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Sizzling Southwest Cuisine: What’s Hot in Santa Fe’s Culinary Scene

Program Number: 12308RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/18/2014 - 5/23/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Price starting at: $1,299.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 1 Brunch, 2 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Since ancient Puebloans first cultivated beans, corn and squash in the deserts of the Southwest, this cuisine has nourished and delighted countless generations. Beginning in Santa Fe, regional cuisine that had remained hidden from the rest of the world for generations arrived on national tables. Today Southwestern fare is an integral part of American cuisine. Learn how some restaurants in Santa Fe have preserved traditional styles of food preparation while others have become more creative. Attend New Mexican cooking classes, sample dishes both traditional and contemporary, and return home ready to dazzle your friends with a Santa Fe style feast.


• Roll up your sleeves and learn the secrets of the pros in unforgettable cooking classes at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.
• Go right to the source of Santa Fe’s fresh ingredients at a local farm.
• Tuck in to mouthwatering meals at the cooking school and highly-rated restaurants featuring genuine Santa Fe and Southwest cuisine.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles. Standing for up to one hour. Elevations up to 7,000 feet.

Date Specific Information


This date is housed at a full service hotel near historic downtown Santa Fe Plaza.

Coordinated by Road Scholar.

Santa Fe

A cosmopolitan city famous for its world-renowned opera, chamber and choral music and for its art and artists, Santa Fe is situated at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Nearby, eight historic, continuously occupied pueblos and small Hispanic villages divulge a heritage that is impeccably preserved in this multi-cultural state capital.

Full service hotel near historic downtown Santa Fe Plaza.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
  Santa Fe 5 nights
 Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: This charming hotel is located three blocks from the historic downtown Plaza and is surrounded by Santa Fe restaurants and shops with convenient transportation nearby. 100% non-smoking facility.
  Contact info: 100 Sandoval Street
Santa Fe, NM 87507 USA
phone: 505-988-2811
  Room amenities: Southwest motif, Hilton Serenity Bed and Amenity Collections, coffee and tea service, ironing boards, robes, hair dryer and makeup mirror
  Facility amenities: Business Center, Complimentary printing service, fax, express mail, notary public, office rental, photo copying service, video conferencing available, video messaging, video phone, 24-hour Pavilion Pantry Market, laundry-valet service, ATM, baggage storage, bar area, concierge desk, elevators, gift shop, guest activity/recreation desk, lounge, multi-lingual staff, room service, fitness room, pool
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: best seasonal rates Request additional nights directly from hotel prior to arrival by calling 505-988-2811.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: best seasonal rates Request additional nights directly from hotel prior to arrival by calling 505-988-2811.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check into hotel any time after 3:00 PM. Register with program's group leader between 4:00 and 5:30 PM. You will be staying at Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast on final day. Hotel check-out time is 12:00 noon You will be staying at Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at the hotel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Santa Fe
  Nearest city or town:  Albuquerque
  Nearest highway: I-25
  Nearest airport:  Albuquerque International Sunport and Santa Fe Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Santa Fe
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details



From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Sandia Shuttle Express
phone: 888-775-5696
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Approximately 70 minutes 




Approximately 65 miles


Let shuttle service know, when you make reservations, at which hotel you'll need to be dropped off in Santa Fe and when you'll be returning to Albuquerque. Reservations for the shuttles must be made AT LEAST 24 hours in advance of your travel date, or your place on the shuttle will not be guaranteed.


Santa Fe


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle


Travel Time:


5 to 10 minutes 


The Santa Fe airport is serviced by a limited number of flights and airlines. If you choose to fly into/out of Santa Fe, please call your hotel before the program starts for their recommendation regarding shuttle transportation from/to the airport.

Driving Directions
  From North and South on I-25 From I-25 (all directions) take the St. Francis/Santa Fe Plaza exit; continue to Cerrillos Road. Turn right on Cerrillos Road. Access the left lane, follow the left split which turns into Sandoval Street. Remain on Sandoval Street for 1/2 mile. The Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza is on the left hand side of Sandoval Street after crossing over West Alameda.
Elevation Note: Santa Fe is at an elevation of 7,000' above sea level.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival, Check-In, Orientation
(Sunday, May 18)
 Arrive To: Arrive in Santa Fe. Check into hotel any time after 3:00 pm, then register with program's group leader between 4:00 and 5:30 pm in designated area at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel from 6:00 - 7:00 PM
 Evening: Orientation and introductions in hotel meeting room from 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Santa Fe School of Cooking Class; Guided Walking Exploration; State Capitol Visit; Dinner at Selected Restaurant
(Monday, May 19)

Note: Walking a few blocks over paved terrain; standing at Cooking School; standing at State Capitol

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Historical overview of people of New Mexico; we'll learn what they ate and how they grew it.

Then, we'll walk to the Santa Fe School of Cooking, where we'll start our Southwest cooking adventure with a demonstration breakfast/brunch that combines the richness of local products and traditions: Chilaquiles with Chicken and Green Chile, Tomatillo Sauce, New Mexican Egg Frittata, Chile-glazed Bacon (to DIE for!), Piloncillo Baked Apples with Cajeta Sauce, and a Fruit Liquado.

 Brunch: Brunch featuring the foods prepared at the Cooking School
 Afternoon: Participate in a guided walking exploration of downtown Santa Fe, including a visit to the "Roundhouse," New Mexico's capitol building, which has a wonderful collection of art works representing some of the state's most famous artists.

There will then be some leisure time, followed by a class about New Mexico wines and wineries.

 Dinner: If it seems like all you do is eat, you're right!

Dinner will be at a selected Santa Fe restaurant.

 Evening: Evening at leisure after dinner
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner

Day 3: Santa Fe Farmer's Market; Railyard Park; Lunch And Dinner On Your Own; Santa Fe School of Cooking's Hands-On "Chile Amor" Class
(Tuesday, May 20)

Note: Walking up to a few blocks at the Farmer's Market

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Walk to the Santa Fe's Farmers' Market at 8:30 AM.

Located in the new Santa Fe Railyard Park, the market features fresh greens and fruit in season, sprouts, herbs, eggs, cheeses, baked goods, teas, dried chile, original crafts, body care products and more.

With over 100 small growers participating, the Santa Fe Farmers' Market is the largest in New Mexico and one of the best known in the country.

We'll then free time for independent explorations of the Railyard Park and other parts of Guadalupe Street (galleries, shops, more).

 Lunch: Lunch today is on our own. There are a number of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines within easy walking distance of the Railyard and the hotel.
 Afternoon: Meet at the Santa Fe School of Cooking for their hands-on "Chile Amor" class.

This experience will delight those who are already familiar with New Mexico's official "state vegetable," and will "light the fires" for those yet uninitiated.

We'll hear about chile's unique culinary and medicinal qualities, learn the different varieties, don aprons and prepare red and green chile sauces and homemade tortillas to taste.

The rest of the afternoon at leisure.

 Dinner: Dinner on our own
 Evening: Evening at leisure
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Traditional New Mexican Foods Cooking Class; Winery Visit and Tasting; Visit to Local Farm; Dinner at Rancho de Chimayó
(Wednesday, May 21)

Note: Walk to the Cooking School; standing at the Cooking School and during the winery visit; walking over uneven dirt terrain at the farm

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Walk to the Santa Fe School of Cooking for a hands-on Traditional New Mexican foods cooking class.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the Cooking School, dining on the foods prepared in class.
 Afternoon: After lunch, our coach departs for a field trip to Estrella del Norte Vineyard, where there will be a wine tasting.

We'll then go to Santa Cruz Farm, where we'll learn about farming in the area, followed by a trip to Chimayó, New Mexico, a charming little town that retains many of its old-world traditions.

 Dinner: Dine at historic Rancho de Chimayó Restaurant.

This is one of northern New Mexico's oldest and best-loved dining spots.

Dinner will start with salsa and chips. Well have several entree choices and a dessert.

 Evening: Return to the hotel in Santa Fe.
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Museum Visits; Free Afternoon; Dinner at Santacafé
(Thursday, May 22)

Note: Standing at the museums

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: This morning we'll go to Museum Hill for visits to the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art.

The MIAC offers a huge collection of pottery, basketry, rugs, jewelry and artifacts, mostly from tribes of the southwest region. The exhibits are beautifully displayed and documented.

The Museum of International Folk Art features the huge collection of folk art of Alexander Girard, displayed in charming scenarios.

Both museums have great gift shops as well!

 Lunch: Lunch at a selected local restaurant
 Afternoon: Bus returns to the hotel after lunch, followed by afternoon at leisure.
 Dinner: Dinner at the well-known contemporary restaurant, Santacafé, in the downtown area.

There will be a choice of several beautifully-prepared main courses, an appetizer or salad, and a specially selected dessert.

 Evening: Return via bus to the hotel for program closing in a hotel meeting room.
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Breakfast, Check-Out and Departure
(Friday, May 23)
 Depart From: Check out of hotel no later than 12:00 PM. Departure any time after breakfast at the hotel.
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel from 7:30 - 8:30 AM
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Santa Fe General Overview
Museums and galleries, e.g., Palace of the Governors Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Art and Culture, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, Spanish Colonial Museum, Laboratory of Anthropology, Rancho de los Golondrinas (recreation of a Spanish Colonial village), Gerald Peters Gallery, Nedra Matteucchi (Fenn) Gallery, Alan Houser Sculpture Garden, Houshang's Gallery, Alene Lapides Gallery, Laurel Seth Gallery and many more. Historic buildings and churches include Sena Plaza, El Santuario de Guadalupe, the Oldest House, San Miguel Mission, St. Francis Cathedral, the Chapel of Loretto (with its miraculous staircase!) and Cristo Rey Church. During late June, July and August, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and Santa Fe Opera are in full swing and there are many theatre productions and concerts going on in the city year round. The Santa Fe Visitors' Guide provides seasonal listings of events, as does New Mexico Magazine. A link to Santa Fe's calendar of events, web sites and telephone numbers is listed below. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Taco Table

Author: Lois Ellen Frank

Description: A handbook for creating these Southwestern staples with easy to prepare recipes, from homemade tortillas to meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian fillings, to salsas that top them off.

The Santa Fe School of Cooking Cookbook

Author: Susan D. Curtis

Description: Contains some of the very best recipes from Santa Fe School of Cooking and features glorious photography.

The Pink Adobe Cookbook

Author: Rosalea Murphy

Description: From the long-time owner and creator of one of Santa Fe's most famous restaurants, The Pink Adobe, this cookbook features many of the unique and delicious recipes created by Rosalea Murphy and some of her top chefs.

Cooking With the Santa Fe Opera

Author: Santa Fe Opera Guild

The Wines of New Mexico

Author: Sandersier, Andy

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