Eat Dean Fearing on Santa Fe, Southwestern Cuisine and SkyFire
Santa Fe has always had a certain kind of magical hold over me. I have so many memories, with the most amazing being the opening party for Mark Miller’s Coyote Café in the ‘80s—a seminal moment for Southwestern cuisine. A group of us—myself, Mark, Robert del Grande who had Café Annie in Houston at the time, and Stephan Pyles who had just opened up Routh Street Café in Dallas—had started this movement of cooking with indigenous Southwestern ingredients. This was its big moment, when Southwestern cuisine finally got its deserved space in the spotlight.
At the end of the party, there were only a few of us chefs left. A layer of fresh snow had fallen, and the whole town was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Santa Fe in winter has this amazing aura; I can still see it, smell it, feel it. It was an incredible moment and I’m so excited to be reconnected to Santa Fe, collaborating with the SkyFire team and tied to the rich history of Bishop’s Lodge.
SkyFire will be a great example of Southwestern cuisine as it should be, and what’s exciting is that we’ll be showcasing local, indigenous ingredients, especially some terrific wild game, cattle and fowl. You’ll experience the full range of bold Southwestern flavors: That mysterious smoke flavor you get from wood-fired cooking; the interplay of sweet and sour from fresh mango, jicama and lime; and an underlying heat from different kinds of chiles, especially hatch chile, which is as New Mexican an ingredient as it gets.
Dining at SkyFire will be a feast for all your senses. You’ll be drawn in with the bright and vivid colors on your plate, and be mesmerized by the complex and multi-layered flavors in each bite. You’ll get a true sense of place, in a Santa Fe landmark steeped in its own sense of history. And trust me—that view from SkyFire’s patio overlooking the whole valley just can’t be beat.