Wow! This is really an amazing place. I went to a "pop-up lunch" there in May and it was terrific. The lunch was the final project of a week-long class during which the participants created their own concept for a restaurant from the title (Melange) and the menu through to the creation of an incredible meal for the attendees. (This was a class for "amateurs," in the sense of those who are doing something for the love and enjoyment of it, rather than as a profession.)
Apparently they had instruction not only from the Culinary Academy staff, but also from experts in various areas of restaurant management. There was nothing at all amateurish about the menu or the execution of the dishes or the service, which was impeccable. A few of the menu highlights: a duck bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich; roasted elk loin; pan-seared scallop tostada; berry and lemon curd tart; and a lavender ice cream profiterole. All in all, one of the best lunches I've ever had anywhere, all for the grand sum of $20.
They have a very interesting range of class offerings, from single-session classes on specific subjects to week-long "intensives" such as the class that prepared the pop-up lunch to an accredited professional training program. Absolutely worth a visit (or two!), whether you are a Santa Fean or a visitor.
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