26 Sep 2020

Digest This!: Mole with Chef Fernando Olea

This September, SITE Santa Fe teams up with some of Santa Fe’s most exciting restaurants to present Digest This! in-person on patios and virtually through livestreams. These programs look at the concept of displacement by focusing on cuisine and chefs displaced from their native lands to New Mexico, edible invasive species, and the public programs are displaced themselves at local restaurants instead of in the museum. The 2020 Digest This! programs are made possible in part with support from the New Mexico Humanities Council.

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Rather than as an event, SITE will be presenting Digest This! at restaurants during a prix fixe meal related to the presentation. Please reserve directly with the restaurant. Call Sazón at (505) 983-8604 to reserve! $45 per person for the lunch.

Chef Fernando Olea is delighted to share his unique moles through a lecture and tasting on the patio at Sazón. Originally from Mexico City, Chef Fernando Olea has been enthralling diners in Santa Fe since 1991 with his unique interpretation of contemporary and traditional Mexican dishes. Chef Olea creates sophisticated flavors using Old Mexico’s indigenous and culinary traditions alongside ingredients from around the world. His menu is deliberately small, featuring fresh and locally sourced produce and meats when possible.

Nothing evokes the mystery of Mexican cuisine more than mole, a regional dish from the heart of the country. The origin of Mexican mole is mysterious. Some say it was an Aztec delicacy served to the Spanish conquistadors. Others say 16th century Hispanic nuns created it. In Old Mexico each cook has their unique mole recipe often handed down generation by generation. Mole is a sauce of complex flavors that usually includes toasted and ground spices, seeds, nuts, chocolate and chile. Many mole recipes contain more than thirty ingredients and some recipes have five varieties of chile alone. Moles can be defined by their color such as rojo, verde, and negro; the town they are from such as Puebla, Oaxaca, Michoacan; and social class, such as pobres and ricos.


Negro mole with duck
Verde Mole with Corvina (Sea bass)
Coloradito mole with pork
New Mexico mole with lamb
Mole ice cream

Mole descriptions:

New Mexican Mole: Created by Chef Olea to commemorate the 400 th anniversary of the City of Santa Fe, NM. Sazon’s New Mexican Mole contains Red chile, apricots, roasted pecans, piñon nuts and white chocolate. The flavor is both sweet and savory and it is medium hot. Best served with beef and lamb.

Mole Coloradito: Sazon’s Mole Coloradito is prepared using one of Chef Olea’s traditional family recipes. Using both Guajillo and Arbol chiles creates the perfect blend of savory and spice which are combined with tomato, garlic and other ingredients. This is a somewhat spicier mole and it is medium hot. Best with pork and white fish.

Mole Negro: Created by Chef Olea using his traditional family recipe that includes chile Pasilla, chile Negro, chile Mulato, chile Ancho, and Mexican dark chocolate. The flavor is sweet and smoky and it is medium hot. Best with all types of poultry.

Mole Verde: A blend of tomatillo, spinach, Jalapeño chile and exotic spices. This is a vegetarian mole and is a wonderful complement to vegetables, chicken, pork and fish.

Order moles from Sazón to follow along at home!


With support from the New Mexico Humanities Council, we are making this content available to you online for free.  We are happy to make this event accessible to a diverse range of socio-economic levels.

2020-09-26 0:00:00 2020-09-26 12:00:00 America/Denver Digest This! Another amazing event at SITE Santa Fe Sazon SITE Santa Fe info@sitesantafe.org