Jenny's View

Dear Friends,

Hotels like La Fonda pride ourselves on being the ultimate in romantic weddings and weekends, but we all know that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to true love. A more meaningful example is found in former owners Sam and Ethel Ballen, who helmed La Fonda for decades, as an incredible model of lifelong partnership and commitment. At age 70, Sam used to declare, Ethel was more beautiful, talented, skillful, and passionate a lover (!) than she was at 30. As different as they were in personality and style, their respect and commitment to each other was boundless until the end, when they died almost exactly a year apart, in 2006 and 2007.

Sam and Ethel Ballen

Sam and Ethel Ballen at the Buckaroo Ball

Like them, Bill and Bonnie Hearne met as students, both of them visually impaired musicians, and they stayed together through the decades and down countless miles of highway, playing honky-tonks from their native Austin to Santa Fe starting in 1968! They were so intertwined, one can't think of Bill without Bonnie or Bonnie without Bill. A year ago this month, La Fonda celebrated their 25 years of playing in La Fiesta. This past summer they received the first Platinum Music Awards for lifetime achievement from the New Mexico Music Commission Foundation, and would have celebrated 47 years of marriage when Bonnie succumbed to health problems on Dec. 26.

Bill and Bonnie Hearne

Bill and Bonnie Performing

Sam and Ethel Ballen were married more than 60 years, and traveled an amazing journey together, through multiple careers and many daughters. In 2000 they were honored as Living Treasures of Santa Fe. These partnerships remind me, in a month celebrating love, how a deep, abiding commitment can elevate people to more than the sum of their parts. As a society we are crazy for romance and love, but often forget that the truly beautiful part of it is when youth and beauty have fled, and what remains is the powerful bond of a life shared, day after day and year after year, from the freshness of spring to the inevitability of winter.

Sam Ballen & Jenny Kimball in Africa

Ethel Ballen and Jenny Kimball at La Fonda

Happy Valentines Day,

Jennifer Lea Kimball

Detours at La Fonda 

It’s the time again…what to get your loved one for Valentine’s Day! Detours at La Fonda offers a lovingly curated selection of quality items from New Mexico and around the world. From unique Mimbreño pottery, lovely Peruvian knit wear, silver and turquoise jewelry, a large collection of Pendleton blankets, luggage and purses and whimsical, one-of-a-kind offerings, this is the perfect place to find special gifts for your loved one. 

Pewter Songbirds Salt & Pepper Shakers

And, if you still can’t find that special item, chocolate never stops saying “I Love You” with every bite, so stop by and pick up some of Santa Fe’s best handmade gourmet chocolates at Detours from The Chocolate Smith for that sweet little something. Call 505-988-1404 for any special orders. Parking in La Fonda garage can be validated in the store.

Red Chile Pistachio Bark

Recipe For Adventure

Blue Corn Crusted Trout with Garlic-Lemon Butter Sauce - Serves 4

This is probably Chef Lane’s favorite way to eat rainbow trout. Normally he will cook this over a hot, smoky fire, alongside the Pecos river, but we have adapted it for your kitchen. You could also do this on the grill with a cast iron pan. The delicate sweet flesh of the fish contrasts nicely with the blue corn crusted skin. Walleye is a great option for this recipe too.


4 whole 10-12” trout, gutted and head removed (This recipe will work just as well with fillets)

To taste - Salt and Pepper

10 ounces peanut oil

Dry Mix

1 cup blue cornmeal

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon chile powder

Mix the above 4 ingredients in a Ziploc bag

For Sauce:

12 ounces white wine

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 lemons, juice of

8 ounces whole butter, softened


  • You will need a 12” cast iron pan.
  • Heat peanut oil in pan over medium-high heat.
  • Make sure your trout is rinsed off, pat very dry and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add trout to Ziploc bag and shake it around so you completely coat the whole trout with the mixture.
  • Drop these fish into hot peanut oil and cook about 4 minutes per side until golden brown.
  • Remove fish from pan and cover to keep warm.
  • Remove the oil from the pan by just pouring it into a heat-proof container.
  • Place pan back on fire and reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic to it, stir quickly as you do not want to burn it, just lightly brown it.
  • Now add the wine and let this mixture reduce down to about 1/4 of a cup.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter stirring constantly until lightly thickened.
  • Now add the lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.
  • Place your trout on plate and pour this sauce over the top or serve it on the side.
  • La Plazuela serves trout for breakfast with eggs. 






Live at La Fonda

Singer-songwriter Matthew Andrae found a quick route to fame by recording himself playing a song he wrote for his daughter, “Sweet Celine,” and posting it to YouTube. The rest, in terms of his musical career, is history.

With Apache roots and raised in Los Alamos, Andrae has been playing guitar since the age of 8 and performs around Santa Fe as “one man, one voice, one guitar.” His 2010 CD Born includes such accomplished musicians as Steve Rodby of the Pat Metheny Group on bass, Stephane Huchard on drums, and March Punch on guitars. Andrae is at work on a new CD incorporating many Native musicians, which he hopes to enter in the Native American Music Awards (Nammys) in the fall.

Known for composing and performing on a guitalele, a cross between a classical guitar and tenor ukulele, Andrae combines the sweet tenor sound of the late Hawaiian music legend Israel Kamakawiwo’ole with the emotional punch of Tracy Chapman or Shawn Colvin. A personal favorite of La Fonda CEO Jenny Kimball, Matthew Andrae plays La Fiesta Lounge on Feb. 25.

Mathew Andrae

It's a Good Time To...

Plan a week of fine dining during Santa Fe Restaurant Week (Feb. 18-25), when the city’s top eateries offer value-priced prix-fixe menus. Keep checking the website for additions and book early to ensure you get to try Chef Lane’s creations at La Plazuela! And don't forget about Valentine's DAy. Bring your loved one to La Plazuela and partake in a wonderful prix fixe Valentine's Day dinner, with or without wine pairings.  (Feb 14)

La Plazuela

February 18th-25th


Elsewhere, the annual Art of the Home Tour (Mar. 3-4) is a free showcase of up to 15 homes for sale, staged with artwork from local galleries, with a portion of sales benefitting art education in New Mexico schools. If you’re traveling with your own kiddos this spring, check out the family-friendly deals being offered over Spring Break (Mar. 1-Apr. 15), including La Fonda’s Meow Wolf special where the kids stay and play free!  Every year the People’s State of the Union stages a weeklong event that brings people together to share their stories in hundreds of communities nationwide, including Santa Fe, at HaMakom Jewish center (Feb. 1).

Snow hasn’t really happened this year, but Ski Santa Fe offers beer-lovers another excuse to hit the slopes: Brewski 2018 has eight local breweries pouring to live music (Feb. 24).

During Holy Week (Mar. 26-Apr. 1), tens of thousands of people will make the annual pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo, some walking hundreds of miles, to arrive for Good Friday services. Inspired pilgrims should check the website for updates, and if you’re driving toward Taos, keep an eye out for walkers on the road shoulders.

Meow Wolf

El Santuario de Chimayo Pilgrimage

And don’t forget to stop by La Fonda this month and visit with our Artists in Residence Thursday through Saturday, from 4PM to 7PM, located right in the lobby of the hotel. This month we will feature award-winning artists, Nocona Burgess, Marla Allison, Hollis Chitto and David McElroy. The program will end on February 28th. It’s not too late to take advantage of our special Artists in Residence package.

Shops at La Fonda

La Fonda Gift Cards

Valentine's Day is approaching.  Don't know what to get your loved one? We are now offering gift cards that can be used for anything from a weekend to margaritas in La Fiesta to any one of our fabulous gifts in Detours, our gift shop. The cards have no expiration date and can be reloaded, if desired. To purchase a card, call Annette Sedillo at 505-995-2301. 


Tom Taylor

February marks Tom Taylor's once a year online sales event. Subscribe to their Newsletter for your invitation and to be entered in their monthly prize drawing. Tom Taylor’s world-renowned collection of distinctive belts, buckles, bags, and accessories are handcrafted in the USA and features prominent local New Mexico silversmiths and leather artists. Stop into their La Fonda store or visit Tom Taylor online.

Belts & Buckles

Tom Taylor Store


Mama’s Minerals

Opening February 2018 – Mama’s Minerals Santa Fe becomes Laura Randolph GalleryLaura Randolph introduces a collection of Mother Earth’s most spectacular specimens artfully curated from around the globe - a showcase of the most unique and interesting fossils, minerals and crystals that encapsulate ancient stories of our planet. Select one of nature’s most striking works of art for your private residence or corporate space.


Rocki Gorman

Rocki Gorman’s gallery is a jewel box filled with unusual, one-of-a-kind creations as well as handcrafted American made jewelry that can be seen on celebrities, dignitaries and royalty around the world. So when Rocki offers a discount, we encourage you to take note. For the month of February, Rocki is offering 20% off of Red Coral jewelry. Stop in the store or visit the website HERE.

20% Off Red Coral Jewelry at Rocki's


The Lensic continues to bring quality acts to Santa Fe through its own Lensic Presents program, representing a wide variety of genres. Upcoming shows include the legendary jazz vocalists of The Manhattan Transfer (Feb. 1); the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, hailed as “the future of Chamber music” (Feb. 9); an evening of New Mexico music (Hispano folk) presented with the Spanish Colonial Arts Society (Feb. 17); Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Beth Hart (Feb. 21); the Irish acoustic group Lúnasa with Tim O’Brien (Feb. 23); the classical/hip-hop violin duo Black Violin (March 1); singer-songwriter k.d. lang (Mar. 9)—offered with VIP packages including meet-and-greets with the performer; a celebration of today’s Latin music (GLobalfest) with Las Cafeteras, Flor de Toloache, and Nosotros (Mar. 15); and Arlo Guthrie performing with his children Abe and Sarah Lee (Mar. 24).

Brooklyn Rider

Black Violin

In classical music, the Santa Fe Symphony plays a concert of Glinka, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky with guest cellist and 2011 TED Senior Fellow Joshua Roman (Feb. 11), who also performs a concert recital on Feb. 16. Guest conductor and violinist Andrés Cárdenes joins the orchestra for Mozart, Rossini, and Beethoven (Mar. 18). Santa Fe Pro Musica plays a Baroque Holy Week concert at the Loretto Chapel (March 29-31). Performance Santa Fe presents Russian violinist Vadim Gluzman (Feb. 10) and Grammy-winning composer-conductor Maria Schneider and her orchestra (Mar. 2). Santa Fe Desert Chorale launches its first commercial release with a concert at Cristo Rey Church (Feb. 13). And the New Mexico Bach Society performs its annual concert (Mar. 11) at Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel.

Andrés Cárdenes

Maria Schneider

At the clubs, guitarist Derek Gripper plays Gig (Feb. 8), followed by touring troubadours Fred Eaglesmith & Tif Ginn (Feb. 28); the legendary Los Lobos play the Santa Fe Convention Center in a benefit for Espanola Valley Humane Society (Feb. 9); Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Jorma Kaukonen comes to the James A. Little Theater (Feb. 20); and singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen plays The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing (Feb. 20). ), followed by Durand Jones and the Indications (Mar. 22).

Meow Wolf hosts Walk the Moon (Feb. 5), Poppy.Computer Tour 2018 (Feb. 13), The Russ Liquid Test (Feb. 16), Bully (Feb. 17), Willie Watson (Feb. 18), Benjamin Clementine (Feb. 21), Blitzen Trapper (Feb. 26), and Chicha Summit (Feb. 23). In March it’s Protomartyr (Mar. 5), Tigers Jaw (Mar. 6), Martin Sexton (Mar. 7), Cuco (Mar. 8), Mt. Joy (Mar. 11), Buckethead (Mar. 12), Talib Kweli (Mar. 13), MISSIO (Mar. 23), Everything Is Terrible (Mar. 24), and Khruangbin (Mar. 27).

Jorma Kaukonen

Martin Sexton

Film & Performance

Film buffs can count on some gems at the annual Santa Fe Film Festival (Feb. 7-11), while Mountainfilm on Tour brings the best in outdoor adventure films from the annual festival in Telluride to the Lensic (Feb. 2).

Live in HD at the Lensic has a full slate of performances coming up: from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Tosca in Sir David McVicar’s new production (two shows, Feb. 3), L’Elisir d’Amore (two shows, Feb. 10), the Puccini classic La Bohème in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production (Feb. 24), and Rossini’s masterpiece Semiramide, with an all-star bel canto cast (two shows, Mar. 10). National Theatre Live in HD broadcasts Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, with a cast of 37 and 21-piece orchestra (Feb. 8), Tennessee Williams’ classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, in Benedict Andrews’ “thrilling revival” (Mar. 8), and a new production of Julius Caesar broadcast from The Bridge Theatre (Mar. 22).

La Bohème


The Lensic is also mounting a live performance of Shakespeare, the classic Hamlet, in a bold production from New York’s Aquila Theatre (Mar. 28). Aspen Santa Fe Ballet has been expanding its performance repertoire as well, presenting the critically acclaimed Ailey II troupe (Feb. 13) and renowned pianist Joyce Yang collaborating with Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo in a world premiere (Mar. 31). And the acrobats of Cirque Éloize take on the Wild West in their new show Saloon, performed to live folk music (Feb. 20).



Finally, after the acrobats and dance troupes and circuses are done, you probably haven’t seen a troupe of performing house cats. The Amazing Acro-cats ride skateboards, jump through hoops, and play in a band to benefit rescue efforts and demonstrate the magic of clicker training (Feb. 22-24) at the Studio Center (formerly Warehouse 21). And that’s not all! If you’re willing to make the hour drive to Moriarty, the World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is touring New Mexico with the antics of 30 rescue animals and trainer Gregory Popovich (Mar. 3).

Amazing Acro-cats

At the Museums

Celebrate Lunar New Year at the Museum of International Folk Art, with lion dances, refreshments, and art-making activities to ring in the Year of the Dog (Feb. 18). Youth ages 10 to 17 are invited to create a cigar box guitar under the guidance of a master folk musician in a two-day workshop starting Mar. 3.

Cigar Box Guitar

The New Mexico Museum of Art is offering a Valentine’s Day Extravaganza, with art-making and poetry readings (Feb. 4). Upcoming talks at the museum include a discussion of Southwestern writers Fray Angelico Chavez and Willa Cather (Feb. 27), the role of sanatoriums in the Santa Fe Art Colony (Mar. 27), and the influence of archaeologist Edgar Lee Hewett (Feb. 25). Each year the museum hosts a communal updating of Wikipedia entries in art and feminism (Mar. 3), as well as Poetry Out Loud, a high school competition in the lost art of poetry recitation (Mar. 11). Exhibiting artist Susan York offers insight into her work (Mar 21). Learn various ways to document your own collection of art, heirlooms, or photographs in a limited-seating monthly discussion with the Collections team (Feb. 23, Mar. 23).

Edgar Lee Hewett

Susan York

The New Mexico History Museum opens an exhibit, “The Land That Enchants Me So: Picturing Popular Songs of New Mexico,” featuring decorative sheet music from the collection of local music writer James M. Keller (Mar. 2). The regular lecture series includes Joseph Sabatini speaking on “Christmas Revels: The 1919 New Mexico Mounted Police Raid on Santo Domingo Pueblo” (Feb. 7), author Benjamin Klein on his late uncle Irwin Kleins's photographs of the counterculture on New Mexico (Feb. 24), and a presentation by Spanish Market artist Charles M. Carrillo (Mar. 7).

Decorative Sheet Music

Charles M. Carrillo

At the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, departing curator Carolyn Kastner reflects on O’Keeffe’s legacy (Feb. 10); drawing instruction is offered in the galleries (Feb. 22, Mar. 15); chefs demonstrate recipes from A Painter’s Kitchen (Feb. 28, Mar. 21); and writer Alicia Inez Guzmán shares her perspectives on O’Keeffe’s influence on contemporary art (Mar. 7).

Carolyn Kastner

A Painter's Kitchen

Alicia Inez Guzmán


Researcher Natasha Dow Schull explores the future of digital self-tracking technologies and how they impact cultural ideals of individual responsibility, sponsored by the School for Advanced Research at the James A. Little Theater (Mar. 22).

The Lannan Foundation speaker series presents short story writer Aleksandar Hemon with literary critic John Freeman (Feb. 28), historians Nancy MacLean and Greg Grandin (Mar. 7), and cultural critic Roxane Gay with sociology professor Tressie McMillan Cottom (Mar. 14), all at the Lensic.

Natasha Dow Schull

Roxane Gay

Tressie McMillan Cottom

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