Any foodie stepping into the magazine photo feature worthy expanse of granite counter-tops, stainless steel appliances, gleaming white cabinetry, and hanging pots and pans would be ready to roll up their sleeves. But, the school’s workshops or one and two day courses also attract couples, girlfriend getaways, tourists, and anyone interested in learning.
At L’Ecole de la Maison you don’t sit and watch food being prepared, you pick up a wooden spoon and jump right in. Chef Scott Baker and his team of assistants (kitchen angels in my mind, as they hover around, constantly cleaning) circulate and somehow manage to get everyone started. Each student picks a station where they want to work, and as the class progresses, they find themselves cooking amazing dishes and helping others.
My first night in Santa Fe began with an al fresco cocktail party that was anything but ordinary. The happy hour flowed with award winning concoctions shaken and stirred by famous mixologists from the Secreto Bar in the St. Francis Hotel. Famous indeed; Daniel Gonzales won the 2010 Shake it Up! Cocktail Competition in Las Vegas, Nevada. He and fellow bartender, Chris Milligan, infused top shelf liquor with in-season, local New Mexican produce.
When I think of New Orleans, I can almost taste beignets, Cajun jambalaya, po’ boys and Shrimp Etouffée. Let’s not forget gumbo, pralines, Bananas Foster, Andouille Sausage, King Cake and Café Brulot. No wonder I love the city.