October Cuisine Scene

A feast of harvest celebrations, edible art, green chile workshops and more

You know it's truly fall when the aspens turn the ski basin golden, a distinct chill fills the air and the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta has come and gone, after a week packed with wine dinners, tastings, demos and more. But just because the year's biggest food event is over doesn't mean we'll starve from a lack of fun food-related things to do. October offers a feast of harvest celebrations, edible art, green chile workshops and more.

A World of Taste

Foodies, don't miss this Friday's Gala Preview of ShowHouse Santa Fe, this year featuring a fusion of edible art by acclaimed chefs that inspired interiors created by designers and decorators in a luxurious Santa Fe residence. The theme, “A World of Taste,” brings together 13 acclaimed Santa Fe chefs with 13 interior designers and during the Gala, you'll be able to taste the dishes and see how they influenced the interior designers.

The menu includes Luis Marquez of Bouche Bistro's Citrus-Cured Salmon Gravlax with Lemon Creme Fraiche Sauce and Gribiche, which inspired the work of Neubleu Interior Design. Maize's Three Sisters Sweet Corn Soup with Black Bean Puree, Kubocha Squash and Pepita Cracker from Chef Christian Rodriguez  worked its magic on the designs by French & French Interiors. And La Casa Sena's Chef José Rodriguez fused Southwest and Asian flavors in a Crispy Pork Belly with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Green Chile Grit to influence Stivers & Smith Interiors.

The Gala begins at 6 pm on Friday, Oct. 5, and the ShowHouse Santa Fe Home Tours take place 11am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6-7 and Oct. 13-14. The event benefits Dollars4Schools, which supports Santa Fe public schools.

Harvest Festival

Celebrate the bounty of the season at the annual Harvest Festival at El Rancho de las Golondrinas this Saturday and Sunday, October 6-7, from 10 am to 4 pm. This beloved event is so popular, it was voted the second best fall harvest festival in the country by the readers of USA Today, after Ohio's Circleville Pumpkin Show (which dates to 1903 and takes over the entire town of Circleville).

Our Harvest Festival dates to 1972 and has scarecrow-guarded patch where you can pick your own pumpkin. You can also stomp wine grapes in deerskin vats, make tortillas by hand, taste bread baked in a traditional horno, press apples into cider and taste syrup made in a burro-driven sorghum mill. And if that doesn't whet your appetite for fall fun, you can also make a harvest wreath and cornhusk dolls, string ristras, take a hayride or a wildcrafting walk and enjoy hot chocolate and biscochitos along with traditional music and dance and an artisan market.

You'll want to return to El Rancho de las Golondrinas at the end of the month, when Halloween is nigh and the spirits roam the earth for the second annual Spirits of New Mexico's Past, on Saturday, October 27 from 5 to 8 pm. Over hot mulled cider around campfires and lantern light, you'll meet the renowned ghostly legends of New Mexico history, from Billy the Kid to La Llorona and others. The evening includes face painting, storytelling and music by Lone Piñon.

Harvest Dinners

It's not too late in the season to dine beneath the stars, and if you sign up for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden's 5th Annual Harvest Dinners on Saturday, October 6 and Sunday October 7, you could be doing just that. These dinners randomly match guests with hosts across the city who open their homes and gardens to serve meals made with locally grown ingredients, including some from their own gardens. The evening includes cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, a tour and dinner with drinks and proceeds benefit the Santa Fe Botanical Garden's education programs.

Chile 101

Nothing says fall in New Mexico like green chile. You can learn all there is to know about it in the Santa Fe School of Cooking's Green Chile Workshop on Tuesday, October 23, from 2 to 4 pm. Whether you're a novice at working with our official state vegetable or adept at roasting and peeling green chile at home, you'll revel in the green chile recipes and unique culinary history that this class has to offer. Get the lowdown on the different varieties of fresh green chile in New Mexico and learn to make green chile sauce, roasted tomatillo and cilantro sauce and green chile, mint and tamarind sauce. You'll also see how to make your own corn tortillas to pair with all these sauces.

If you're a fan of chile rellenos, the Santa Fe School of Cooking has a class for that, too, on Monday, October 8 from 10 am to 1 pm. While there are many ways of making these, you'll focus on four—chiles en nogada, ancho chile rellenos, cream cheese-stuffed jalapeños en escabeche and New Mexican tempura rellenos. Did you know that “rellenos” means “stuffed?” And that is exactly how you will feel after this delicious hands-on class.