We attended the Santa Fe Culinary Academy's pop up dinner honoring the summer solstice. The Santa Fe Culinary Academy is located at 112 W. San Francisco St. Suite 300, Santa Fe, NM.
Chef Rocky Durham and Chef Tanya Story teamed up for a festive and floral summer dinner party at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy. We were treated to an incredible 4 course meal on their downtown patio.
The 4-course meal was made with the season’s local flowers and paired with local wines.
It was a vegetarian-friendly event. Reservations were required. If you made reservations online before June 18 there was a discount. We made our reservations early to take advantage of the discount. The price was 95 dollars per person and it was worth every cent. Believe me. It was like a mini vacation. We were greeted with a Gruet Rose bubbly to start that was accompanied with gravlax or a mushroom appetizer. We sat community style. We purposely sat at a long table that eventually had 8 people. So we got to know people and tasted great food.
The first course consisted of a tostada of edible flowers with capers, goat cheese and rose hip vinaigrette. The tostada was blue corn and had a flower embedded in it. The goat cheese was surrounded by rose petals. The goat cheese was creamy and tangy. The second course was a dandelion ravioli with garlic chives. The garlic chives were strong and compliments the dandelion. Ok,this is the first time I have ever eaten dandelions. They reminded me of a hearty spinach.
For the third course you had a choice between the Maya beggar's purse of quinoa or the grilled rack of lamb. I chose the Maya beggar's purse since I love quinoa. I especially enjoyed this quinoa because it had carrots and onions. The quinoa was wrapped in a banana leaf which added to the presentation. There was a Mole Negro sauce added some zing and flavor to the quinoa. Plantain chips were on the side. They were crisp and light. There was also a savory marigold panna cotta. It was beautiful and tasted light and delicious. Ok, so many times when I try to forgo meat, I feel like the chef really can't figure out how to create a meal that is worth eating. Chef Rocky and Tanya got it right. I was full. I was really full but not to full to skip dessert. My wife had the grilled rack of lamb. It was perfectly grilled. It looked wonderful. The lamb came with sunflower pesto, new potato croquettes with a prickly pear demi glace. Everyone that had the lamb said how excellently prepared it was. We all joined the clean plate club by finishing as much food as possible.
To end this fabulous feast, we had a squash blossom beignet sundae. What an ending! There was chocolate and vanilla ice cream with a squash blossom biegnet (fried). I was glad to walk back to the car. We also had local wine pairings with each course, like a Gruet Chardonnay, Ponderosa white, and a red wine.(Sorry, I forgot the name, but it was very good).
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