Holiday Cuisine Scene

Gourmet Girl - December 7, 2014

From holiday cooking classes, to a wine & cheese tasting, a "cookie exchange" and a birthday party for the Santa Fe School Cooking, the holidays are in full gear...

The holidays are here, and the food festivities are in full gear in Santa Fe. From cooking classes to cookie exchanges, Santa's Village, and an exclusive wine and cheese & charcuterie pairing, foodies have lots to choose from this month.

Celebrate the opening of the new Cheesemongers, an artisan cheese boutique, at the Estrella Del Norte Vine with an exclusive Wine & Cheese pairing, which brings together the vineyard's cellared wine and  artisan cheese and charcuterie.You'll enjoy a private tasting of reserve and vintage wines with delicious and rare cheese. Sunday, December 7, 2-4 pm.

The vineyard also hosts its 5th Annual Wine Tasting & Holiday Cookie Exchange, with tastings of wine paired with six varieties of cookies. It works like this: guests bring three dozen cookies,for the wine tasting and to share, and bring home cookies from the exchange to enjoy with family or give as gifts. This one's popular, so reserve your seats now.

Over at the Santa Fe Depot on Guadalupe Street, ring in the holidays with the New Mexico Rail Runner Express during the 2nd Annual Santa's Village celebration. Snack on food from local vendors as well as a farmers and artisans market. Enjoy mini-train rides, interactive games and displays and a photo op with Santa Fe!

Get inspired for your holiday cooking with a Traditional New Mexican cooking class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. You'll learn some centuries-old culinary traditions, from preparing shredded pork tamales and poblano and corn tamales served with red chile sauce to holiday posole with green chile sauce, calabacitas and, of course, bizcochitos. The demo class includes a full meal. Dec. 13 & 24, 10 am.

The Santa Fe School of Cooking celebrates its 25th anniversary on Saturday, December 13 from 2 to 5 pm with tamale making, music, kids events and their famous New Mexican food. Mayor Javier Gonzales will be on hand to officially proclaim the day The Santa Fe School of Cooking Day!

Las Cosas Cooking School has cooked up some inspiring holiday classes, including Tuscan Christmas—The Holidays Italian Style, led  by chef Christine Hickman. Hickman runs a cooking school in Perugia, and her menu includes Mixed Crostine Tortellini in Broth, Pork Roast Fiorentina, Creamy Spiced Spinach and Chocolate and Chestnut Monte Bianco with an glass with Siennese Cavallucci cookies. Buen Natale!  Tuesday, December 6, 6-9 pm.

Fans of “A Christmas Carol” will enjoy learning how to make a Victorian holiday feast with chef Johnny Vee during his A Charles Dickens Christmas Feast cooking class. The menu includes classic dishes, starting with a Cheddar and Ale Soup, Pub-Style Scotch Eggs, Wilted Spinach, Apple & Stilton Salad, Roast Goose with Chestnut-Caramelized Pear Stuffing, Braised Red Cabbage and Sticky Date Pudding. No humbugs allowed! Friday, December 9, 6-9 pm

And don't let the kids in your life miss Johnny Vee's annual Kid's Holiday Cookie Class, where they'll make cut-out cookies, gluten-free chocolate drop cookies, peanut butter cookies, architectural gingerbread dough, chocolate brownie tamales, chocolate drops, crispy skillet cookies and bizcochitos. Best of all, the cookies go home with the kiddies! Children ages 6 to 8 must bring an adult, while ages 9 to 15 may attend alone. Saturday, December 3 to 5 pm.

See La Cosa's full schedule here.

Kids will be making cookies, too, at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy Kid's Holiday Cookies class, with children’s cookbook author Jessie Oleson Moore. She'll dazzle the little ones with some cookie-making magic as they make Stained Glass Cookies, Gingerbread Animals and Christmas Kaleidoscopes, which will go home with each child. For ages 5 to 12,  with a chaperone required for each child. Saturday, December 6, 10 am to 1 pm.

The academy also hosts a Wild Game Cuisine demo class, focused great ways to cook wild game,which is gaining popularity due to the local, sustainable food movements. You'll learn to make a variety of cassoulet, from confit duck legs and smoked pork belly to white beans and brioche! Thursday, December 11, 5:30 to 8:30 pm.

If you're in need of unique and beautiful gifts for the foodies in your life this holiday season, check out the 20th Annual Holiday Sale and Open House at Santa Fe Clay. You'll find an impressive collection of handcrafted, utilitarian pottery for the kitchen, from dinnerware and serving ware to teapots, vases, pitchers and more. Friday, December 5, 3 to 7 pm and Saturday, December 6 from 9 am to 2 pm.

And speaking of giving gifts, now is the time to help out those nonprofits making sure those in need are fed, not just during the holiday season but throughout the year. Why not give a donation to help them in their work. Any amount, large or small, will help. There are a number of local groups to consider giving to, from Kitchen Angels and the Food Depot to the Roadrunner Food Bank.

Photo by Jared Tarbell