Coyote Cafe Is Santa Fe’s Most Iconic Restaurant — Cooking in America
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– So we’ll be going to one of
the most iconic restaurants in Santa Fe, and we’ll be meeting two guys who started off as dishwashers and are now executive chef and owner. Let’s go check out Coyote Cafe. – Hola, Chef. – What’s up man? – How are you? – Good, good. – Welcome. This is Chef Eduardo Rodriguez. – Welcome. – Okay, I’ve heard amazing
things about this place and ton of history, and what type of food
are you guys doing here? – [Quinn] This is what
defined the restaurant, you know, decades ago, its
modern, Southwestern cuisine and in the restaurant and in
the Southwest we use chiles for a flavor, not necessarily for heat but lots of great flavor. – So first one that we’re gonna do is, we’re gonna make the corn cakes. – [Eduardo] So we have the
yellow cornmeal, AP flour. – Oh, giving out the secrets right now. (laughs) – [Eduardo] So then,
like we have corn too, salt, sugar, too, making
powder, barley milk. – [Chef] For some tartness. – [Eduardo] Exactly, yeah. I spent half of my life in Mexico and half of my life here, in Santa Fe. – You grew up cooking? – Yeah, I’m from Zacatecas
so my family was like, huge family, you know? I was living with my mother, my grandma. When I came here to Santa Fe, New Mexico, I was like, came here for vacation, you know? To be seeing my brother. I was set to go to the
school to do my architect. – Oh, okay. – But when I see the kitchen, I saw everybody working
on the lines, you know, I think I’m in the wrong….wrong – Yeah, yeah. – So you know, the only position
we have in the restaurant is as washing dishes, you know what? I want it. Three months I was washing
dishes and prepping. Six months later, I was on the line. I don’t make buildings, but
I make, like, amazing food. – [Sheldon] The shrimp
that’s been marinated with – [Eduardo] Chipotle Morita, more smoke on the rest, it is sweeter. Chipotle butter sauce too; its a white wine, shallots,
fresh thyme, black peppercorns. This recipe’s almost has like 30 years, since this place opened. – [Sheldon] So this
dates back all the way to when Mark Miller was taking, you know, Southwestern cuisine and elevating it. – [Eduardo] Yeah, exactly. We have avocado, tomatoes, chipotle butter sauce, micro cilantro. – [Sheldon] Ode to the original. – [Eduardo] Original chef, Mark Miller. It’s still on the menu. – In New Mexico you see chile, enchiladas, green or red, but we have different places. I want Coyote Cafe to
be a little bit different from the rest of the restaurants. We have lots of people
here in town and they love like game-y food, so I decide
to bring this amazing quail. As we’re stuffing this with
chorizo, cornbread, celery. Yeah, we make it brown for a little bit. – [Sheldon] Straight into the oven? – [Eduardo] Straight into the oven. People travel a lot, people like tasting different
foods, like why not? Ancho chile demi-sauce, one piece of quail in the middle, too. And then we have this like,
beautiful apple salad. – [Sheldon] Pinot noir wine
reduction, and this is it. So next up is the elk. – Yes sir. – The elk has been marinating in a lot of different things already. – This is like a native
Modelo beer, hoisin sauce, fresh rosemary, garlic and shallots. We marinate this for like
six hours, cuts the game-y, there’s not a lot of fat on the elk, so that’s why I roll this in caul fat. – [Sheldon] Its gonna add a lot
of flavor it, keep it moist. Elk is not very common but
it’s very common to the people who live in Santa Fe, they
go hunting for it, so. – [Eduardo] Yeah so next
you have to just bring this potato nest to the fryer, black garlic mashed potatoes, sugar snap peas, bacon. White truffle demi-sauce too, we prepare all the veal
stock and let it reduce for maybe like two cases,
a hundred pounds of bones. This is a fava bean puree. – And then one few places
that is serving elk. I heard there is some crazy onion rings that we gotta taste too. – Red chile onion rings and
we use like, buttermilk, too, flour, the cumin, red chile, cayenne. We serve these red
chile onion rings here. – They can’t get away
from the red chile, ya? – I really didn’t know much about Santa Fe but things that I’ve heard
before, visiting here, chile, breakfast burritos, and
then this spot, Coyote Cafe. One of the most important, if not the most important
restaurants in Santa Fe. – Back when the restaurant opened in ’87, there was a lot of chefs coming up, Jeremiah Tower and Bobby
Flay and Mark Miller and that generation of chefs
that were trying to define this type of cuisine, Coyote Cafe, when you read through the
menu you know where you’re at in the country, in the world, you know what time frame you’re living in. – [Sheldon] Cornbread and
chorizo stuffed quail. First taste of Coyote Cafe. – [Quinn] There you go. – And that ancho chili of the demi kind of just envelopes your mouth. The cornbread stuffing is, I don’t know, I relate it to being around the holidays so it’s almost warming to you. – [Quinn] So short stack
of grilled corn cakes. – Freaking delicious, it’s
almost like these fun little vessels to put whatever
you want on top of it. Its so cool to see a
restaurant that’s serving elk. – This was a dish that we had
been doing for many years, a perfect example of me asking Chef, “How can we take something that
we’ve been doing for so long, and modernize it?” You’re taking a staple and
something that is well-received and respected but question it and say “can it be done better?” Probably our number one dish. – I’ve never had elk before. That is…people eat more elk out there. It’s delicious. There’s no gaminess whatsoever. Nice and juicy, nice and moist. I knew there was red
chile in this restaurant and here it is. Crunchy, fried perfectly, I
love that you can still have something that can be
so comforting like this. How did you two come along
together in this partnership? – Yeah, I well Chef and I known
each other over ten years. We’re both kind of
younger cats on the scene and when the executive
chef position opened up, it was really a natural choice for me, I’ve got a handle on the front of it and the business side of it and Chef has a handle on the kitchen. I’ve been here 19 years at Coyote Cafe, it started early for me, washing dishes, and then I was a bus boy
one year, you know, 16, 17, and slowly just step by step
from busser to food runner to waiter to bar back to bartender. Next year I will have spent
half my life in this restaurant. – You got roots coming off of your shoes? – Seriously. – Prior to here you were
cooking all over town and Chef Eric brought you here. – Yeah, he was telling me, “You
were my sous chef for years, for years and years so forget Geronimo, just come with me at Coyote Cafe.” That is the reason I
came here to Coyote Cafe. – It’s amazing to look at the table and this kind of tells
the legacy of Coyote Cafe. Cheers to what you guys are doing here.

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