Notes from the Field

May Wine Dinners, John Sedlar to helm the new ELOISA, and Fuze.SW

May Wine Dinners

This year, May in Santa Fe brings a chance to savor some amazing wine dinners at local restaurants, who'll pair their menus with wines from Italy, California and Spain.

First up is La Casa Sena's  wine dinner on Thursday, May 15th featuring foods grilled in the courtyard paired with wines from Piedmont. Chef Patrick Gharrity's four-course menu includes Grilled Texas Quail Breast with Saffron Black Rice and Guava Barbecue; Rabbit Confit and Grilled House Bacon with a Rosewater Biscuit and Dehydrated Strawberries; Dry Aged Beef Ribeye with Grilled Local Oyster Mushrooms, Aged Balsamic-Veal Demi-Glace and Grilled Apple Tart with Lemon Lavender Ice Cream. The dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres. Reservations are required. Call 505-988-9232.

If you saw the film “Bottle Shock,” you'll remember the Chateau Montelena winery, which unexpectedly won the 1976  Judgment of Paris, a blind wine tasting event that put California wines on the international map. You can taste their wines during a Chateau Montelena Wine Dinner  at 315 Restaurant & Wine Bar on Thursday, May 22  at 7 p.m.  The four-course dinner  features Halibut Francaise with Fresh Peas & Saffron Sauce; Duck & Morel Mushroom Ravioli with Fiddlehead Ferns & Wild Ramp Sauce; Grilled Galisteo Lamb Chop with Wilted Spring Greens, Fava Bean Fritters & Tamarind Sauce; and a Black & Blueberry Croustade with Camembert. For reservations, call (505) 986-9190.

On May 28, famed chef James Campbell Caruso serves a five-course dinner of tapas paired with the wines of Spain at Mas, the restaurant at Hotel Andaluz,  The menu includes Red Grape & Almond Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp & Green Onion Salsa; Braised New Mexico Lamb Shank with Blackberry Demi Glace, Gold Potato Puree and Serrano Dust; and Smoked Beef Shoulder with Local Goat Ricotta and Arugula-Shaved Radish Salad.

Chef James Campbell Caruso has been nominated eight times for the prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Chef of the Southwest.”  He is the chef and owner of La Boca and Taberna restaurants in Santa Fe, which have been praised by the New York Times, the Food Network, Travel & Leisure and Esquire. He ialso s the author of "Espana: Exploring the Flavors of Spain and El Farol: Tapas and Spanish Cuisine. For details, click here

John Sedlar to Helm the Kitchen at Drury Hotel's ELOISA

Exciting news this week in the food world. John Rivera Sedlar will helm the kitchen of the new restaurant ELOISA, opening this fall in the new Drury Plaza Hotel in downtown Santa Fe. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner daily,  offering Southwestern Latin fusion cuisine.

Sedlar, who grew up in Santa Fe, was named “the Father of Modern Southwest Cuisine” by Gourmet magazine and has competed on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.  He also was a guest teacher at the Culinary Institute of America and has authored numerous y cookbooks including “Modern Southwest Cuisine,” “Tamales,” and “The Tamale Poster.”
He was  an apprentice to the legendary French chef Jean Bertranou of L'Ermitage in Los Angeles and mastered classic techniques while evolving his own approach to cooking.  He's traveled  to Mexico, Latin America, and Spain to study Latin food traditions, and is the creator and founder of the first Latino food museum in the U.S., Museum Tamal.  His  pan-Latin fusion restaurant Rivera has been one of the top restaurants in Los Angeles for four decades

Sedlar was named “Chef of the Year” by Esquire magazine in 2011 and RIVERA restaurant was acclaimed as one of the nation’s “Best New Restaurants 2011.”  Sedlar was recognized in the legendary Cook’s Magazine feature “Top 50 Who’s Who of Cooking in America,” and in Food & Wine magazine’s “Honor Roll of American Chefs.” He received the Silver Spoon Award from Food Arts Magazine. He also was a  spokesman for Patrón tequila for a decade.

FUZE.SW Returns

Santa Fe's first food conference was so successful last year that organizers are bringing it back in 2014 to continue the celebration of the best of New Mexico food and folklore. FUZE .SW.2014 takes place in early September, with a busy schedule of panels, talks, tastings and more, all designed to showcase the rich history of New Mexico cuisine. Last year's events included a debate about northern and southern New Mexico chile, a look at the merits of Frito pies and a demo on making on Mexican papel picado decorations. The festivities also included meals prepared by Santa Fe restaurant partners as well as a presentations by acclaimed chefs, authors, historians, scholars and more.  Watch for more details here!

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