Autumn in New Mexico brings a bounty of fresh, seasonal foods grown by local farmers that are representative of the region, from the Land of Enchantment’s famous green and red chile to the Native American’s “Three Sisters”—beans, corn and squash that, when grown together, nourish and support each other.
You can savor the flavors of fall at acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants across Santa Fe County, where the focus is on fresh, local ingredients that are delicious and full of wholesome goodness, too. Some chefs cook with the foods grown at their on-site restaurant farms. Others shop the Santa Fe Farmers Market—one of America’s top farmers markets with more than 150 farmers and producers in northern New Mexico —as well as the Eldorado Farmers Market, Cerrillos Farmers Market and the Pueblo of Pojoaque Farmers Market and crafts markets. Chefs then blend the freshest of ingredients with imagination and innovation to create mouth-watering fare that keeps diners coming back for more.
At Arroyo Vino Restaurant and Wine Shop located just minutes north of Santa Fe, Chef Colin Shane cooks with seasonal ingredients plucked right from the restaurant’s on-site two-acre farm. A 2017 James Beard Foundation Semi-Finalist for the Rising Star Chef of the Year award, Chef Shane draws from New Nordic, French Nouvelle, Progressive American and other cuisines to create acclaimed dishes that showcase the crops from the restaurant’s organic farm. You can practically taste the season in his Garden Sunflower dish with Matsutake mushrooms, sunflower heart barigoule, Chinese barley, petal emulsion and young kernels; and his Kyzer Farms Bone-In Pork Chop dish with charred stone fruit, foraged mushrooms, fennel barigoule and grain mustard jus. Try these creations and more as their menu changes often to accommodate the seasonal ingredients.
At Terra at Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, Executive Chef Kai Autenrieth tends his own restaurant garden, where he grows chile, tomatoes, watermelon, herbs and more. Chef Kai, as his staff calls him, also shops the Santa Fe Farmers Market. These fresh, seasonal ingredients take front and center in his dishes, prepared with Asian, Indian and Caribbean flavors as well as influences of New Mexico’s culinary traditions. To celebrate the fall harvest, try his charred apricot ensalada—with roasted pepitas, candied pecans and tarragon vinaigrette—and Jerk-Roasted Chicken with cauliflower “risotto,” Manchego and heirloom tomato concasse.
Step back in time to the village of Cerrillos at the Blackbird Saloon, which emphasizes local, fresh and sustainable fare. Owners/Chefs Patrick and Kelly Torres grow shishito peppers, green chile, lettuce, herbs and more in their backyard restaurant garden and shop for other ingredients at the Cerrillos Farmers Market. Their upscale saloon-style grub, served in an historic 1880s saloon, includes seasonal specials such as Pork Asada Skewers with grilled peaches and shishito peppers and Zucchini Rellenos, local organic zucchini boats stuffed with a blend of cheeses, wrapped with green chile, topped with melted cheese and served with serrano hot sauce, mixed greens and crispy corn tortillas. Also try their popular Pork Asada Sandwich or Grilled Chicken on ciabatta bread and make sure to add a side of Crow’s Nest Fries.
At the Sunrise Springs Spa Resort’s Blue Heron Restaurant, Executive Chef Rocky Durham—winner of this year’s Judge’s Award in the Santa Fe Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, relies on ingredients grown at the on-site greenhouse as well as on the farm at the property’s sister resort, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort and Spa. Savor the flavors of fall in his seasonal dishes, including Goat Brie en Croûte with Tesuque apricot gastrique, English pea hummus and a baguette as well as the Filet of Ribeye with green chile whipped potatoes French beans and mushroom demi-glace.
Arable, the sister restaurant to Santa Fe’s Loyal Hound Pub, is the newest eatery to join the vibrant Eldorado dining scene. Chef/Co-Owner Renée Fox, who recently competed on The Food Network’s “Chopped” cooking television show, makes nearly everything from scratch using as many local, organic ingredients as possible. The Arable Wedge, for instance, features Romaine, shaved apple, chunky blue cheese dressing, balsamic glaze and smoked pork belly. The Grass-Fed, Grass-Finished Ribeye Steak is served with garlic green beans and fried onions. You’ll find daily specials, too, such as the Grilled Organic Corn and Heirloom Tomato Salad, House-Smoked Four Daughters Beef Brisket on a homemade bun with peach barbecue sauce and veggie slaw and Organic Peach Shortcake.
Farm-to-Table dining is a culinary sensation that elevates your taste buds. Celebrate the fall season through food and explore Santa Fe, the culinary capital of the Land of Enchantment.