Guido’s Opera Preview Dinners

Santafe.com - August 9, 2011

"One of the best parts about going to the Santa Fe Opera is the preview dinner held two hours before curtain in the Dapples Pavilion on the serene opera grounds"

One of the best parts about going to the Santa Fe Opera is the preview dinner held two hours before curtain in the Dapples Pavilion on the serene opera grounds. This year, Chef Guido Lambelet, the executive chef of Bon Appetit Catering, is preparing all the meals that coordinate with the nationality of each of the operas.

Last night, Aug. 8, we enjoyed a French dinner to celebrate Faust, the opera by French composer Charles Gounod. But it was a light French meal so people wouldn’t tend to nod off during the more than three-hour performance, Guido told us. 

A long-time supporter of local foods and a participant of the popular Farm to Restaurant project of the Santa Fe Alliance, Guido’s menu consisted of the following:

*Tossed Arugula and Belgian Endive Salad with Tomatoes and Aged Red Wine Vinaigrette

*Local Baby Greens with Sweet Red Onions, Roasted Peppers, Grilled Roquefort Crostini and Dijon Wine Dressing

*Sauteed Fennel with Pecans, Raisins and Saffron

*Wild Rice Pilaf with French Green Lentils and Fresh Marjoram

*Sauteed Chicken Paillards with Pan Jus Demi and Artichoke Hearts

*Grilled Wild Alaskan Salmon with Pernod Beurre Blanc

*Crusty French Baguette and Butter

*Chocolate Kirsch Truffle Tart with Cherry Compote

*Brie with Fresh Seasonal Fruits

During dinner, a guest speaker — I’m sorry, I don’t remember her name — gave us a synopsis of the opera. She was wonderful, sharing her own insider’s viewpoint. These dinners cost $53 per person and include a bottle of wine.

Guido also prepares picnic suppers for tailgating prior to the opera, which we will do for Wednesday’s La Boheme. Entrée choices are listed on the opera’s website www.santafeopera.org. These dinners cost $29 per person and must be ordered 48 hours in advance.

The Santa Fe Opera is unique in so many ways. There’s really nothing quite like it!