You da Mohn: Chef evolves with café at Tamaya - Albuquerque Journal

You da Mohn: Chef evolves with café at Tamaya

Santa Ana Cafe head chef Patrick Mohn gives ancient cuisine a modern twist. Photo by Amy Byres.

Santa Ana Café underwent a $3.24 million renovation to capture New Mexico’s essence through its food, decor and head chef Patrick Mohn.

Mohn said the changes from the renovation have allowed him to connect even more to the café.

“It’s easier to connect because it has evolved much like I’ve evolved. When I was first starting out as a chef, I was cooking carne adovada, making tamales; now the tamales may have a blue corn masa, or they may have truffle wild mushrooms. So, what we’re doing is it’s evolving the way I think of food,” Mohn said.

His personality can be seen from end to end of the restaurant’s new menus.

“Much of the food is inspired by something that I’ve eaten, and I’ve really loved,” he said.

One dish is inspired from his childhood. The Waldo Gulch Benedict is made with blue corn pancakes, something Mohn ate as a child.

Chef Patrick Mohn in his home away from home, the kitchen at Santa Ana Café at Tamaya. Photo by Amy Byres.

“This has always been a dream of mine to run this place. I have been a sous chef here before (and have) worked here and I love the connection to the indigenous cuisine while incorporating a lot of the New Mexican, Spanish colonial stuff. Growing up in that type of cuisine, I wanted to make my mark in it, but also elevate it,” Mohn said.

Mohn wants to reintroduce people to the possibilities of what could be made with the “three sisters” of squash, beans and corn.

With this in mind, Mohn built the menus to encompass ancient cuisine with a modern twist, he said.

“We talk about marrying the modern aspect of everything, along with the ancient cuisine; that’s really what the place looks like,” he said.

The renovation itself had this same approach.

“First, when you walk in, you should feel the expanse because, much like New Mexico, the views go on forever, but there are great points of interest when you look at the chandeliers, when you look at the beautiful pottery and baskets at the end of the dining hall there. You have to sense that this is a very big place, like New Mexico is,” Mohn said.

This experience continues all the way to the back, where the buffet area has been modernized, he said.

“Santa Ana Café is first and foremost steeped in Native American culture, indigenous food and obviously so since we are on the pueblo. But the investment in remodeling in, and modernizing the kitchen equipment and dining room, buffet area, the stuff like that, is that modern approach to pre-contact food,” he said.

The buffet area includes heated and iced tables to ensure food is always served at safe temperatures.

“This improves the quality of the food and allows us to offer more variety and feel comfortable that it is always going to be at safe temperatures,” Mohn said.

One thing Mohn worries about when going to a buffet is how long food has been out and it is being maintained at the correct temperatures.

“Honestly, besides the fact that it is extremely beautiful, this is much safer for people to eat,” Mohn said.

Another feature added was a new year-round outdoor patio, equipped with ceiling heaters, fans and the ability to become enclosed with plastic walls.

“This space being as big as it is but also enclosed like this is very versatile, you know, it’s summer through winter,” he said.

Mohn believes this outdoor space is perfect for large groups and team-building exercises.

“So, when we have big groups that come in and they want to do team-building and stuff, this is the perfect space for us to do, like, a guacamole competition,” he said.

This space is also used year-round for activities, Mohn said.

“You can tell by the view, in the summertime, when you’re out here for breakfast, or even dinner, you’re going to have all these great activities just right outside of you while you’re eating,” he said.

The café is at Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Home » Rio Rancho Observer » You da Mohn: Chef evolves with café at Tamaya


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
US Marshals in ABQ shoot, kill fugitive who left ...
ABQnews Seeker
Investigators say man was armed with ... Investigators say man was armed with gun
2
Court filing: Phone seized from Trump lawyer
ABQnews Seeker
John Eastman, who lives in Santa ... John Eastman, who lives in Santa Fe, says contents are privileged, demands return
3
Lujan Grisham issues order aimed at shielding abortion access ...
ABQnews Seeker
Action taken as NM abortion providers ... Action taken as NM abortion providers brace for influx of out-of-state patients
4
Four VA clinics in New Mexico to remain open
ABQnews Seeker
State senators helped bipartisan group end ... State senators helped bipartisan group end the AIR commission
5
Sunday shooting deaths of husband, wife will be investigated ...
ABQnews Seeker
Son had been charged with killing ... Son had been charged with killing father; father suspected of killin
6
More support sought for early childhood education
ABQnews Seeker
Land Grant Permanent fund would be ... Land Grant Permanent fund would be drawn on
7
Rains ease drought, but flooding threats loom
ABQnews Seeker
Some portions of state received over ... Some portions of state received over half their typical average rainfall
8
NM to spend $19M in settlement
From the newspaper
State will make a series of ... State will make a series of investments to improve SNAP program
9
Governor appoints new IT secretary
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico hoping for broadband expansion ... New Mexico hoping for broadband expansion to rural areas
10
Freedom 4th Celebration is back in ABQ after absence
ABQnews Seeker
Thanks to generous amounts of recent ... Thanks to generous amounts of recent rainfall, the grass is lush and green at Balloon ...