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

Program Number: 12308RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/20/2015 - 5/25/2015;
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: 11; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 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.

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, photocopying 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, surface parking lot ($17 daily fee for parking)
  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: 3:00 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:
Hotel check-in available after 3:00 PM on Day 1. Registration with program staff between 4:00 and 5:30 PM on Day 1. You will be staying at Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends with breakfast on Day 6. 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:
Surface lot at the hotel; $17 daily fee.
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

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.


Santa Fe


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 




65 miles


Sandia Shuttle Express offers regular service between the Albuquerque Sunport (not the Santa Fe airport) and Santa Fe. Reservations can be made by phone or online at Shuttle reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance of your travel date or your place on the shuttle will not be guaranteed.

Driving Directions
  From North and South on I-25 to the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza 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: Hotel Check-In / Program Registration / Welcome Dinner / Orientation and Introductions
(Wednesday, May 20)
 Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available after 3:00 PM.

Program Registration: Between 4:00 and 5:30 PM, come to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, to get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule and other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session.

If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.

 Dinner: Buffet at the hotel from 6:00 PM until 7:00 PM.

Although we will do our best to accommodate vegetarian, low-salt, low-fat, and gluten-free diets, we cannot guarantee that all options will be available at every meal.

 Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and roles and responsibilities.

Indicated times are approximate; program activities and schedules may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Take the rest of the evening to continue getting to know your fellow participants, relax, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day ahead.
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Demonstration Class at Santa Fe School of Cooking / Guided Walking Exploration of Santa Fe Plaza / Field Trip to State Capitol / Dinner at Selected Restaurant
(Thursday, May 21)

Note: Walking several blocks on uneven paved terrain with inclines; standing at cooking school and state capitol

 Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel. Selections usually include eggs, french toast or pastries, oatmeal, fruit, orange juice, coffee, and tea.
 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 class that combines the richness of local products and traditions.

 Lunch: At the cooking school
 Afternoon: Participate in a walking exploration of downtown Santa Fe, including a visit to the Roundhouse, New Mexico's capitol building, which has a wonderful collection of work by some of the state's finest artists.

Return to the hotel for some free time before dinner.

 Dinner: At The Shed, one of Santa Fe's most popular restaurants. Visitors can downshift a couple of centuries and experience some of the best Southwestern cuisine Santa Fe has to offer.
 Evening: Return to the hotel after dinner
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field Trip to Santa Cruz Farm / Field Trip to Weaving Studio and Santuario de Chimayó / Lunch at Rancho de Chimayó / Field Trip to Romero Farms / Dinner on Your Own and Free Evening
(Friday, May 22)

Note: Walking up to a mile over varied terrain

 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: After breakfast, we'll board our motorcoach and depart for Santa Cruz Farm. We'll walk around the farm and learn about farming in the area and about the Santa Fe Farmers' Market with Santa Cruz Farm owner, Don Bustos.

Much of Mr. Bustos' produce is used at the Santa Fe School of Cooking.

We'll then go to Chimayó. While in Chimayó, we'll visit a weaving gallery, Centinela Traditional Arts. Chimayó is home to several families who have been creating Hispanic weavings for generations, and we'll have a chance to see some beautiful works designed and woven by an award-winning artist.

We'll also visit a lovely little Roman Catholic church, El Santuario de Chimayó. This shrine, a National Historic Landmark, is famous for the story of its founding and as a contemporary pilgrimage site. It receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called "the most important center in the United States for Catholic pilgrimage." A small side room houses el pocito (the little well), which is the source of the "blessed earth" (tierra bendita) that is believed by many to have healing powers. An adjacent Prayer Room displays many ex-votos as well as photographs, discarded crutches, and other testimonials of those purportedly healed.

 Lunch: We'll have lunch at Rancho de Chimayó, a charming restaurant housed in an old hacienda.

Chimayó is known for its heirloom chiles, the fruit of the Capsicum plant; most New Mexican dishes are prepared with red or green chile. (New Mexico's official state question is "Red or green?" If you'd like to try both, order "Christmas!")

Our group will have a plated meal, ordering from a special menu featuring traditional New Mexican cuisine, with chips, salsa, and a non-alcoholic beverage.

 Afternoon: After lunch, we'll pay a visit to Romero Farms, known for their sustainable crops and chile.
 Dinner: This meal has been excluded from your program cost so that you can dine at one of Santa Fe's fine restaurants. Santa Fe is a foodie's paradise, and there are a number of restaurants offering a variety of cuisines within walking distance of the hotel.
 Evening: Free evening to sample the local nightlife, enjoy the company of fellow participants, or simply relax at the hotel
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Field Trip to the Santa Fe Farmers' Market / Free Morning / Lunch on Your Own / Santa Fe Restaurant Walk
(Saturday, May 23)

Note: Walking up to several blocks on paved terrain at Farmers' Market and during Restaurant Walk

 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Depart on foot for the Santa Fe Farmers' Market.

Located in the Santa Fe Railyard Park (about 3 blocks from the hotel), the market features fresh greens in season, herbs, eggs, cheeses, baked goods, teas, freshly roasted and dried chile, locally grown meats, 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 is a favorite shopping destination for both locals and visitors.

The remainder of the morning is free for independent explorations of the Railyard Park and the shops and galleries on Guadalupe Street on your own.

 Lunch: This meal has been excluded from your program cost so that you can sample more Santa Fe cuisine on your own.
 Afternoon: Meet as a group at the Santa Fe School of Cooking and depart on foot for the Restaurant Walk. We'll visit four of Santa Fe's most prestigious dining destinations, where we'll meet chefs and owners and enjoy a food tasting.
 Dinner: This meal has been excluded from your program cost so that you can dine where you wish.
 Evening: Free evening
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Cooking Class at Red Mesa Cuisine / Free Afternoon / Dinner at Santacafé
(Sunday, May 24)

Note: Standing during cooking class

 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: This morning we'll go to Red Mesa Cuisine for a very special class with James Beard Award-winning chefs. Red Mesa is Santa Fe's only Native American owned catering company.
 Lunch: Lunch at Red Mesa Cuisine
 Afternoon: Return to hotel and free afternoon
 Dinner: Tonight we'll have 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 to the hotel for program closing.
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Breakfast and Departure
(Monday, May 25)
 Breakfast: At the hotel from 7:00 to 9:00 AM. This meal concludes the program.
 Morning: If you are departing from the hotel, please check out no later than 12:00 PM.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Santa Fe General Overview
There are a number of museums in Santa Fe, including the Palace of the Governors Museum, New Mexico History Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art, Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and the Pablita Velarde Museum of Native American Women in the Arts, all near the Plaza. Other museums include the Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, all on Museum Hill, and Rancho de los Golondrinas, a living history museum a few miles west of Santa Fe. There are hundreds of galleries in the city, including the Gerald Peters Gallery and the Nedra Matteucci Gallery and Sculpture Garden on Paseo de Peralta, the Andrea Fisher Gallery on West San Francisco Street, and the Alan Houser Sculpture Garden south of Santa Fe. Historic buildings, sites and churches include Sena Plaza, El Santuario de Guadalupe, San Miguel Mission, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, 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 convention and visitors website 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 Essence of Santa Fe: From a Way of Life to a Style

Author: Hammett, Jerilou & Kingsley

The Wines of New Mexico

Author: Sandersier, Andy

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