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Martin Rios Takes Command of Kitchen at Eldorado Hotel & Spa

Santa Fe, NM – March 21, 2005 – Eldorado Hotel & Spa has named award-winning Martin Rios executive chef.  While in command of the kitchen at the hotel, Rios will maintain his post as head chef for the hotel’s famed Old House, a position he has held for several years, as well as oversee the hotel’s banquet services and its casual dining and entertainment venues, the Eldorado Court and Lobby Lounge. 

“We are thrilled to have Rios expand his role here at Eldorado Hotel & Spa,” said Richard Verruni, managing director of the hotel.  “It is his tremendous enthusiasm, seasoned leadership and creativity that has made the Old House the original AAA Four Diamond restaurant in the state of New Mexico.  We want to carry that same culinary expertise throughout all the cuisine at the hotel.”
Chef Rios received his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America.  Prior to becoming the executive chef of Eldorado Hotel & Spa, Rios served as chef tournant at New York City’s highly acclaimed Park Avenue Café, where he worked with Chef David Burke and Pastry Chef Daniel Budd, and held the same post at New Jersey’s only five-star restaurant at the Short Hills Hilton Hotel Fine Dining Room.  Rios also served as an apprentice in the kitchen of Georges Blanc, the Michelin Three-Star Chef in Vonnas, France and recognized as one of the masters of the French culinary world.  In France, Rios also worked with World Pastry Champion Jean Marc Guillot and as executive chef of New York City’s Island Restaurant.

Chef Rios’ innovative culinary approach, which encompasses an emphasis on fresh produce, Southwestern, Asian and Mediterranean influences using a French technique, has awarded him many accolades including the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence.  Rios is the only chef in New Mexico to ever receive this honor.  He has also been named Chef of the Year by the city of Santa Fe and by the State of New Mexico and has been recognized by and invited to the James Beard House.  His roster of awards is lengthy and Rios has been featured on television networks including PBS and Food TV.

The Eldorado Hotel & Spa’s Old House serves up a contemporary global cuisine with a regional flare in a Southwestern atmosphere.  The evolving menu features the freshest seasonal and regional ingredients available complemented by Chef Rios’ signature sauces.  The famed eatery is consistently rated best food in New Mexico by the Zagat Survey and was honored with the Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator Magazine.  A sampling of Chef Rios’ masterpieces include savory dungeness crab cakes; mustard and pepper crusted lamb rack served with yukon potato-goat cheese soufflé, spinach and thyme-olive lamb jus; portabella wrapped salmon served with truffle crab macaroni, savoy cabbage, baby turnips and red wine porcini foam, and decadent desserts such as the bourbon vanilla bean crème brûlée and warm liquid center chocolate cake.

For more casual dining, the Eldorado Court serves breakfast and lunch in a comfortable setting featuring a variety of offerings including classic breakfast and lunch fare with a Southwestern twist, such as a triple-decker turkey club with guacamole.  The newly introduced tapas menu in the Lobby Lounge includes mussels in tomato-garlic-sherry broth and prawns sautéed with garlic, shallots, white wine and lemon served on delicious bread.  Decedent side dishes to accompany the tapas are garlic sausage and fried potatoes, sautéed mushrooms with serranno ham, marinated calamari, baby turnovers filled with beef tenderloin, dates and pine nuts, and tomatoes on a bed of toasted bread brushed with roasted garlic and topped with olives and cheese.


The award-winning Old House Restaurant is open for dinner daily from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. daily.  Due to the popularity of the Old House, it is highly recommended that you make reservations by calling (505) 995-4530.  For further information visit