lift passes.

Find all the details here.

Santa Fe's Famous Souper Bowl

It's almost kickoff time for Souper Bowl XVII, the Food Depot's annual fundraising competition for the best soup in Santa Fe.  This year, Santa Fe's finest chefs battle it out for the Souper Bowl title of  Best Savory Soup, Best Cream Soup, Best Seafood Soup, Best Vegetarian Soup and Overall Best Soup.

The event takes place on Saturday, January 28 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. The afternoon also features a silent auction and soup making demonstrations by Megan Tucker, chef at Amavi and Junction.

Armed with spoons and taste buds, members of a 1,000-plus crowd will taste each soup then cast their votes for the winning bowls. Organizers expect a big turnout, as last year's Souper Bowl drew more than 1,200 people and raised $83,000 for New Mexico's fight against hunger.

This year, competing restaurants hope to unseat last year's titleholder Jambo Café, which took home the Best Soup Award as well as the Best Vegetarian Soup for its Curried Black Bean Sweet Potato with Coconut Cream entry. Jambo also won the Best Decorated Table award. 

Other winners last year were Dinner for Two, whose Sherry Corn Crab bisque won Best Cream Soup; La Plazuela at La Fonda, which won Best Seafood Soup for its Smoky Crab Bisque; and Gold Dust Restaurant, which won Best Savory Soup for its Pasilla Pepper & Roasted Garlic with Chicken & Chorizo.

In addition to choosing the winning soups, Souper Bowl attendees can purchase a copy of Souper Bowl Recipes, a cookbook featuring more than 30 soup recipes from Santa Fe restaurants.

Buy your tickets in advance for $25, or pay $30 at the door. Kids between the ages of 6 and 12 get in for $10. To purchase tickets, click here.

May the best bowls win!

Taos Wine Festival

Taos hosts the 26th Annual Taos Wine Festival January 25-28, featuring seminars devoted to wines from around the world, as well as wine dinners, reserve tastings held in Taos restaurants with signature appetizers, après ski wine tastings at The Bavarian on the ski mountain from 1 to 3 p.m. and the Grand Tasting, held on Saturday at the foot of chairlift #1, featuring more than 155 wines paired with food from 12 Taos restaurants.

The Grand Tasting includes a silent auction of rare wines to benefit Taos Community Foundation while the Taste of Taos & Reserve Tasting, on the opening night at El Monte Sagrado includes a silent wine auction that benefits Taos High School Culinary Arts program. For more info, click here.

Annual Santa Fe ARTFeast

The 15th annual ARTFeast takes place February 24-26, a weekend of fine art, food, wine, fashion and homes benefiting art programs for the youth of Santa Fe.

The event begins on Friday with Art of Fashion: a Runway Show & Luncheon at the Inn & Spa at Loretto from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. . Designers showcasing seasonal attire include Asiatica, Cicada Collection, Elven Velvet, Boots and Boogie, Golden Eye, O'Farrell Hat Company and David Gaussoin. The luncheon, created by chef Matt Ostrander of Luminaria Restaurant, includes live and silent auctions offering jewelry, boots, apparel and more.

ARTFeast's gala event, the Edible Art Tour, takes place Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. on Canyon Road and in downtown Santa Fe. Tour goers can visit more than 30 galleries to view art and enjoy signature appetizers and desserts prepared by top Santa Fe chefs.

Feast or Famine, the tour's after party, takes place from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at the Ore House at Milagro, where DJs Joe Ray Sandoval, King George and Aztech Sol will spin music for the dance floor and guests can enjoy hors d'oeuvres.

Saturday starts with the Art of Home Tour, from noon to 4 p.m., featuring eight Santa Fe residences filled with artwork from local galleries. Then, the Gourmet Dinner and Auction at Encantado Resort begins at 6 p.m., featuring five Santa Fe chefs collaborating on a multi-course banquet—Kim Muller of Real Food Nation & Supper Club; Steven Lemon of O Eating House; Mark Connell of Max's and Tomme; and Loren Parish of Body Santa Fe; with Charles Dale of Terra serving as coordinator. The dinner honors Santa Fe artist Poteet Victory. Live and silent auctions feature work by Victory as well as his students.

On Sunday, enjoy an Artists' Champagne Brunch and Auction at 11:30 a.m. at the Scottish Rite Temple, with brunch prepared by Peas 'n' Pod, and live and silent auctions featuring artwork, restaurant, spa and resort packages and more. The Art of Home Tour takes place from noon to 4 p.m.

For more info, click here.

Santa Fe Restaurant Week Returns

Mark your calendars, foodies, because the Santa Fe Restaurant Week returns for its third annual year March 4-11, and this time, lunch is on the list!

This popular event offers diners the chance to visit more than 50 of Santa Fe's top restaurants at discounted prices. Prix-fixe dinners are priced for four tiers, ranging from less than $20 a person to $40 and more.

This year, Restaurant Week includes "Let's Do Lunch," where restaurants serve two- or three-course prix-fixe lunches as well as dinners. Restaurant Week Sweepstakes include prizes, dinners and getaways at Santa Fe hotels. And many hotels offer discounted packages and specials during this time, too.

The Restaurant Week concept got its start in New York City in 1992 as a lunch event, and expanded to include dinner. It's now held in many cities around the country. In New Mexico, Restaurant Week rolls its way across the state, starting in Las Cruces, and then moving on to Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

It's best to make a reservation during Restaurant Week as most places fill up for these special meals.

Click here for more info.

New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate and More

If you're a chocolate lover like me, it's not too early to get excited about a new show coming to the Museum of International Folk Art later this year. New World Cuisine: The Histories of Chocolate, Mate and More tells the tale of the earliest cultural mestizaje (mixing) to take place in the Americas through food.

The exhibition, which opens December 9, 2012 and runs through February 9, 2014,  highlights foods that originated in the New World and that were brought over from Europe, via Spain and Asia, on the Spanish Manila Galleons. The exhibition highlights chocolate and mate, two popular drinks during the colonial period that were introduced to European society and remain popular today.

The exhibit includes more than 300 objects related to food harvesting, preparation, table settings, kitchen items and utilitarian and decorative implements, illustrating the rich culinary traditions of the Americas.

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