A Rocky Enchantment
Food & Home Entertaining|January 2017

Wide Open Spaces and Desert Skies. This Rocky Mountain Landscape Is What Moved Prolific Artist Georgia O’keeffe to Create Artworks Depicting the Vastness of Nature, Fragile Life and the Brevity of It All, Once Again Juxtaposed by the Remnants That Remain. Anthea Gerrie Followed the Native American Trail and Discovered New Mexico and Arizona in All Its Enchantment.

Anthea Gerrie

I may have spent 30 years bringing southwest cuisine to California, but I always knew I’d come home,” says John Sedlar, delicately arranging “poppies” of purple potato chips with orange trout roe and pale pink habanero crème fraîche centres on a sheep skull at his Eloisa restaurant in Santa Fe.

It may sound pretentious, but the poppies are an homage to a famous artist this New Mexico town calls its own, and there are animal skulls, not to mention sculptural antlers, everywhere in this artsy state capital – on walls, doors, piled up in markets; their latest upcycling as serveware in a chic new restaurant is novel, but perfectly in sync with the surroundings.

It’s all thanks to Georgia O’Keeffe, who came west in the 1920's and identified what others dismissed as desert debris – items of wonder and beauty to be celebrated on canvas like the red hills and sinuously curved adobe (clay) buildings, which define this most exotic of US states.

John’s great-aunt Jerry, sister to grandma Eloisa, was Georgia’s cook and chauffeur for 15 years, and John grew up picking apricots in Georgia’s organic orchards. “She greeted me with a snarl when she spotted me,” he laughs. “Fuzzy and embracing she was not! But, like Jerry and Eloisa, Georgia was one of the strong, formidable women who characterise this state.”

The Georgia O’Keeffe Table at Eloisa (eloisasantafe.com), in which John pays tribute in artfully composed dishes to the artist and her work, is arguably Santa Fe’s most amazing meal. And that’s saying something in a fantastic eating city – once the only draw to northern New Mexico for visitors who bypassed its many other attractions.

But now the gateway city of Albuquerque has gained a reputation of its own, thanks to the success of the television series Breaking Bad, and O’Keeffe fever, fanned by the huge retrospective at London’s Tate Modern, is driving interest in the beautiful mountain area which the artist made her home. Here’s what to see, where to stay and what not to miss tasting along the way.

SANTA FE 

This is an entire town of softly curved dun-coloured buildings pointed up with colonnades in the bright turquoise, which defines the state. The eponymous stone is the prime material of the Zuni and Hopi Native American jewellery for which Santa Fe has long been the main trading post of the well-heeled, who want home comforts with their ethnic retail therapy.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FOOD & HOME ENTERTAININGView All

In Safe Hands

Managing the safety of our food – from freezer or fridge to fork or fingers, indoors and outdoors – has many hidden dangers. In tribute to World Food Safety Day on 7 June, we consult the experts on some of your most commonly asked questions

6 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

On The Pulse

With plant-based meals on the rise and winter in full swing, it’s the perfect time to stock up your pantry with pulses. Here, we feed your mind to inspire you to feed your body with these affordable, satisfying and nutrition-packed little marvels

10+ mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

Hunter-Gatherers

Making tools to source food was humankind’s earliest act of invention and creativity – a quest that inspires the work of Cape-based blacksmith Conrad Hicks and food designer Caro Jesse de Waal

5 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

What Fathers Want

Four fabulous South African chef dads tell us exactly what they’d like to be served this Father’s Day on 21 June. Take notes so you can treat your dad too…

7 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

the big freeze

Take advantage of the versatility of Clover Nutrikids Low Fat Yoghurt Dairy Based Snack by making a batch of popsicles – this way, you’ll have a ready supply of yummy frozen treats to enjoy in a flash!

1 min read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

sorghum

Sorghum isa grain which originated in Ethiopia and is commonly grown in South Africa and Africa. It is best-known locally in its malted and ground form, Maltabella porridge. This superfood grew in popularity largely due to the fact that the sorghum plant thrives in drier areas. In addition, it’s extremely nutritious, being naturally gluten-free and rich in phenolic phytochemicals (which are antioxidants), fibre and iron.

2 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

OUMA'S CABBAGE FRIKKADELS WITH APPLE CIDER SAUCE AND DEEP- FRIED SAGE LEAVES

This is the most wonderful, homely meal. Made with pork mince and simple spices, the frikkadels are amazingly tasty wrapped in soft cabbage in an apple sauce, just like Ouma made them

2 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

flavour burst

Give down-to-earth dishes like this sweet potato salad and risotto an extra-tasty kick with the help of Clover Butro

1 min read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

A classic remix

This deliciously different spin on lasagne is ohso impressive, whether served to guests at your next lunch party or made with love for the most important man in the house on Father’s Day!

1 min read
Food & Home Entertaining
June 2020

Mono-minded

Young blood in the kitchen of Franschhoek stalwart Monneaux has reanimated the menu… and it’s drawing quite a crowd

6 mins read
Food & Home Entertaining
April 2020
RELATED STORIES

Georgia On Our Minds, Again

The Southern state will be the stage for more high-stakes political drama

2 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 17, 2022

$43m Battery Recycling Plant Set For Georgia, Hiring 150

A company that aims to recycle lithium ion batteries from vehicles and other uses will build its first large plant in suburban Atlanta, investing $43 million and hiring 150 people.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #532

Gulfstream Reveals G400, G800

The product lineup gains large-cabin and ultralong-range mounts.

3 mins read
Flying
December 2021

FREDDY BARRON'S FREEWHEELER TRIKE

John “Freddy” Barron of Unadilla, Georgia, has always loved Harley- Davidson motorcycles. Now at over 80 years of age, this former paratrooper with the famous 82nd Airborne Division decided to let Tifton Harley in Tifton, Georgia, customize his Harley Freewheeler trike. Freddy purchased the trike new from the dealership back in 2018.

1 min read
Born To Ride Florida
August, 2021

THERE'S NO SHORTAGE OF OUTDOOR BENEFITS

As I write this, the news and many social media outlets are talking about the big gas shortage hitting the Southeast. It seems that the major fuel pipeline in this region was hit by a malware attack, making it unable to deliver the normal volume of fuel to its customers.

3 mins read
American Outdoor Guide
August 2021

modern mini MAKEOVERS

THE SHRUBS IN GRANDMA’S BACKYARD MAY BE HUGE, BUT THEY’RE CLASSICS FOR A REASON. CHECK OUT WHAT THE NEXT GENERATION OF TRADITIONAL SHRUBS HAS TO OFFER.

4 mins read
Birds & Blooms
August/September 2021

5 Innovative Recipes to Enjoy with Weight Loss (Don't STARVE)

Affectionately called, Georgia’s Golden Girl, her clean cooking meals and recipes have been a hit. She recently filmed a pilot for a new ‘skinny southern’ clean eating cooking show which will begin full production in June 2021.

3 mins read
Women Fitness
July 2021

GOLD MINING IN DAHLONEGA, GEORGIA

History and Panning Adventures

5 mins read
Rock&Gem Magazine
June 2021

ANNALYNNE MCCORD: MENTAL-HEALTH NIGHTMARE

SEXUALLY ABUSED AS A CHILD, 90210 ALUM ANNALYNNE MCCORD OPENS UP ABOUT DEVELOPING A ‘SPLIT’ PERSONALITY TO HELP HER COPE.

1 min read
Star
May 10, 2021

CHER BEGS FRAIL MOM TO MOVE IN!

She’s terrified of living without feisty 94-year-old

2 mins read
Globe
April 19, 2021