A new dawn of dining is on the horizon at Sunrise Springs. The luxuriously tranquil, immaculately landscaped, somewhat mysterious retreat center has been kept exclusively for guest use only since re-opening last year. Offerings such as yoga, puppy therapy (that’s a thing!), art projects and dining have been part of the program for resort goers. However, with Chef Rocky Durham now leading the restaurant, the public is welcomed to enjoy Sunday brunch in the peaceful oasis.
Chef Durham cut his teeth in back-of-the-house positions as a teen in Santa Fe, studied classical cooking in Portland and worked at the Royal Sonesta in New Orleans. He later took flight across the pond and opened eight Santa Fe-themed restaurants across England. After returning to his hometown, Rocky taught at our local cooking schools and earned “Super Chef” status for Cooking With Kids, a program bringing healthy cooking skills to children in this area. Chef Durham is also a supporter of New Mexico agriculture and viticulture as you will see in this episode of “Digging In,” an online sustainable culinary series by The Liquid Muse and Edible Magazine.
I fluttered in to Blue Heron for the inaugural Sunday service and instant relaxation ensued. The calming color scheme and refined simplicity of the interior design and art offer a step out of the mundane. Brunch is by reservation only, and I suggest you request a table by the large windows overlooking the lake, gardens and Autumn’s fiery red leaves on majestic trees, below.
I was excited to experience Chef Durham’s brunch, particularly as he had mentioned the Duck Confit Hash with blackened scallions and smoked guajillo aioli ($25) a few times in a prior conversation… I ordered it…YUM! We also ordered the Sunrise Benedict which comes on a blue corn crepe with avocado, house-made sausage, poached egg and cottage fries ($20). And, the Ginger, Rice Pudding Brulee is essentially a few delicious desserts presented in one ($10). Another plus: the coffee comes from Santa Fe’s Iconik, woot!
Extending an invitation to our local community, and visitors, is a wonderful move on the part of Sunrise Springs. In months to come, Sunday brunch will expand to lunch and dinner, and the Moon House will become a wine bar. Keep in mind that the current owners of this resort also own Ojo Caliente so it is also exciting to know that Sunrise Springs will also offer day passes to the spa and private hot tubs – a luxurious place to roost to revive, restore and see the sun rise or set.