Meet the Chefs

Chef Shawn A. Weed

Shawn Weed

Shawn A. Weed is an industry trained chef with nearly 20 years of culinary experience. Weed combines his culinary training with his artistic vision, having been classically trained as a fine arts painter. Having cooked since he was tall enough to reach the stove, and worked in restaurants in California, New Mexico, New York, Italy, and Scotland; the kitchen is his domain.

In his time as a chef, he has worked in restaurants on both coasts, in Europe, and as a private chef for clients in New York City and the Hamptons, establishing himself as a person who satisfies the tastes of his audience and gives them exactly what they want; innovative food that is created with skill, passion, and enjoyment in mind.

Weed’s past experience includes Executive Chef at Atlantis, and Sous Chef at Café Gandalfi in Glasgow, Scotland, Assistant Manager of the Yakety Yak in San Francisco, and Wine Buyer and Bar Manager at Sassafras in San Diego, California. For over Four years he was a Private Chef for clients in New York City and in the Hamptons, New York. Currently, he is the Sr. Executive Chef for the University of New Mexico where he combines his passion for food and the ability to satisfy thousands of hungry clients a day.

Chef Rocky Durham

Rocky Durham

Native to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Rocky Durham has cooked professionally on 5 continents. Chef Durham began his culinary career at the age of 13, washing dishes at a French Bistro. The summer job evolved into a 3½ year apprenticeship with Chef Jean Jacques Alexandre of Bordeaux, France. Rocky later went on to study Classical French Technique at Western Culinary Institute in Portland Oregon, where he received his degree, Certificate of High Honors and Certificate of Perfect Attendance. After school Rocky worked in New Orleans at The Royal Sonesta before returning to Santa Fe to assume the role of Chef De Cuisine at Santacafe’.

During his four year term he received numerous awards – most importantly to him – the allegiance of his fellow Santa Feans. In 1999 Rocky moved to England where he opened eight restaurants in eight British cities. The group of restaurants bore the name of his home town, Santa Fe. While fulfilling the role of Executive Chef at these stylish, modern properties Rocky wrote and presented the hit TV show, “Plates From The States,” a 50-part series examining the diverse, regional food offerings of the 50 American States. Five years later Rocky returned to Santa Fe where he took the helm as Culinary Director of the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Rocky Durham is the executive chef and director of the  Santa Fe Culinary Academy, opening this summer in Santa Fe.

Chef Tanya Story

Santa Fe Culinary Academy’s Co-founder, Campus Director, and Executive Pastry Chef Tanya Story, has been a student and teacher of the Culinary Arts for over a quarter century. Native of California, Story’s love of food was nurtured from an early age by her father; a devotee of the local, ethnic, restaurant scene. Her first sojourn into the professional restaurant world was a front-of-house job at Hedi’s in downtown San Diego. The young, hot-shot chef was fusing French technique with Asian flavors and configurations. This set the hook in Chef Story and she moved to the back of house where her love affair with cooking took off.

Story moved to the Bay Area where she attended the California Culinary Academy and began an apprenticeship with a midwife, herbalist who specialized in healing foods. When Chef Story returned to Southern California she opened ‘Skillet A Go-Go’, a food delivery service that focused on vegetarian and vegan fare for clients with special dietary needs.

Tanya has travelled extensively; living and working on five continents. Her flavors and techniques reflect a global awareness and understanding of cultures that only comes from living amongst the people.

In 2005 Chef Story moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she assumed the role of Assistant Professor of Culinary Arts at the Santa Fe Community College. Her tenure at the SFCC was marked by the growth of the culinary program and the construction of a multi-million dollar renovation of two, new kitchens and the design and implementation of the Culinary Garden Project.

Chef Story has channeled her passion for food, restaurants, cultures and community into the curriculum at the SFCA. Actively teaching classes in the professional program and the avocational San Francisco Street Kitchen, Chef Story continues her culinary odyssey of what she calls “learning through teaching.”

Lois Ellen Frank

A Santa Fe, New Mexico based chef, author, Native foods historian and photographer Lois Ellen Frank was born in New York City and raised on Long Island, New York with her father’s side of the family. She is from the Kiowa Nation on her mother’s side and Sephardic on her father’s side. Her first career experiences were as a professional cook and organic gardener.

Lois has spent over 20 years documenting foods and lifeways of Native American tribes from the Southwest.  This lengthy immersion in Native American communities culminated in her book, Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations, featuring traditional and contemporary recipes, published by Ten Speed Press. It won the James Beard Award in the Americana category and was the first Native American book to win the award. She has worked with world-renowned chefs, scientists and academicians and collaborated with them to publish many culinary posters and cookbooks. She has worked with National and International advertising agencies as well as many editorial clients.

Lois received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in Culinary Anthropology in July 2011. Her dissertation entitled The Discourse and Practice of Native American Cuisine: Native American Chefs and Native American Cooks in Contemporary Southwest Kitchens, will also be one of her next books, tentatively entitled The Turquoise Plate. She received her Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology in May, 1999 where she focused on the importance of corn as a common thread to all Indigenous tribes throughout the Americas. Read more…

Chef Gordon Schutte

After nearly 35 years as owner, chef, host, dishwasher, Gordon Schutte has finally retired from the restaurant business, closing his Nob Hill Italian restaurant, Vivace, at the end of May. A self-taught chef, Gordon made his first trip to Italy in 1981, preparatory to opening an Italian restaurant in St. Paul, Mn. That began his romance with the Italian cuisine. In 1991 he moved to Albuquerque with no plans to re-enter the restaurant business. Then one day he walked past a shuttered French Bistro on Central in Nob Hill. Within days he had signed a lease. And that was the beginning of Vivace. During the 16 years that he owned and ran Vivace, cooking classes were regular events. With his passion for authenticity, Gordon teaches with the commitment not to alter what has been successful for hundreds of years. He has traveled to nearly all regions of Italy with his wife Carol to, as he says, prove to ourselves that we are doing it the right way. He is always pleased when guests who have traveled to Italy return to tell him that they saw many of his menu items on menus throughout Italy. Gordon displays great energy and enthusiasm for the Italian foods; his classes will inspire participants to develop further their own skills.

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