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Author: Candolin Cook

A New Mexico Classic: The Compound Turns 50

On the afternoon of May 30, 2000, chef Mark Kiffin stood in the dining room of the historic adobe property known as The Compound, inspecting his impeccable waitstaff. This was the opening night of Kiffin’s incarnation of The Compound, a legendary and beloved Santa Fe restaurant, established in 1966 by Will and Barbara Houghton. Having recently acquired the property from its long-time second owner, Victor Sagheer, Kiffin felt an obligation on this inaugural night to honor the establishment’s legacy of French elegance by personally tying a bowtie onto the necks of each of his seventeen servers. “To serve real...

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Inspiration from the Garden

Farmer-Chef Collaboration Creates Appetizing Artistry at Arroyo Vino By Candolin Cook · Photos by Stephanie Cameron From my first plate at Santa Fe’s Arroyo Vino, an amuse-bouche of seasonal crudités, I knew I was in for an incredible meal. The beautifully plated assortment of tops-on micro turnips, carrots, and radishes; ice lettuce (a thick succulent leaf bursting with lemony salt flavor); and a confetti of edible flowers came paired with a green aioli made from a blend of vegetable tops and herb stems—items too often discarded. Utilizing every part of the vegetable, and using them in unexpected ways, is...

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A Powerful Plate: Agni Ayurveda Helps Bring Balance to Mind and Belly

By Candolin Cook Confession: I love food, but food does not always love me. For me, succumbing to cravings for milkshakes, meatballs in red sauce, or chicken tikka masala can only lead to heartache—or heartburn—and a digestive system that rues the day I ever laid eyes on those green chile cheese fries. Although I don’t always eat like a truck driver, my affinity for sapidity generally impedes wise food choices. I recently met with the team at Santa Fe’s Agni Ayurveda, a natural health center that offers nutritional health coaching, prepared Ayurvedic meals, cleanses, and cooking classes (among other...

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Red Sage Redefined: Chef Thomas Hartwell Brings Upscale Comfort Food to the Pueblo

Chef Thomas Hartwell. Top right: Flourless chocolate torte garnished with raspberry coulis. Bottom right: Sirloin steak and heirloom cauliflower. By Candolin Cook · Photos by Stephanie Cameron Pulling up to Hilton Santa Fe’s Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino on the Pojoaque Pueblo, I have two things that keep running through my mind: the earworm that is Buffalo Thunder’s signature jingle (“At the playground, Santa Fe’s playground…”) and my puzzlement as to why edible Santa Fe has sent me to write an article about a casino restaurant. I envision a dining area similar to a casino floor: loud in both...

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