August Cuisine Scene | The Gourmet GIrl - August 8, 2017

Cooking classes, wine dinners, Smackdown voting & more

High summer in Santa Fe, and the fields are lush with sweet corn, green chile, squash, peaches, apricots, cherries and the rest of the season's bounty. If you've got a garden like I do, the recent rains have resulted in tomatoes and basil galore, along with peppers, green beans, trails of mint and and other herbs and vegetables. This is the time of year to savor fresh, seasonal fare, from the foods you make in your kitchen to the delectable dishes you'll find in Santa Fe's acclaimed restaurants as well as at wine dinners and in cooking classes. August is one of the best months to savor Santa Fe, and below are a few suggestions for mouth-watering fare.

New Mexico's Best Fried Chicken

Loyal Hound's fried chicken & waffles took first place in The 10 Best Places for Fried Chicken in New Mexico list compiled by Here's how their finger-lickin'-good review describes the dish: “The trend of fried chicken and waffles takes on a new twist with a new interpretation by the chef here—a savory chive waffle is topped with spicy fried chicken and drizzled with maple syrup. Also on the menu, honey-butter topped biscuits, made from scratch daily, are accented by deep-fried chicken pieces with a hint of Sriracha in the breading. Outdoor seating—so bring YOUR loyal hound.

Meanwhile, Renee Fox and Dave Readyhough of Loyal Hound are now offering weekend brunch at their new eatery Arable, in Eldorado. Start with the out-of-this-world sticky bun with pecans, whipped cream and fresh berries. Then try buttermilk biscuits and gravy made with with coffee-laced cream and topped with crispy onions, organic egg and smoked pork belly. Or, savor baked wild-caught Coho salmon served with a fresh corn fritter, spiced maple syrup and citrus-herbed cream.

Wine Dinner @ Arroyo Vino

If you hurry, you can still grab reservations for tonight's Wine Dinner at Arroyo Vino with Jon Foster of Chehalem Winery in Newberg, Oregon. The three-course menu includes Organic Peach Salad with spicy greens, burrata, spiced walnuts, foccacia croutons and aged balsamic; Charcoal-Roasted Charred Eggplant with sesame, garden mint and Calabrin chile; and Colorado Lamb T-Bone with summer squash, heirloom cherry tomatoes and garden mint pesto; and Mignardises, which are like petit-fours. Each course is lovingly paired with a wine from Chehalem Winery—Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and more.

May the Best Green Chile Cheeseburger Win

It's up to you to decide who will compete in the annual edible Santa Fe Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown taking place in the Railyard on Sept. 8. Out of 15 worthy contenders, only seven will make it to the final showdown and an online vote currently underway will decide those lucky seven. Contestants include Blue Heron's Rocky Durham; Rio Chama's Tony Blankenship; Red Sage at Buffalo Thunder's Eric Stumpf; Jean-Pierre Vincent of Agave Lounge at Eldorado Hotel & Spa; and Blue Corn Brewery's Guillermo Bojorquez. You still have time to run out and sample those burgers in the running, as voting doesn't end until August 17. May the best burgers win! Click here to vote.

Cooking at the Santa Fe School of Cooking

Indian Market is coming up, and what better way to savor the flavors of Native American cuisine than with a class led by acclaimed chef and James Beard Award-winning author Lois Ellen Frank at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, on Friday, August 18 at 10 am. You'll learn about the America's first great cooks and their long history of farming and plants and s usage qualify Native Americans to be considered as America's first great cooks. Lois Ellen Frank, a James Beard award winning author and PhD in culinary culture, presents a fascinating look into Native American food and culture.   
Trout with herbs and bacon baked in clay, Indian wild rice saute, sauteed rainbow chard, berry crisp. Demonstration Class, 3-hours.

You can celebrate the flavors of the season at the Santa Fe School of Cooking's Farmers Market class on August 26 (and on September 9). Meet beneath t the water tank in the Railyard and then tour the Santa Fe Farmers' Market, meeting farmers, selecting fresh herbs and produce to take back to the school where you'll learn cooking techniques and the history of the foods of the region. The class ends with a farmer's market feast showcasing seasonal ingredients.