Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi—Anasazi Restaurant, Bar and Lounge

Photos by Stacey M. Adams

An edible Local Hero is an exceptional individual or organization working to create innovative, vibrant, and resilient local food systems in New Mexico. Last fall, edible readers nominated and voted for their favorite food artisans, growers, and advocates in nearly two dozen categories—including six new awards. Each issue of edible will contain interviews with several of the winners, spotlighting the important and exciting work they do. It is imperative to the local food movement that we come together as a community to support each other, our local economy, and our environment. Please join us in thanking these local heroes for being at the forefront of that effort.

Executive Chef Edgar Beas leads the talented culinary team at the renowned Anasazi Restaurant, Bar and Lounge at the Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi. Chef Beas is a classically trained chef who graduated from the San Diego Culinary Institute and trained in Spain at the three Michelin-starred Martin Berasategui Restaurant, where he worked closely with the world-renowned chef himself. He also served as chef de cuisine at Madera, another Michelin-starred restaurant, in Menlo Park, California, before taking the reins at the Anasazi Restaurant.

How did you get to where you are now? What’s the backstory, and what was the moment that brought you to your current work?

I have been very lucky to train under highly talented chefs from all over the world. I had the honor of training under Chef Martin Berasategui, world-renowned for his unduplicable culinary technique. I learned how to appreciate ingredients and food in an incomparable environment. I also served as chef de cuisine at Madera in California, another well-regarded restaurant, where we worked with local farm ingredients and used cooking techniques to highlight their natural flavors. I started cooking at a very young age, which helped me understand what the industry has to offer.

After working at Madera for several years, I was seeking a new environment to challenge myself culinarily. Santa Fe’s amazing food scene and the Anasazi Restaurant’s long-standing reputation as one of the city’s best restaurants appealed to me, and working there felt like a natural evolution in my career due to my familiarity with haute cuisine and experience working with farm-fresh ingredients.

What is a local food issue that is important to you?

In accordance with Rosewood Inn’s “sense of place” philosophy and my years of working with local ingredients, I find it important to source locally whenever possible. When I first arrived in Santa Fe, I immediately reached out to farmers in the area to learn about their products and discuss ways we could work together. We’ve developed strong partnerships with local farms and purveyors that continue to this day.

In this issue, edible is focusing on local and national food policy. Can you tell us a bit about a problem that is facing our local restaurant industry and what policy initiatives (local, state, federal) you would most like to see enacted, repealed, or protected to address that problem?

Living in Santa Fe, a city that proudly champions local sourcing and environmental friendliness, has made me more ecologically conscious than ever. Many people don’t realize how environmentally taxing it is to support a food system. Ingredients are often transported across miles and involve a complex industrial supply chain that has a heavy impact on our planet. Even our diets themselves can harm the environment in irreparable ways. Personally and professionally, I try to champion sustainable, responsible, and local sourcing whenever possible to reduce my environmental footprint, and I would like to see this reflected in our national food policy as well. Cooking with Kids is also a passion of mine, and I would like to see more involvement from the city and its officials in continuing to educate children on the environment and food.

What is a meal you will never get tired of?

For a meal at home, I enjoy traditional indigenous Mexican food, and tacos de tripa are my go-to snack. If I go out to dinner, I always go for the tasting menu. In my opinion, it showcases the chef’s talents and creativity.

How does being a Santa Fean inspire your work and passions?

Rather than focusing on red and green chiles, which most people associate with Southwestern food, it is my goal to explore different ways to pay homage to Santa Fe’s unique culinary traditions. For example, I like to incorporate native cooking techniques whenever possible, such as smoking with local branches. Upon arriving in Santa Fe, I found it fascinating to learn about the local trees and the types of flavors their branches impart. The ingredients and traditions in Santa Fe are so different and unique from what I’ve previously worked with, and I love the creativity and experimentation they inspire in me. Working closely with a unique community gives me a high level of satisfaction and helps me continue to push my creativity to new levels.

Fill in the Blank:

When I make guacamole, I always add beer to make it extra delicious.

If I had the chance, I would have lunch with Chef Andoni Luis Aduriz at his restaurant, Mugaritz. I’d like to ask him how he approaches his culinary evolution.

Most people are surprised to learn that I enjoy going camping and being completely immersed in nature.

A food trend I can’t stand is truffle oil. One I like is sourcing locally and wild edibles.

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