Chef John Rivera Seddlar serves his Abiquiú Salad on Georgia O'Keeffe-themed plates.
MORE THAN AN INTERNATIONALLY renowned painter of poppies, clouds, and bleached cow skulls, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986) was a lifestyle innovator. From the minimalist chic of her home décor to the simple organics of her dining table, she pioneered a standard that any urban hipster of today might envy. Two people she inspired through her approach to food carry on her traditions in Santa Fe.
For five years, Margaret Wood served as an assistant to the artist and recalled their times together in two Museum of New Mexico Press books, A Painter’s Kitchen: Recipes from the Kitchen of Georgia O’Keeffe and Remembering Miss O’Keeffe: Stories from Abiquiú. In A Painter’s Kitchen, Wood included 70 recipes that exemplify O’Keeffe’s fresh-from-the-garden cuisine. Simple and straightforward, they succinctly define the artist’s philosophy of living.
Inside the Drury Hotel in downtown Santa Fe, chef John Rivera Sedlar has set a high bar for fine dining with its restaurant, Eloisa. (Note: Eloisa has closed since this story was first published.) Noted for his Los Angeles restaurants, Playa and Rivera, Sedlar is a scholar of Latin American food and a native son of the Abiquiú area. In addition to Eloisa’s Latin-inspired dishes, Sedlar offers a five-course tasting menu inspired by O’Keeffe, for whom his great-aunt once worked as a chef and chauffeur. The menu, “O’Keeffe’s Table,” puts an innovative spin on the artist’s basic ingredients and delivers each course on ceramic serving trays and glass platters designed in collaboration with Santa Fe artist Larry Swan.
“Georgia O’Keeffe is becoming a bigger icon away from her art,” Sedlar says of recently renewed interest in her lifestyle and cuisine. “Her visions and sensibilities have helped shape the way I see my homeland, and I express this vision through my cooking. It’s modern Southwest food, and it’s quite experiential.” Wood and Sedlar graciously shared these recipes.