You’d think things would slow down in the middle of winter in Santa Fe, but things are hopping here. Here’s some of what’s going on.
There’s plenty of food news in to report. This weekend brings one of our favorite food events of the year, ARTFeast, including the Edible Art Tour (EAT). There are a few new restaurants, a new chocolatier and a sort of new spice shop. And in the wings, from Wings Media, the Annual Santa Fe Restaurant Week.
Without herbs and spices, food can be downright dull. Some cultures and cuisines rely on them more than others. People have been spicing up and flavoring their food for millennia. The Spice Lady opened on Cordova Road last October, it took us a while to discover it. The shop, devoted to culinary herbs and spices, stocks a wide selection of bulk items. Need some curry? You’ll discover 30 different varieties here and an equal amount of different salts. They also stock an assortment of chiles, including New Mexico grown ones. Along with the usual herbs and spices you would expect to see, The Spice Lady carries some hard to find herbs and spices such as fennel pollen and sumac. Some of the offerings are organic and owner, Barbara Nass, says she’s trying to source more. Entering the store, customers are greeted by the aroma of spices. Tea drinkers will discover both bulk and packaged teas on the shelves. Nass, who’s been in Santa Fe over thirty years, is retired from teaching. On a visit to Olympia, Washington, she discovered The Old Spice Drawer. The shop spoke to her in some way. She thought, “I can do that,”and she did. The shop is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm.
Soup’s almost on at SUP (pronounced “soup”), the new soup restaurant, plans to open for business on Wednesday, February 22nd. Located at 559 West Cordova Road, at the northeast corner of Cordova Road and St. Francis Drive, the new soupery calls themselves “Santa Fe’s first exclusive soup restaurant!” They say they’ll bring “a fresh daily selection of delicious soups.” They plan on offering 8 to 10 freshly made ones daily. Besides soup, Executive Chef Anthony Damiano will be turning out salads, sandwiches bread and desserts. His wife pastry chef Lisa Damiano, a baking instructor at Santa Fe Community College, is the consulting pastry chef. The couple met while working at New York’s famed Russian Tea Room in the 1980s. They have both had distinguished cooking careers. Anthony even did a stint as Executive Chef for THE Donald at Trump’s fabled estate, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. SUP is participating in Santa Fe Restaurant Week, March 11th through 18th. For information call (505) 819-5775
If you’re a chocolate lover, and I bet a lot of you are, Santa Fe has a new chocolate shop. CoCopelli Chocolatier opened on February 3rd just in time for Valentine’s Day. According to owner Lauren Roybal, word got out quickly and the shop was busy. The Santa Fe grape vine (or chocolate vine, in this case) never ceases to amaze. The new shop, which should definitely be included on the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail offers hand dipped and specialty chocolates, truffles, chocolate-covered almonds, peanuts, piñon nuts, hand sized chocolate and nut patties, and more. For a really decadent experience, Roybal fashions boxes out of chocolate to hold these treats. The shop also has vegan, sugar-free and gluten-free goodies.
Roybal is a multitasker. Besides creating chocolates, the former active duty military helicopter pilot is now in the National Guard. Her current assignment has her periodically on call to help with local evacuations and rescues. In the shop, she has teamed up with baker Tanya D. Varela, who turns out cupcakes for the shop. They offer both everyday cupcakes and daily specials they bake custom cakes for any occasion including weddings and birthdays. They also teach classes in chocolate making and baking at the shop.
On Friday, February 4th St. John’s College presents the Manhattan Piano Trio at 8pm. The group critics call “a grand departure from the usual, ”will perform Brahms’s Piano Trio no. 1 in B major, op. 8, Ravel’s Trio for piano, violin, and cello and Iranian-born composer Behzad Ranjbaran’s Shiraz. The concert takes place at Great Hall, Peterson Student Center. Admission is free.
The 7th annual Celebration of the Enduring American Popular Song takes place at Vanessie Santa Fe on Sunday, March 4h at 4pm. The yearly event features local musicians and vocalists capturing “the magic of popular favorites from the past. features the” This year’s program features lesser known songs of the remarkable Broadway song-writing team, Rodgers and Hart performed by the John Rangel Duo and vocalists Patty Stephens and David Jenness. Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart wrote musicals for both the Broadway stage and film, including classics such as Babes in Arms and Pal Joey. Their timeless songs, which include such favorites as My Funny Valentine, Blue Moon, Bewitched Bothered and Bewildered (and scores more) remain favorites today. Tickets for the event, benefiting the Lensic Performing Arts Center, are $25 each and can be purchased in person or via phone at the Lensic box office (505)-988-1234.
Santa Fe Concert Association:
March is a busy month for the Santa Fe Concert Association, with five concerts scheduled.
March is said to come in like a lion. While not a lion, they certainly start the month with a lioness. On Thursday, March 1st, Broadway star and songstress Patti LuPone takes the stage at the Lensic Performing Arts Center with The Gypsy in My Soul, her one-woman evening of song. The show starts at 7:30pm. LuPone won many hearts singing Don’t Cry for me Argentina, playing the title character in the original Broadway production of Evita. LuPone’s most recent Broadway appearance was as the title character in Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, the adaptation of 1988 Almodóvar film. In 2008, she made a clean sweep of all the New York theater awards for her recreation of the Ethel Merman role, Rose, in Gypsy. She’ll be accompanied in her Santa Fe appearance by composer and pianist Joseph Thalkin who will perform at SFCA’s benefit at the Lodge at Santa Fe on Wednesday, February 29th.
On Saturday March 3rd at 7:30 they present the group Apollo’s Fire in Mediterranean Nights: Sultry Songs and Passionate Dances from Italy and Spain. Founded in 1992 and named for the Greek god of both music and the sun, they were called “one of America’s leading baroque orchestras,” by the Boston Globe. SFCA calls the evening “a program of saucy and scintillating love songs from Italy and Spain.”
On Tuesday, March 6th SFCA presents the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra at 7:30pm. The group under the direction of Roman Leontiev will feature pianist Alexandre Pirozhenko. They will perform Wagner’s Flying Dutchman Overture, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade.
On Sunday, March 11, 2012, 3:00pm, SFCA presents The Red Star Red Army Chorus & Dance Ensemble. This group, formed as part of the Russian military in 1978, toured military installations in the former USSR, present day Russia and theaters around the world. As part of the Santa Fe performance, they will sing both the Star Spangled Banner and Russian National Anthem.
People of a certain age will remember the original Swingle Singers in their heyday. The group, formed in Paris in 1962, has been through many permeations and personnel changes which keep them young and fresh. They are coming to Santa Fe Tuesday, March 29th . The SFCA presentation is at the Lensic on at 7:30pm. The original singers who hit the charts in the 1960s with Bach’s Air on the G String, recorded with the Modern Jazz Quartet, are gone. The current group is young and fresh, but the original a cappella style, accompanied by their own vocal rhythm section, remains. Their repertoire ranges from classical to jazz to Latin, to pop and rock.
Tickets for all the SFCA performances are available by phone, (505) 984-8759, or online from SFCA, at the Lensic box office or from Tickets Sana Fe. As always, student tickets are half-priced.
Axle Contemporary is at it again. They’re always up to something interesting. March brings their new, interactive , E PLURIBUS UNUM as part of SITE Santa Fe’s new show Time-Lapse, The project, which turns the mobile gallery into a portable photo booth, starts on March 2nd at SITE. Axle owners and collaborators, Jerry Wellman and Matthew Chase-Daniel will create photographic portraits of anyone who stops by and wishes to participate. Subjects will hold a small drawing or object in their photos. You can bring an original drawing, a meaningful personal object, create a piece of art on-site or use one of Axle’s works to hold in your photo. Two copies of each are immediately printed; one goes to the subject (for free) and the other hung will be hung walls of the mobile gallery. They will be at locations around town for the next nine days (click here for schedule). The object is for all the portraits to blend into on image which will be displayed at SITE Santa Fe’s gallery and on Axle’s website. They will also publish a book of the portrait collection which will be available at Axle Contemporary, SITE Santa Fe, and other locations in and beyond Santa Fe. There will be a book signing at SITE Santa Fe on Saturday, May 12th at from 11am to 1pm. If you want to be part of the project, just show up.
If you have any interesting things to do in Santa Fe, happenings or news to share with us, let us know.