With the extensive construction of the new Taos Ski Valley hotel across the street, we decided last spring to close the Edelweiss Lodge and Spa – along with its two restaurants – for the summer. So with nothing to do this during this time, I reached out to friend and Executive Chef Cheryl Scantlebury of the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa. I know Chef Cheryl because we both procure our beef from the same New Mexico ranch – Four Daughters Land and Cattle. “Why don’t you hang out with us this summer?” she asked. Why not?
The resort resides on the beautiful Santa Ana Pueblo, located between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, along the banks of the Rio Grande River, with the majestic Sandia Mountains serving as backdrop. The Pueblo, named “Tamaya” in the native language, administers a total reservation land of 79,000 acres, of which 550 comprise the resort and the Twin Warriors Golf Course.
The Hyatt Regency Tamaya offers a creative dining scene with unique restaurants. These are some of the best restaurants in the Southwest and feature fresh, seasonal foods that are good for guests, good for the community, and good for the planet.
Guests can kick off their morning with a hearty breakfast at the Santa Ana Café and settle into a relaxing dinner on the patio after a day of golf or horseback riding. The Corn Maiden, serving regional inspired cuisine with a hint of international flavors, is a local favorite for special occasions. There is also the Rio Grande Lounge and the Atush Bar & Grille, where guests enjoy views of the ninth and eighteenth holes of Twin Warriors Golf Course.
The culinary program is under the quite capable auspices of Chef Cheryl, who has assembled an impressive leadership team: Executive Sous Chef Patrick; and Chefs Charity (Pastries), Eric (Corn Maiden), Jonathan (Santa Ana Café), Matthew (Banquets), and Noe (Garde Manger).
Most of my time has been spent between the Corn Maiden and the Santa Ana Café. At the Corn Maiden, I have focused on the grill and the restaurant’s signature rotisseries. The Santa Ana Café is really the workhorse restaurant of the resort, providing breakfast, lunch, and
dinner for guests. The Café also provides a daily vegan special, which is also dairy- and gluten-free. Design and preparation of the vegan special is typically part of my daily routine.
The culinary team has recently planted two large vegetable gardens on the property, along with new fruit trees and a beautiful herb garden. You can’t get any fresher than this. I have used vegetables and herbs from the gardens countless times to create the day’s vegan special.
It’s been a wonderful experience for me. Everyone at the resort has been friendly and helpful. It’s been a time to work on cooking fundamentals – culinary boot camp if you will – and I’m becoming a better professional because of it.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
- Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa
- Twin Warriors Golf Course
- The Stables at Tamaya
- The Corn Maiden
- Santa Ana Cafe
- Rio Grande Lounge
- Atush Bar & Grill