New Mexico chef creates menu in honor of artist Georgia O’Keeffe

SANTA FE (KRQE) – A New Mexico chef, who has family ties to famous artist Georgia O’Keeffe, has created a dinner menu inspired by the painter.

“Well, we are keeping my aunt alive and Ms. O’keeffe’s approach to food,” said Eloisa Executive Chef, John Rivera Sedlar.

Sedlar, 60, said he hopes his new menu will make his family proud.

“This is a very interesting tasting menu,” he said.

The tasting menu is personal to Sedlar. It’s inspired by his Great Aunt Jeronima “Jerry” Newsom and her relationship with Georgia O’Keeffe.

“Even at that young age, I knew that she was an extraordinary woman, that she had a unique vision,” said Sedlar.

Newsom was O’Keeffe’s chef and occasional chauffeur for 15 years while she lived near Abiquiu, New Mexico.

When Sedlar was 9-years-old, he met O’Keeffe for the first time.

“I was poking around, kind of being irritating, a rambunctious, young boy going through her house, through her plaza, and she was being pensive and enjoying her austiere lifestyle,” he said.

Sedlar said before his aunt died in 2005, she gave him a set of O’Keeffe’s secret recipes. From there, he created a five course meal dedicated to the painter.

“The tasting menu are foods that my aunt told me she cooked for Ms. O’Keeffe, things that she actually ate. It’s really true to how she saw the world through food,” he said.

O’Keeffe’s Table includes Blue Poppies: Blue Potato Crisps and Trout Caviar; Black Mesa: Seared Venison Loin with High-Desert Ratatouille and Ghost Ranch: a dessert featuring fresh pueblo peaches and bush raspberries served with honey and cream.

Chef Sedlar collaborated with local artist Larry Swan to create ceramic serving trays and impressive glass and cow skull designed platters on which to present the tasting menu’s courses.

“It transports people to Abiquiu,” said Sedlar.

A place that is dear to Sedlar’s heart and where O’Keeffe spent her final years painting New Mexico landscapes and eating the food his aunt cooked for her.

Another secret from Sedlar was O’Keeffe’s love for hot dogs with mustard.

O’Keeffe’s Table is now available at Eloisa in Santa Fe.

It costs $60 a person.

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