August Food Fun

Gourmet Girl - August 4, 2013

Santa Fe Spirits, Shops at the Farmers Market, Culinary Arts at the Indian Market and the Bell Tower at La Fonda

The Spirits of Santa Fe

When Englishman Colin Keegan decided to use local, organic ingredients to create artisanal Scotch-style whiskies and Calvados-style apple brandies to that accentuate the essence of the Southwest a few years ago, he probably had no idea that his spirits would soar to phenomenal success.

But since opening Santa Fe Spirits in 2010, Keegan's Silver Coyote Whiskey has earned a gold medal from the Beverage Tasting Institute, garnering 93 points out of 100 for overall excellence. His Expedition Vodka just won a double gold award—the highest you can get—from The 50 Best, which also awarded Wheeler's Gin a gold medal.

If you haven't yet discovered Santa Fe Spirits, located on Mallard Way off of Airport Road, you can now taste what you've been missing. Spirits has just opened a tasting room in downtown Santa Fe, at 308 Read St. that seats 49 people and offers virtual tours and tastings of the four main spirits currently available-- Santa Fe Spirits Apple Brandy; Wheeler's Gin; Silver Coyote Pure Malt Whiskey, the highest rated white whiskey in the country; and Expedition Vodka, distilled six times so it's amazingly smooth. You can also sample upcoming spirits, including the mesquite smoked single malt and order cocktails that feature the spirits.

The tasting room offers snack and nut mixes from Santa Fe's C.G. Higgins but guests are welcome to bring take-out from area restaurants. There's also a meeting room available for private parties and other events. The tasting room is open from 1:30 to 8:30 Monday through Saturday. What a wonderful addition to Santa Fe! Cheers and hope to see you there! For more info, click here.

Celebrate the Shops @ The Farmers Market

The Shops at the Santa Fe Farmers Market host a Grand Opening Celebration Sunday August 4 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Farmers' Market Pavilion. Join the festivities, which include wine, chocolate and tea tastings, live music, refreshments and more.

The Shops feature a collection of local vendors offering quality products, from fine teas, world-class wines and artisan chocolates to garden accessories and handcrafted gifts from around the world. Located in an upscale setting at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, The Shops include: ArtfulTea, offering luxury loose leaf teas; Café Fresh, serving organic espresso and farm-fresh food; The Chocolate Smith, making fresh, dark chocolate; GARDENS, for items to design, plant and grow; The Farmers Market Gift Shop, for global and local treasures; and Vivác Winery, for sophisticated Old World-style wines.

Café Fresh provides refreshments and the women’s marimba band KUMUSHA performs live music.

Located at 1607 Paseo de Peralta, The Shops at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market are open from 8 am to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Saturdays and 10 a.m.
Chef Lois Ellen Frank: A Culinary Tribute to Indian Market

What better way to celebrate Indian Market and native foods than with a cooking class led by Lois Ellen Frank, an acclaimed chef, native foods historian, author, photographer and winner of a James Beard Award in the Americana category for “Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations,” the first Native American book to win a Beard award.

Frank, the founder of Red Mesa Cuisine—a Native American catering and food company based in Santa Fe-- is from the Kiowa Nation on her mother's side and Sephardic on her father's. She's spent more than 20 years documenting the foods and lifeways of Southwest Native American tribes. She has appeared on The Food Network's "Southwest Cooking with Bobby Flay" and written articles about the foods of the Southwest and Native American foods of the region for New Mexico Magazine, Edible Santa Fe, Aboriginal Voices,Vegetarian Times Magazine and more. She also served as project coordinator for "Connecting Communities: Native Foods and Wellness" at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque.

Frank will prepare contemporary Native American foods using ancient techniques and ingredients with a modern twist during a demo class on August 17 at 10 a.m. At the Santa Fe School of Cooking. The menu includes trout with herbs and bacon baked in clay, Indian wild rice saute, sauteed rainbow chard and berry crisp. The class takes place on August 17 at 10 a.m. at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Click here for more info.

A Brand New Bell Tower

One of my favorite places to watch the sunset is from the Bell Tower at La Fonda, which overlooks the city with unsurpassable views of the sky's colorful canvas. It's been a great place over the years to gather with friends and watch the fireworks as the sun goes down. But now, there's even more reason to meet at the rooftop bar, as La Fonda has expanded the space and added a menu featuring small plates created by the hotel's executive chef Lane Warner.

The menu includes baked brie drizzled with orange blossom honey and melon shots with creme fraiche. Heartier items include smoked chicken nachos with chipotle sour cream and roasted corn, black bean relish and a green chile, ham and Swiss cheese panini. For dessert, try chocolate flan cake or a root beer float.

Renovations include an additional 500 feet of balcony space, redwood decking and, finally, a bell in the belfry. In honor of that bell, La Fonda has created a signature drink, aptly named the Bell Ringer Margarita, made with Tanteo jalapeno tequila, jalapeno juice and Patron Citrange and served with a jalapeno slice. Look for the menu to launch in early August.