Private Vault culinary experience
Q&A with Heritage Inspirations Founder, Angelisa Murray, and Chef & Culinary Program Director, Marianne Sundquist, about the launch of their new culinary collaboration with The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fe.
Heritage Inspirations Founder + CEO
Chef + Culinary Program Director
Heritage Inspirations is known for it’s off the beaten path and out in the wild New Mexico adventures, what inspired you to bring this culinary experience indoors?
Angelisa: As we spent most of last year separated from our loved ones it has been truly inspiring to not only gather with others, but also travel once again. Over the pandemic, we offered “Virtual” Culinary Tours with local native Chefs that focused on the ancestral and indiginous ingredients to tell a deeper story of our ingredient heritage throughout New Mexico. These storytelling experiences inspired me to bring them to life on our tours once we were able to travel again, thus we have been focusing more on culinary tours. Meeting Jennifer Berkeley, Executive Director of the museum was apropos in this process to immerse our guests into our Spanish Colonial Art within an architecturally designed John Gaw Meem home, paired with a decadent evening exploring New Mexican Spanish flavors on the palette. By making these tours private we are able to customize them to each group and keep the gatherings intimate and meaningful.
How has the landscape changed for travelers looking for New Mexico adventure over the past year?
Angelisa: The pandemic has definitely changed the urgency to get out, explore, discover, and reconnect with ones we’ve been separated from. I also think it has changed the tone for travelers as we are now looking for something that is not only authentic, but also allows the opportunity to learn, rediscover and travel deeper towards something that mindfully contributes to the connection of place. Food does that for all of us. Flavors evoke memory and when you combine that with storytelling about a region, travel can augment one’s “sense of place”. When we mention we have new “Culinary Adventures” eyes glow and curiosity seems to be piqued. This new landscape allows guests to be part of their surroundings and unveil new morsels to take home with them.
What is Santa Fe Tapas cuisine and how is it different from typical Spanish Tapas?
Marianne: Traditional tapas is made up of small appetizer style dishes celebrating Spanish cuisine and ingredients, often served with wine or beer. The specific foods vary greatly and are heavily influenced by the region where they are made. The minute I stepped into the museum, I knew this was an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate New Mexico ingredients with the playful approach of tapas. And in proper tapas form, our food will be paired with delightful, award-winning Gruet wines made right here in New Mexico.
My hope is that this intimate setting illuminates parts about New Mexican heritage sparking new curiosities about our living history. As we aim to synergize the flavors with the focus of our experience, my hope is that this opportunity to gather with others not only teaches the traveler something new about this rich history, but also opens the evening with conversation to feed the soul.
What makes a culinary experience in the museum so special?
Marianne: When you walk into the museum, what is so striking is that this is no ordinary museum… This used to be a home! The building is gorgeous, built in 1930 by one of Santa Fe’s most prominent architects, John Gaw Meem. The Pueblo-Spanish style space is an invitation to celebrate both Spanish and New Mexico culture and food, not to mention the view of Sun Mountain from the courtyard is a treat in itself.
What different offerings can guests choose from?
Marianne: Guests can choose from a wide variety of offerings. From a casual cocktail party overlooking Sun Mountain at sunset, to a single course lunch, three course lunch or four course dinner parties.
What do you hope travelers and guests will take away from this museum and culinary experience?
Angelisa: My hope is that this intimate setting illuminates parts about New Mexican heritage sparking new curiosities about our living history. As we aim to synergize the flavors with the focus of our experience, my hope is that this opportunity to gather with others not only teaches the traveler something new about this rich history, but also opens the evening with conversation to feed the soul. We have much to absorb and learn from Spanish Colonial Art, so simple, humble and traditional. The center of a family saint taps into something Old World and sacred in a time where family heritage is dissolving. My hope is this will transport our guests into something beautiful, meaningful and creative.