Hilton Santa Fe Buffalo Thunder announced the appointment of Klaus Happel as Executive Chef. Happel brings over three decades of international expertise to the AAA Four Diamond resort in Santa Fe.

In his new role, the German-born chef oversees the culinary direction of the resort’s signature restaurant, Red Sage, in addition to 4 full-service restaurants and cuisine for the hotel’s banqueting operations supporting more than 66,000 square feet of premium function space.

Influenced by his upbringing in Germany, Happel earned his degree from the Culinary Institute in Immenstadt. He began his career in 1981 at the Hotel Weiler in Oberstdorf, Germany. Following a three-year apprenticeship, he held various roles at notable hotels including the Robinson Club Calabria, Hotel Europe and the famous Savoy Hotel in London.

Most recently, Chef Happel was an integral part of Intercontinental Hotels Group serving the discerning needs of hotel guests in Miami, New Orleans, Cleveland, Austin, Berlin and London.

Throughout his distinguished career Happel has received numerous honors including Celebrated Chef for the National Pork Board in 2007, National Taste of Elegance winner, and the Fleur de Lis Savory Best of Show winner at the 2011 New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, among others.

In his free time, Happel is exploring Santa Fe and the Pojoaque Valley. He has enthusiastically embraced his new home town and looks forward to drawing inspiration from the destination’s celebrated art and culinary scene.

+ other stories

Edible celebrates New Mexico's food culture, season by season. We believe that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. With our high-quality, aesthetically pleasing and informative publication, we inspire readers to support and celebrate the growers, producers, chefs, beverage and food artisans, and other food professionals in our community.