BY CARRIE HIRSCH | PHOTOS BY ROB KAUFMAN
Founded by European colonists in 1607, Santa Fe is the oldest state capital in the U.S. which gave it centuries to develop a cuisine of its own.
“Finding new and flavorful things to do with red and green chilies are a big part of what we do – going back to the days of the Mexican –American War to see the origins of Southwestern food – big steak, chicken and pork dishes with chile sauces, along with corn and flour tortillas. I took our chefs to Santa Fe to learn about the history of the food,” says Marshall Sampson who purchased Santa Fe Cafe twelve years ago with his business partner Sean Crosby, now in its twenty-fifth year of operation. He doesn’t consider Mexican restaurants competition and says “I’m not saying we’re better than Mexican food - we’re just different. We have our own niche.” No doubt the chefs also took in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the works of Georgia O’Keefe.