Chocolate Maven

I want to say that Chocolate Maven is the first restaurant I visited in Santa Fe, but the truth of the matter is that I came through Santa Fe repeatedly on cross continental road trips in various travels before waking up here with sufficient frequency to claim that I actually live here…

However, Chocolate Maven is without question one of the first truly memorable meals I had in Santa Fe. While they are perhaps best known for the bounty of their bakery, which is distributed around town, the experience of eating at the restaurant location is unique. The main dining room features the best dining entertainment in town – a glass wall separating the dining room from the extended baking section of the kitchen. Just beyond the glass from your table, you can watch bakers rolling croissant dough, twirling cinnamon buns, and cutting cookies. It’s nothing short of hypnotic and appetizing.

And I’ll boldly go on record right here and now: it is my firm and unshakeable belief that without question the best breakfast burrito in Santa Fe is at Chocolate Maven (if you knew the ubiquitous nature of the Santa Fe, nay, New Mexican, breakfast burrito, and the sheer quantity that are made and consumed in said region, on a daily basis, you’d appreciate the declaration…)

And that’s the thing: we know Chocolate Maven for its scrumptious breakfast, the lovely lunch, and if you’re really beginning to get your “local cred”, the daily traditional “high tea” with cascading silver trays of cucumber sandwiches and earl gray. But this year, they made the foray into the dinner hour, with the introduction of the new head chef, Marianne Deery.

Formerly the personal chef to Governor Bill Richardson, Deery’s warm, sincere approach to both people and food make her a natural for the Chocolate Maven. Further, you can see the resonance and shared values – attention to detail, incredible care for making a good dining experience – between Deery and the Maven’s owners, Dharm Kalsa and Guru Kirin, and you can taste it in the food.

Chocolate Maven Santa Fe photograph by Gabriella Marks

Chef Marianne Deery prepares an appetizer of french-vietnamese spring rolls

Chocolate Maven Santa Fe photograph by Gabriella Marks

Owners Guru Kirin and Dharm Kalsa, in the dining room overlooking the bakery

Chocolate Maven Santa Fe photograph by Gabriella Marks

The secret life of young croissants at Chocolate Maven

Chocolate Maven Santa Fe photograph by Gabriella Marks

Reflection of the baker in the glass between the kitchen and the dining room

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