Santa Fe Buzz: November 2011

by Christie Chisholm, LocalFlavor Magazine, November 2011

The Santa Fe Harvest Festival has begun! From now until Nov. 23, you can get discounts at restaurants and lodging locations, watch and participate in chef competitions and a mixology challenge, take cooking classes taught by area chefs, go to a food and wine tasting expo, and attend a gala dinner with celebrity chef judges. All you need is a pass. Most events only require a Gold Pass, which costs $35. To get into the Best of the Fest Gala Dinner and Grand Gourmet Food & Wine Expo, you’ll need the Red Pass, which costs $160. Here’s some news to make you feel all warm and tingly: For every pass sold, $10 will be given to Cooking With Kids, an organization that works with elementary school kids to teach them about making and eating fresh and healthy foods. If you buy your pass on, that amount increases to $15. The festival is filled with way too much stuff to list here, so visit for all the juicy details. 

Rainbow Vision Santa Fe just got a treat. Every Friday from 6:30 to 9 p.m., one of Santa Fe’s favorite entertainers will take to the piano in Rainbow’s Silver Starlight Lounge. Charles Tichenor lives in the world of pop, Broadway and French chanson. Chef Leonard Trejo will also offer a weekly buffet. Plus, there’s no cover charge. 500 Rodeo, 428.7777,

They call it “Trash Fashion at Its Finest,” and they’re absolutely right. The Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival’s Trash Fashion & Costume Contest has grown over the 13 years it’s been in existence into one truly magnificent spectacle. The best part of the fashion show its that anyone can be a part of it (with one exception: Because the event has become so popular, only Santa Feans can participate in the teen and youth categories). Ceiling fans-cum-headdresses, vegetable steamers pieced together to create one hell of a suit of armor ... the possibilities can stretch as far as that ball of string you’ve been hoarding over the years. The show kicks off the weekend-long festival, which includes works from more than 50 artists using a minimum of 75 percent recycled materials to create their designs. There are juried exhibitions for youth and adults, and artists from as far away as Alaska will be there to both see a show and put one on. The festival runs Nov. 11 through 13, from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the Art Market is $5 on Friday and $10 to the market and fashion show. The fashion show is on Friday at 7 p.m. sharp. On Saturday and Sunday, admission is free. Kids under 12 can get in free all weekend. El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe (555 Camino de la Familia), 992.0591,

From Rainbirds to Rainbows. Doesn’t the title in and of itself make you want to want to know more? This installment in the Friends of the Wheelwright Museum Lecture Series, on Women Artists and Abstraction in the Southwest, digs into the history of indigenous women potters, painters and weavers and the ways in which they worked with the abstract. Art historian, writer, curator, filmmaker and lecturer (so, Renaissance woman) Barbara Tyner will lead the way. It’s this Monday, Nov. 14, in the Wheelwright Museum Library. Refreshments will be provided at 2 p.m. and the lecture will begin at 2:30 p.m. Wheelwright friends get in for free; everyone else needs a mere $5. 704 Camino Lejo, 982.4636,

Dance. Three days of workshops, two performances, tons of vendors and a henna booth. The first annual Many Hands, Many Feet: A Dance Expo takes place throughout the Nov. 18 weekend. Both local and international dancers and percussionists will lead workshops on Egyptian, Turkish, Flamenco, ATS, ITS, belly baile and even hula hooping methods. The night of Friday, Nov. 18, will feature a dance party “Hafla” at 7:30 p.m. with live music. If you just want to watch, the disciplines will all be rolled together in the Saturday, Nov. 19, gala performance at 7:30 p.m. Tickets to performances are $15 general and $5 for kids 12 and under. Workshops range in price from $20 to $60. It all happens at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe (555 Camino de la Familia), 992.0591,

Everyone knows Santa Fe is a destination city for art, culture and food. But you may not have known that it also holds a destination hotel. The Inn and Spa at Loretto just made the Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for Top Hotel. With nearly 30,000 readers casting more than 8 million votes for their favorite places around the world, they ranked the Inn no. 27 out of 200. Santa Fe, by the way, was ranked no. 3 in the list of Top 10 U.S. Cities. Whether you want to take a weekend to stay in one of the Inn’s lavish guest rooms and enjoy its galleries and garden or simply spend a day at the spa, you’ve now got a fine excuse. 211 Old Santa Fe Trail, 866.582.1646,

While we’re talking about Condé Nast love, in Traveler’s October issue, the magazine gave special mention to local restaurants in Santa Fe’s Hot New Tables. First up was the Supper Club at Real Food Nation. Traveler applauded Chef Kim Mu_ller for her take on shrimp and grits, which—with bluecorn, spicy chorizo and padrón peppers from her farm—infused the dish with classic New Mexican flavor. 628 Old Las Vegas Hwy., 466.2440,

Also given some much-deserved attention was Azur. Traveler likes the way Chef Xavier Grenet takes his pick of different Mediterranean offerings and pairs them together. The magazine cited Grenet’s Moroccan-spiced trout stuffed with calamari and chard and served on Persian lime-laced wild rice. 428 Agua Fria, 992.2897,

Live. It. Up. That’s all I can think when reading the details of El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa’s Serene Ski Escape package. For $919, the luxe Taos resort will give you two-day lift tickets for two, two nights of accommodations, Hot Totties up on arrival, $100 in credit at the onsite De La Tierra Restaurant and a 60-minute couple’s massage. Celebrate the cold in style. 317 Kit Carson, Taos, 888.213.4419,

Since we’re already talking about luxury lodging, you should know about an impressive special Rancho de San Juan is offering on Thanksgiving Day. Instead of its usual $450 to $550 a night rate, on Nov. 24 the private country estate is offering rooms for $300. If you’d rather spend two nights at the Spanish Hacienda-style getaway, you can get them for $250 a night (this combo works for Wednesday/Thursday or Thursday/Friday). Beyond the seriously slashed rates, Rancho de San Juan is hosting a Thanksgiving Day dinner. At $75 a person, it includes a four-course meal. While the details of the meal are to-be-announced, the award-winning restaurant is sure to sate your palate. (Note that tax, beverages and service charges aren’t included and that a 50 percent deposit is required unless you’re staying at the Rancho.) For directions and more details, call 753.4641 or visit

Another Thanksgiving option lies in a true Santa Fe tradition: Picking up one of La Casa Sena’s To Go meals on the big day. If you want to feast on gourmet fixings in the comfort of your own home but don’t want to spend days in the kitchen, this is your answer. For $149.95, you get a dinner that will feed eight to ten people (that’s a bargain). You have to place your order at least three days in advance, to be picked up between noon and 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 24. This year, you’ve got two menu options. 

Behind door no. 1 there’s a 20-pound Chimayo red chile-glazed whole turkey, sage-corn stuffing, green chile-asadero whipped potatoes with green chile gravy, roasted calabacitas, balsalmic cranberry sauce, house salad with a choice of house-made red chile ranch or roasted garlic vinaigrette, and either a house-made pumpkin or rhubarb pie.

Open door no. 2 and you’ve got achiote-roasted pork loin, herb-goat cheese polenta and roasted apple pork gravy, along with the aforementioned calabacitas, cranberry sauce, salad and pie options. There. Don’t you wish it was Thanksgiving already? Call 988.9232 to reserve your dinner. Go get it at 125 E. Palace.