Top Crops from Top Chefs

2016 Wine & Chile Fiesta

Jenny's View

Dear Friends,

As many old-timers know, La Fonda has a long association with Indian Market, which once held the judging of artwork here at the hotel, along with preview night. That’s why we are super excited to announce that Winter Indian Market is coming to La Fonda, starting this year!

Dear Friends,

Each September, the five-day Wine & Chile Fiesta gets foodies fixated on the latest and greatest that our city has to offer. And every year our Chef Lane Warner shines with the best of them, competing against French, Italian, Asian, Mediterranean and California cuisine in a city that is one of Tripadvisor’s top ten food destinations nationwide. That’s not easy to do while staying true to New Mexican tradition, which as we know leans heavily toward commodity staples. Diners who appreciate fantastic ingredients tucked into their enchiladas and rellenos – locally sourced and pasture-raised meats, organic produce, not to mention vegetarian and gluten-free options – will find such traditional fare elevated to a new level at La Plazuela, in a lovely environment enhanced by traditional levels of service.

Sure, I’m biased. But Chef Lane racks up impressive accolades from people who don’t even know him and love him as I do. The lion’s share of our Tripadvisor reviews (57 percent) rate La Plazuela “excellent,” and 88 percent rate it “very good” or better. Again, not easy to do when you’re talking about 1,400 reviews, three meals a day, and one of the most popular restaurants in Santa Fe.

It seems fitting (and fun) for La Fonda to once again host the “All Chefs” photo shoot for the cover of Local Flavor magazine’s Wine & Chile issue – see if you can pick out Chef Lane in the 2014 version (hint: something here to help). We’ll also be among the 75 restaurants and 100 wineries participating in the Grand Tasting at the Santa Fe Opera, “the most fun you can have with a wine glass.” Tickets sell out fast, so grab yours ASAP! Otherwise, we can still guarantee you a great meal at La Fonda any other day of the year – just be sure to make reservations for dinner. 

TIme for dinner, 

Jennifer Lea Kimball

Recipe For Adventure

Basil-serrano pesto is a spicy take on traditional pesto! Perfect for tossing with your favorite pasta dish, or save the leftovers as a sandwich spread or to drizzle over eggs. 

Basil-serrano pesto Yields - 2 Cups 


1 cup fresh basil

1/8 cup parmesan cheese, fresh grated

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup pinon nuts, roasted

1 chile serrano, seeded and minced

3 Tbl fresh garlic, minced

Add salt and black pepper to taste


METHOD: Place all these ingredients into food processor, that’s it! Now you can finish your favorite pasta dishes with this wonderful pesto.

Live at La Fonda

Walk around Santa Fe in summer, and you’ll hear bits of languages from around the world – which is why it makes perfect sense to hear musical flavors from multiple continents in La Fiesta Lounge when Los Primos Melodicos take the stage. It’s a wonder how they get so many sounds from three players! Guitarist Eric Cureña, percussionist Fred Simpson, and lead vocalist and bass player J.J. Oviedo blend their globe-trotting musical training for a unique sound that ranges from Cuba to the Balkans. All three hail from Santa Fe, but have their ears tuned to the wide world of rhythm.

We’ll do Mexican boleros, Afro-Cuban, a little bit of flamenco-style rumba, Middle Eastern and Balkan,” says Oviedo, “half and half originals and covers. It’s definitely danceable.” His vocals range from English and Spanish to a little Portuguese for a taste of Brazil. Los Primos Melodicos continue stretching the frontiers of music at La Fiesta Lounge beyond the usual mix of Americana and norteña bands, offering something unique in the City Different. Catch their cool cosmopolitan vibe on Sept. 7, 8, and 30, and for a preview, have a listen to their taste of Cuba on this YouTube video.

It's a Good Time To...

Taste what’s cooking in the City Different at the 26th annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, where the region’s top crops and chefs star in tasting events, cooking demos, wine seminars, and gourmet meals—not to mention golf, cycling, and film! But if your tastes run more to backyard barbecue, sneak off to the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown at the Santa Fe Railyards (Sept. 9), or pop in to Estrella del Norte Vineyard for a mystery wine tasting (Sept. 18, Oct. 9) or wine history lesson (Sept. 25).


Fall is the perfect season to get outdoors, whether you’re running the Santa Fe Thunder half marathon (Sept. 18) or Wolf Pack Trail Run (Sept. 11), ogling the classic cars at the annual Santa Fe Concorso exotic car show (Sept. 23-25)—which also line up at the Plaza on Saturday morning for free—or driving your own exotic car in the Santa Fe 500 three-day tour of Northern New Mexico (Sept. 26-28).

Burn away election-year worries at the 92nd Zozobra at Fort Marcy Park (Sept. 2), the opening event of the annual Fiestas de Santa Fe. This weekend of festivities is sure to help you forget what’s happening in the rest of the country, as you listen to the Mariachi Extravaganza at the Santa Fe Opera (Sept. 3), watch the children’s pet parade (Sept. 10) or so-called historical/hysterical parade (Sept. 11) and celebrate these festive occasions with bandstand entertainment, food and craft booths all weekend on the Plaza.

Prolong your visit to yesteryear at the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair at El Rancho de las Golondrinas (Sept. 17-18), or experience New Age transformation at UnifyFest the following week (Sept. 22-25), with yoga, health, sustainability, and like-minded celebrations.

Ready to launch your next big break? The inaugural On the Page screenwriter’s conference includes over 40 speakers, two script competitions, and pitch sessions with producers, all day at the conference (Oct. 16). Enjoy a Harvest Festival at the unique animal sanctuary Wildlife West Nature Park in Edgewood, south of Cerrillos (Sept. 3-4), or head in the other direction for the annual High Road To Taos art tour (Sept. 17-18, 24-25).

The Galisteo Studio Tour takes place Oct. 15-16, while the community of El Rito, between Abiquiu and Ojo Caliente, holds its studio tour Oct. 1-2. On the highway between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, Santo Domingo Pueblo celebrates its annual arts and crafts market Sept. 3-5.

Back in town, admission is free to the hunter-jumper competitions at Hipico Santa Fe horse park, where the Fall Series includes an equestrian-themed art exhibit, concerts, craft beer and food booths during Chile Harvest Week (Sept. 14-18) and Ristra Week (Sept. 21-25). A youth-inflected fashion show with pop-up stores takes place Sept. 30 and is produced by the Santa Fe Street blog. Quilters compete in a biennial celebration at the Santa Fe Convention Center (Oct. 7-9). And of course, the biggest event in the state happens in October when tens of thousands of international visitors descend on the Duke City for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Oct. 1-9).


Santa Fe Pro Musica opens its 35th season at the Lensic with Revolutionaries and Romantics (Sept. 17-18), including pre-concert talks by conductor Thomas O’Connor and an artist dinner Sunday with guest cellist Joshua Roman.
                           Joshua Roman

The Santa Fe Symphony opens its 33rd season with violinst Alexi Kenney playing Brahms, Wagner, and Dvorak (Sept. 25), followed by pianist Olga Kern performing Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Sibelius (Oct. 16), also at the Lensic. 

Joseph Illick deciphers the mystery of conducting as part of his popular Notes on Music series (Oct. 4) at the United Church of Santa Fe. A free family concertLittle Red Riding Hood, combines excerpts from famous operas at First Prebyterian Church (Oct. 9).

In contemporary music, free outdoor concerts continue a little while longer at Railyard Park, including an end-of-summer show (Sept. 3), the AHA Festival (Sept. 18), plus the horn band Swing Set during Last Friday Artwalk (Sept. 30). The 2016 Free Fall Music Fest presents all day concerts from 12pm to 8pm (Sept. 4). 

Cowboy music fans take note: The Lensic presents a salute to Roy Rogers from the modern face of Western music, Riders in the Sky (Sept. 14).  


In concert, the traditional Scottish band Tannahill Weavers plays Center Stage (Sept. 13); Neko Case plays a show with Jay Farrar Trio (of Son Volt) at the Santa Fe Opera (Sept. 17); and Lera Lynn, known for her work on HBO’s True Detective, plays Skylight (Sept. 20), followed by Davina & The Vagabonds (Sept. 21) and Elizabeth Cook (Sept. 24). L.A.’s “retro-futuristic” pop band Saint Motel plays Meow Wolf (Sept. 27), with a limited number of VIP packages available. 

Neko Case

Saint Motel


The Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst plays The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing (Oct. 5). Villalobos Brothers redefine Mexican music at the Lensic (Oct. 9), where ’60s icon Joan Baez is back on tour and better than ever (Oct. 30). And if you’re a world music fan, you no doubt have tickets already to İGlobalquerque! (Sept. 23-24) at Albuquerque’s National Hispanic Cultural Center; even if you don’t, there are free workshops and other programs for families all day on Saturday.

     Villalobos Brothers

                     Joan Baez

                       Anda Union (Mongolia) 

At The Museums

Calling all Fred heads! If you’re one of the growing number who are fascinated by the legacy of La Fonda’s cultural ancestor Fred Harvey and the Harvey Girls, the New Mexico History Museum is holding its fifth annual Fred Harvey Weekend (Oct. 28-30) of events, tours, classes, and more. Lectures and discussions include Steve Harvey, a descendant, and our own CEO Jenny Kimball.  

Free admission day on Museum Hill is Sunday, Sept. 25 , when all five institutions are open to the public for free. But come back to the Museum of International Folk Art on a Wednesday to hear a flamenco concert, in some cases paired with a gypsy dinner (Sept. 9, Oct. 7).

Back in town, Rose Simpson discusses her artwork at the New Mexico Museum of Art (Sept. 2), as does videographer Miguel Gandert (Oct. 7) and photographer Don Usner, who both contributed to the lowrider exhibit (Sept. 25). Learn about the National Park Service in a talk at the history museum marking the park system’s centennial (Sept. 4), or get ready for Rosh Hashanah by learning to make the honey cake tishpishti (Sept. 18).

You can celebrate the Day of the Dead at the history museum (Oct. 16) and/or listen to a poetry slam about lowriders with young poets the same day. Each year a handful of individuals and institutions receive Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts, whose works you can see and celebrate at the New Mexico Museum of Art (Sept. 23). 


There’s even a film component to Wine & Chile Fiesta.That’s right—the Wine & Chile Film Fiesta pairs a wine and food reception with a choice of films at the Violet Crown and Jean Cocteau cinema houses (Sept. 18-20). Back at the Lensic, the one-man showmanship of Mike Daisey takes on Donald Trump, telling the billionaire’s story as a new American archetype that parallels the rise of “dark money” (Sept. 19).

                    Mike Daisy

Sri Lankan novelist Ru Freeman speaks with namesake John Freeman, critic and editor of the literary journal of the same name, in a program from Lannan Foundation at the lensic (Sept. 21). And Rita Morena traces her upbringing in Puerto Rico through a legendary seven-decade career in show business (Oct. 27). Met Live in HD starts up again with a new production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (Oct. 8) and Mozart’s Don Giovanni (Oct. 22-23), while National Theatre Live in HD reprises the award-winning 2014 production of Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge (Sept. 30), as well as an anarchic new version of The Threepenny Opera (Sept. 29) and an encore broadcast of the 2011 production of Frankenstein directed by Academy Award winner Danny Boyle (Oct. 29).

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presents its final show of the Santa Fe season (Sept. 3), and Performance Santa Fe brings the breathtaking feats of the Shanghai Acrobats to the Lensic for one night (Oct. 6).

La Fonda and Santa Fe In the News

American Way Magazine – Santa Fe Star: The La Fonda on the Plaza hotel debuts a vintage-chic renovation (Page 23) READ MORE

Austin Monthly  - Desert Rose, Experience the cultural finds of enchanting Santa Fe READ MORE

HuffingtonPost – Riding the Railrunner express to Santa Fe. READ MORE

The Santa Fe Reporter – La Fonda takes “Best of Santa Fe Lodging” 5 years in a row! READ MORE