Confusion about New Mexico and how it relates to Old Mexico is a much-anticipated monthly highlight of “One of Our Fifty is Missing,” a long-standing, tongue-in-cheek feature in New Mexico Magazine. Santa Feans always have a good chuckle about this, such as when “The Bachelor” recently aired its Santa Fe episode and one lovely lady committed this classic gaffe. So too did the esteemed New York Times Magazine with a cover map of the U.S. identifying the Land of Enchantment as “Mexico”! While our neighbor to the south is indeed enchanting, New Mexico is a perennial award winner on its own for authentic experiences in history, culture, the outdoors, and unforgettably satisfying cuisine
While many people find The City Different as new and adventurous as a trip to another country, the only borders you need to cross are state lines!
Feed On New Mexico’s Heritage
There’s no doubt that Santa Fe’s regional cuisine has Old World roots. After all, our historic hamlet, founded by Don Pedro de Peralta in 1607, is the country’s oldest capital city. Four centuries have given us plenty of time to refine the recipes!
Delicious Mexican-style tacos and tamales can be discovered all over town, but the Santa Fe lifestyle continually draws talented chefs here to experiment with ingredients from the Old and New World alike. Green chile tempura? Shohko Café can do that. Oaxacan Black Bean Mole? Martin Rios—2015 James Beard nominee for Best Southwest Chef—regularly revisits his Mexican roots at Restaurant Martin. Francophiles note that L’Olivier Chef Xavier Grenet is one of only 1,300 chefs chosen for the March 19th Gout de France, an international celebration of French cuisine. Ahmed Obo tantalizes diners with a whole new hemisphere of African flavors at Jambo Café. You can even enjoy a bit of Santa Fe spice with your TGIF margarita thanks to the Inn and Spa at Loretto Living Room and their killer Serrano margarita built around chile-infused Herradura tequila.
Those who like it hands-on can take a round-the-world journey with cooking classes at Las Cosas. March offers a culinary trip to Ireland with a St. Paddy’s Day cooking adventure led by Irish chef Audel Cayce. Spring brings the taste of tagines at an April 7th Moroccan feast. On April 10, students can weigh in on a signature Italian dish when Chef Christine Hickman presents recipes from her upcoming gnocchi cookbook.
Santa Fe Sounds Are Global
Locals love to celebrate the rich sonic traditions brought north from Mexico. The fall Fiesta de Santa Fe Mariachi concert is an annual must, and a guitar case parked next to a Santa Fe Plaza park bench is a common sight, but those who take time to tune into the musical landscape of Santa Fe will enjoy year-round no-visa access to our global bounty.
This month, Les Violons du Roy, a Canadian chamber orchestra renowned for virtuosic flare, performs a concert of European Baroque classics on Sunday, March 22 at the historic and gorgeous Lensic, followed a week later by laid-back contemporary Hawaiian music from HAPA on Sunday, March 29. El Farol offers musical transportation to Spain via riveting Friday Flamenco Dinners created by Chef Giovanni.
The Anasazi Restaurant and Bar offers its own sexy Saturday scene with Madrileño singer-songwriter Jesus Bas, my Tango partner and I save Tuesday nights for Argentine Tango Milonga at El Meson, and a live drum circle makes everyone in the vicinity beat feet to the Railyard Performance Center for Elise Gent’s Saturday African dance class.
Style Me Santa Fe
Old-world mantillas worn by wives of the conquistadors make a yearly appearance at La Merienda, the Fiesta de Santa Fe fashion show of vintage and traditional dresses preserved by La Sociedad de Folklorica. Santa Fe style knows no boundaries, however, and the Museum of International Folk Art gift shop satisfies a yen for the unusual while I await the arrival of fanciful garb from around the world at July’s International Folk Art Market.
Origins on West San Francisco Street has successfully intrigued the style-conscious for more than 35 years with a mind-boggling display of fashion from the far corners of the globe. Likewise, my home décor has become a whole rainbow more colorful since I discovered Le Bon Marche in the Santa Fe Railyard. Then don’t even get me started on jewelry—although I will share my favorite window-shopping: Charlotte on the Plaza, where drool-worthy German engineering meets Euro-style gorgeous!
Santa Fe Has A Colorful International Palette
Summer is around the corner, and the City Different will burst into a kaleidoscope of hues for the 2015 Summer of Color, starting with May’s Passport to the Arts. Spring offers superb weather and plenty of deals for globe-trotting visitors to take a Santa Fe spring break. In case you missed it, there’s still time to win a five-day getaway to our universe of colorful culture—and, don’t forget, you can leave the passport at home!