Santa Fe School of Cooking - Santa Fe Site Articles

By Eileen Richardson

Located in beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the heart of historic downtown Santa Fe. The Santa Fe School of Cooking is an internationally acclaimed, recreational culinary school and market specializing in foods of the southwest.

This is the paragraph on the home page, but I would add it is a wonderful must-see activity in Santa Fe.

It doesn’t matter what type of visitor you are. You can be a couple, an individual, a family or a group, the SF School of cooking has something for all of you.

You all EAT don’t you?

The school is actually a venue with a beautiful kitchen, demonstration area,and a dining section.

You can watch Demonstration Classes on Appetizers, Contemporary Southwest Cuisine, Mexican Cuisine, Foods Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, Salsas, Moles, Santa Fe Favorites, Santa Fe BBQ, Traditional New Mexican Cuisine, Tapas, and much much more. And then you get to eat it!

There are “Hands On”Classes where the highly accredited chefs, teach you in an entertaining, and educational way about the foods.

Some History lessons on the foods and traditions of the food and ingredients are also a part of all of these classes.

Family classes are available to teach the children with the adults about food and preparation.

Private events can be held at the school so a party or business group can enjoy the joy of cooking and the spectacular results.

Restaurant Walking Tours are also available weekly. On these tours some of Santa Fe’s finest restaurants and world acclaimed chefs will share their skills and cook for you.

In this situation you had better bring an empty stomach!

Cuisine Tours are a big part of the SF Cooking School’s draw. So check out their website to see what is going on any time of the year.

Upcoming in August 2017 is the New Mexico Culture and Cuisine Tour where in four days you will explore the Native traditions and weave its way through the cultural influences of the region. You will explore the contributions of Georgia O’Keeffe and meet some Santa Fe’s top chefs in the contemporary food scene.

Highlights of this upcoming trip include:

  • Picking produce from one of our famous, fun local farmers north of Santa Fe
  • Visiting a New Mexican winery
  • Outdoor cooking class at a beautiful estate in Chimayo
  • Tour of Puye cliffs
  • Native dancers
  • Bread baking in an horno
  • Shopping/restaurant tour through downtown Santa Fe, where you will meet top chefs, local food artisans and farmers
  • Dinner out at one of our favorite restaurants where the chef will host us!
  • Daily cooking classes, including one taught by James Beard award winning cookbook author, Lois Ellen Frank and cookbook author, Margaret Wood who wrote A Painter’s Kitchen

The Chefs at SF Cooking School

Noe Cano
Noe 150W Noe Cano, Chef de Cuisine, is an invaluable asset to the School. He does all the food purchasing as well as prep and assisting with the classes. He has been at the School for 17 years. Noe has worked at many of Santa Fe’s top restaurants including La Casa Sena, Coyote Cocina and was chef de cuisine at Hotel St. Francis. He has worked alongside many of the chefs of Santa Fe as well as some celebrity chefs. He was instrumental in the production of a segment of The Food Networks show called Dinner Impossible, which celebrated the traditional foods of New Mexico.

Lois Ellen Frank
Lois Ellen Frank150WA Santa Fe, New Mexico based Native American Chef, Native American foods historian, culinary anthropologist, James Beard Award winning author and photographer, Lois Ellen Frank’s first career experiences were as a professional cook and organic gardener. Ms. Frank has spent over 20 years documenting the foods and life ways of Native American communities throughout the Southwest writing and photographing many articles and papers on the topic. This lengthy immersion in Native American communities culminated in her book, Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, which won the James Beard Award upon its release. In 2010 she released, The Taco Table, which won the Glyph Award upon its release.

She completed her PhD dissertation in May 2011in Culinary Anthropology entitled: The Discourse and Practice of Native American Cuisine, Native and Non-Native Chefs in Contemporary Southwest Kitchens, which she is planning to publish as an upcoming book, tentatively entitled, “The Turquoise Plate”. Frank partnered with PCRM to teach a series of cooking classes entitled Food for Life: Healthy Native American Cooking in both Santa Fe at the Institute of American Indian Arts, IAIA and Albuquerque at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, IPCC. She is a featured cooking instructor at the Santa Fe School of Cooking, an adjunct professor at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and the chef/owner of Red Mesa Cuisine with Diné chef Walter Whitewater. Frank is an avid gardener of local cultivated and wild plants.

Michelle Chavez
Michelle  Chavez brings 26 years of experience to the stoves of the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Her experience began in the San Francisco Bay Area at the age of 14 rolling pasta for a family friend. She eventually rose to the position of Sous Chef in an upscale Northern Italian Ristorante at the age of 21. In 1996, she returned to her hometown of El Paso, TX and became Executive Chef of Café Central for 7 years. In 2003, she was the Chef De Cuisine for the Professional Golf Association Champions Dinner in Rochester, NY and has cooked for numerous notables including presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Vicente Fox of Mexico. She moved to Santa Fe in 2003 and is currently the lead instructor for Santa Fe Community College’s Culinary Arts program and a freelance caterer for several local catering companies. In her spare time, she is a student of Political Science at Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM, windsurfs, snow skis, mountain bikes, gardens and mentors young chefs.

Allen Smith
allensmithAllen Smith, Certified Culinary Professional, brings an extensive culinary background to The Santa Fe School of Cooking. Allen has most recently returned from Dubai, UAE where he completed project management of a new style grocery market that included an interactive café and cooking studio. He also completed the development of an exclusive Culinary Center, where he established the concept and professional curriculum. Prior to that, he was a Career Program Instructor at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York. He has extensive experience in food styling, recipe development and catering.

Patrick Mares
Patrick Mares is Santa Fe’s shining example of a local success story. Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico and a graduate of a local culinary program he brings to the table depths of knowledge about local flavors, culinary history and New Mexico culture. Patrick has worked in many of the local fine dining establishments in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, including but not limited to, Sandiago’s at the Tram, The Old House, Bishops Lodge, The Inn of the Anasazi and The Red Sage. Patrick’s culinary passion is the fusion of formal culinary techniques with local and seasonal ingredients and flavors. In addition to teaching at The Santa Fe School of Cooking, Patrick is also a full time Chef Instructor at his Alma Mater the Santa Fe Community College. He loves working with the students and getting the opportunity to help shape and impart his knowledge and experience into the culinary potential of these bright individuals.

When you finish whatever type of class or tour at the school, make sure you go to their market where you can find regional ingredients,local crafts and kitchenware, and beautiful gift baskets unique to Santa Fe -The City Different

Bon Appetite!