Happy May Day, and may your culinary adventures this month be delectable!
'Tis the very merry month of May and everything's in bloom, especially Santa Fe's cuisine scene. From elegant Mother's Day brunches to outdoor classes at our beloved cooking school, now celebrating its 30th year, to festivals honoring cocktails, cuisine and the humble crawdaddy, this is a gourmand's favorite time of year. Happy May Day, and may your culinary adventures this month be delectable!
Mother's Day Feasts
The three-course prix fixe Mother's Day brunch at the Anasazi Restaurant, served from 11 am to 2:30 pm, will surely impress your mom. You'll be wowed, too. Executive Chef Peter O'Brien's menu sounds like a masterpiece. Appetizer options include hazelnut duck cakes with baby arugula and sun-dried tomato buerre blanc; and citrus ricotta ravioli accompanied by oyster mushroom, tri color chard and pine nut brittle. Equally inventive entrée choices include succulent lobster with a spinach and red pepper potato cake, poached hen egg, trout roe and bernaise; and pan-seared halibut enhanced with a yucca root purée, red chard, caramelized onion and red wine syrup. Enticing desserts such as lemon polenta cake with macerated strawberry and a chocolate cupcake dressed up with Swiss meringue buttercream and crackerjack are sweets a mom could love.
Luminaria Restaurant & Patio's Mother's Day brunch, served from 10 am to 2 pm, starts off with watermelon gazpacho with jalapeño and cilantro. Or, smoked salmon toast with upscaled traditional fixings—crispy capers, shaved red onion, cured egg yolk and dill crème fraîche. Or, a berry crepe made with St. Germain-infused mixed berries and whipped cream. And those aren't even all of the appetizer choices. But save room for entrées such as crab cake benedict with red chile hollandaise; grilled Scottish salmon with calabacitas, pea shoots, baby beets and saffron verjus buerre blanc or spring Parisian gnocchi with baby squash, English peas, heirloom tomatoes and brown butter. A dessert such as Meyer lemon and thyme pot de crème or milk and cookies, as in biscochito with Nata ice cream, anise caramel and piñon glass, is the kind of gourmet comfort food that's sure to delight a mother.
Pizza on the Patio
If you're seeking a more enduring, hands-on gift for the mom in your life, check out what's on the schedule this month at the Santa Fe School of Cooking , now celebrating its 30th year. But first, check out the monthly deals the school is offering in honor of its anniversary year. May, for example, offers 30% off on the Santa Fe School of Cooking brand products—salsas, spices, red chile and more.
The popular outdoor cooking class devoted to pizza is back for the season, starting Wednesday, May 8 at 10 am. This class would make a marvelous Mother's Day gift if your madre has a passion for pizza. If she doesn't, this hands-on experience may well change her mind. Book the class for two and together, you'll make delicious gourmet pizza in the outdoor wood-fired oven. The menu includes chorizo and green chile pizza and blue corn pizza with crushed tomatoes, caramelized onion and local goat cheese. You'll also make a grilled Caesar salad and peach cobbler. The intimate class is limited to just a dozen people, so don't delay in reserving your spots.
If you take the mother in your life to Terra, at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado in Tesuque, she'll find almost any dish she desires. This Mother's Day brunch, served from 10 am to 3 pm, offers more than you can imagine, with a Breakfast Corner serving waffles and fruit parfaits, smoked salmon and bagels and more. Build your own omelet with bacon, chorizo, ham, mushrooms, spinach and more. Put together a salad of field greens and a dozens of veggies. Graze on a grilled antipasto platter or poached shrimp with avocado cocktail sauce. Don't forget about the main course, though, because you'll want to try Scottish salmon wellington and chorizo and asadero-stuffed pork rack. And there's a dessert buffet as well.
The Mother's Day Brunch isn't the only event happening at Terra this month. Stop by the Terra Bar for Happy Hour Sundays through Thursday, 4-6 pm, and sip cocktails, wine and beer and savor appetizers, all at discounted prices. Check out Terra's famous Prime Rib Fridays, 5:30 to 9:30, which feature live musics. And steak-lovers will relish Terra's Steak for Two, a hearty dish of Executive Chef Kai Autenrieth’s weekly selection served with two sides of your choice.
It's that time of year to be thinking about crawdads, Cajun cuisine and kick-ass music because the 13th Annual Crawdaddy Blues Fest returns to Madrid, May 18-19, from noon until it ends. Held in the Madrid Railyard and hosted by The Mine Shaft Tavern, this is Madrid's party of the year. Crowds come from every which direction to savor crawfish, sip Hurricanes and enjoy BBQ and Cajun specialties as a line-up of some of the region's best musicians take the stage. This year's musical schedule includes Felix y los Gatos, Hillary Smith & Chillhouse, Partizani Brass Band and many other greats. Check the website for the full schedule.
Cocktails & Culture
The New Mexico Cocktails & Culture Culinary Festival takes place May 31-June 2, with an extra week of fun June 2-9, the Culinary Week, to celebrate the festival's fifth year. Created by Natalie Bovis, the Liquid Muse, this event showcasing some of the city's greatest restaurants and bartenders, has become a major Santa Fe festival celebrating mixology and cuisine. It's not too soon to get your tickets now, as some events are close to selling out. Check the website for the full schedule and watch here, in Gourmet Girl, for more news about this upcoming grand event.
Images courtesy of Santa Fe School of Cooking, Terra at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado and Mineshaft Tavern