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Meet Tom Kerpon, Executive Chef at Julia–A Spirited Restaurant & Bar at La Posada de Santa Fe

Photos from left: Patio at La Posada de Santa Fe; La Posada de Santa Fe; Julia Restaurant at La Posada de Santa Fe. All photos courtesy of La Posada de Santa Fe.

By Janie Pace

I

had the pleasure of meeting Tom Kerpon, executive chef of the culinary scene at Julia Spirited Restaurant and Bar at La Posada de Santa Fe, a Tribute Portfolio Resort and Spa, when he served a delicious appetizer at the Taste of Santa Fe, an event held at the convention center for the International Food Wine Travel Writing Association (IFWTWA) last November. Over the past two decades, Chef Kerpon has enhanced his epicurean skills at some of the most renowned resorts, hotels, and restaurants in Santa Fe and across the country including Bishop’s Lodge Resort, Inn of the Anasazi, La Chama, and the Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas, Texas.

Julia–Spirited Restaurant and Bar Julia–Spirited Restaurant and Bar retains touches of the 19th-century flair for which the original Staab mansion was famous. Julia Staab, an elegant Santa Fe socialite, was the wife of Abraham Staab, a wealthy merchant who built the three-story brick mansion in 1882 on the property that now belongs to the resort. They lived there with their seven children until Julia’s death at age 52. There have been numerous sightings of Julia’s ghost, a woman in a black Victorian dress. She loved her home so much, they say, that she never left it.

As a second level sommelier, Chef Kerpon enjoys pairing wine with food at Julia. Some of the chef ’s famous dishes include Roasted Rack of New Zealand Lamb, Pan Seared Diver Scallops, or Blue Corn Dusted Idaho Ruby Trout. Each plate has a suggested wine selection that Chef Kerpon chooses.

Julia’s Social Club, the Staab House Bar, and La Posada Julia’s Social Club is a new tapas bar sharing small plates from the award-winning Chef Kerpon. Sip specially selected wines from Spain, Portugal, and South America plus a wide selection of mescals, tequilas, and local craft beers. The Staab House Bar, Travel + Leisure Magazine’s coziest bar in Santa Fe, offers some of the city’s most creative cocktails in a warm setting with both patio and fireside seating. La Posada, a stop on the Santa Fe Margarita Trail features the Juliarita, named for Julia Staab. The drink combines homemade apricot liqueur infused with tequila made from apricots still grown on a tree planted by Julia in the 1880s.

The Juliarita ½ oz homemade apricot liqueur infused with tequila 1 ¼ oz El Tesoro Platinum de Don Felipe 100% Blue Agave Tequila ¼ oz Cointreau Juice of one whole lime. Apricot wedge from Julia’s apricot tree, initially planted in the 1880s. Shake and serve 72

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