By Don Douloff, October 23, 2008
The food of New Mexico is unique. Boasting bold, creative spices anchored by chile-pepper heat, it’s among the most distinctive regional cuisines in the U.S. This fall, until Nov. 29, the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa celebrates New Mexico’s harvest season.
Located on a Native American reservation between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M., the 350-room resort captures the authentic harvest experiences of an old New Mexico Pueblo community through classes, tours, menus and demonstrations led by resort and Pueblo culinary experts, including the resort’s executive chef Mark Ching and The Cooking Post, the country’s sole provider of Pueblo blue corn.
Chile Chat Classes led by chef Ching and focusing on New Mexican history and exploring the many varieties of chiles, geology and other chile facts.
Chef’s Counter The resort’s Corn Maiden restaurant offers a dining counter near the kitchen, where guests can observe meals being prepared, converse with the chef and kitchen staff and sample a four-course, prix-fixe tasting menu prepared by head chef Starson Roy. In addition, the restaurant offers a three-course Harvest Festival chile menu paired with a flight of New Mexico wines.
Native American Bread Baking Working alongside a Tamayame (Pueblo member), guests learn the recipes and techniques necessary to make traditional pueblo oven bread.
Tour of a Native Blue Corn Mill Explore the unique Tamaya Blue Corn mill process at The Cooking Post. The most prized grain of the Pueblo tribes, blue corn is used in everything from specialty dishes to spa treatments.
And speaking of spa treatments, the Tamaya offers another, uniquely relaxing way to enjoy the area’s fiery, indigenous peppers: The Chile Mud Spa Treatment. Available at the in-house Mist Spa, the Ancient Drumming massage incorporates mud from the Jemez Mountains infused with New Mexico red chile.
The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa is located on 500 acres of the Santa Ana Pueblo’s reservation adjacent to the Sandia Mountains along the Rio Grande River. Tamaya features the 18-hole championship Twin Warriors Golf Club, tennis courts, three swimming pools and Tamaya Cultural Museum and Learning Center.