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

Program Number: 12308RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/16/2015 - 9/21/2015; 11/2/2015 - 11/7/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico
Price starting at: $1,199.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Food & Wine
Meals: 12; 5 Breakfasts, 3 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.

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.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
David Sundberg

Born and raised in Missouri, David Sundberg graduated from the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Missouri – Columbia. He has worked extensively as a chef throughout the U.S., Mexico and Europe, while cultivating his passion for food and food history. David recently relocated to Santa Fe from R.I., where he wrote for local publications, taught cooking classes, and worked for numerous restaurants and caterers. He is a fervent supporter of local growers and producers.
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:
Check into hotel any time after 4:00 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:
There is a daily fee for parking 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

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: Arrival, Check-In, Orientation
(Monday, November 2)
 Arrive To: Arrive in Santa Fe. Check into hotel any time after 4:00 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 to 7:00 PM
 Evening: Orientation and introductions in hotel meeting room from 7:00 to 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
(Tuesday, November 3)

Note: Walking up to several blocks; standing at Cooking School and state capitol

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Historical overview of people of New Mexico - 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 hands-on cuisine class that combines the richness of local products and traditions.

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

 Lunch: Lunch at Santa Fe School of Cooking will feature the foods we prepared during the morning's hands-on class.
 Afternoon: Participate in a guided walking and bus 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.

Return to the hotel for a brief rest.

 Dinner: If it seems like all we do is eat, that's right!

Dinner will be at a local favorite Santa Fe restaurant. Visitors can downshift a couple of centuries and experience some of the best Southwestern cuisine Santa Fe has to offer.

 Evening: Bus returns to the hotel after dinner
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Santa Cruz Farm; Lunch at Rancho de Chimayó; Restaurant Tastings
(Wednesday, November 4)

Note: Walking up to several blocks

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: After breakfast, our bus departs 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.

The bus then departs for Chimayó, New Mexico, a charming little town that retains many of its old-world traditions.

 Lunch: Lunch at Rancho de Chimayó restaurant. Located in an old hacienda, the restaurant is very popular, serving up traditional New Mexican cuisine. Lunch will include salsa and chips to start, a choice of entrees (vegetarian available), and dessert.
 Afternoon: Return to Santa Fe after lunch, and at about 1:45 pm, we'll meet in the hotel lobby and walk to the School of Cooking. From there, we'll go to four of Santa Fe's most prestigious dining destinations where we'll have tastings and meet chefs and owners. Each stop will include a private tasting and allow us to meet the chefs, sometimes the owners, and other key players that make Santa Fe one of America's top culinary capitals.
 Dinner: Dinner will consist of the tasting sessions at the various restaurants we'll be visiting.
 Evening: Evening at leisure after returning to the hotel
Accommodations: Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Santa Fe Farmers' Market; Afternoon and Evening at Leisure
(Thursday, November 5)

Note: Walking up to several blocks at Farmers' Market

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
 Morning: Bus departs for a visit to Santa Fe's Farmers' Market.

Located in the Santa Fe Railyard Park, the market features fresh greens 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.

After visiting the Market, we'll have some free time to explore the Railyard Park and other parts of Guadalupe Street (galleries, shops, more) on our own.

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

Day 5: Cooking Class at Red Mesa Cuisine; Afternoon at Leisure; Dinner at Santacafé
(Friday, November 6)

Note: Standing during cooking class

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet 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: Bus returns to Santa Fe, followed by afternoon at leisure.
 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 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
(Saturday, November 7)
 Depart From: Check out of hotel no later than 12:00 pm. Departure any time after breakfast at the hotel.
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel
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 Wines of New Mexico

Author: Sandersier, Andy

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