A Wonderful Day at the Santa Fe School of Cooking!
I had the most wonderful day last week at Santa Fe School of Cooking. This event at the Santa Fe School of Cooking was hosted by the James Beard Award Winning Chef Lois Ellen Frank, Ph.D., and Chef Walter Whitewater of Red Mesa Cuisine. They presented a demonstration-style cooking class on Native American Cuisine. This class was called Native American II. On the menu was: Trout with herbs and bacon baked in clay, Indian wild rice sauté, sautéed rainbow chard, berry crisp. These specific recipes will be posted here later on our blog.
Lois Ellen Frank informing the class
Walter Whitewater preparing yummy Trout
Over the course of the 3 hour class, Lois gave a detailed and interesting talk on her background and the specifics of the foods of the Southwestern Native Americans while both she and Walter were preparing our mouth-watering lunch. I was dumb struck by the fact that her academia advisers early in her life thought that Southwest Native American Cooking as an area of study had no foundation or validity. My first thought was what did you think the Native Americans ate and lived on for several thousand years here in the southwest? They went on further to say that because she was a woman she could never be an executive chef. Really? What century are we in again? This fueled Lois’s drive and her second book, “Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations”; featuring traditional and contemporary recipes won the James Beard Award in the Americana category and was the first Native American book to win that award. Lois received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in Culinary Anthropology in July 2011.
Corn, Red Chile Pods, Chard, ingredients
Wild Rice Saute’ & Pumpkin Seed Puree
Lois and Walter are superb experts at their craft. To say the food was divine is an understatement. Everything about this meal was marvelous. The flavors were subtle, clear and distinct. This was a real treat to watch and even more so to eat. I enjoyed myself immensely.
Berry Crisp for dessert
A word on The Santa Fe School of Cooking. This is a first class show. The room could comfortably hold 100 people. The kitchen area for the chefs is spacious and well thought out. If you look at very top picture above you can see Lois on the left and Walter on the right. Above them are 5 screens. The first, third, and fifth screens are in house HD video feeds. The second and fourth screens in the photo are actually mirrors, so you see what the chefs are doing while they are talking. The way the five screens are angled anyone in the room can see all that is going on. It is impressive to watch. It feels like you are watching a Top Chef filming. There were 10 people attending this class from all over the country.
The Santa Fe School of Cooking has classes and events throughout the year. I have their contact information below, a link to their calendar on their website, and also a link to Red Mesa Cuisine, Lois and Walter’s company website.
Santa Fe School of Cooking
125 North Guadalupe Street
Santa Fe, NM, 87501
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