Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta

Cheryl Alters Jamison

Cheryl Alters Jamison

Cheryl Alters Jamison is among the nation’s most lauded writers, with four James Beard book awards and numerous other honors to her credit. With her late husband Bill, she’s penned enough books on food and travel to endow a small library, all the while living out nearly everyone’s dreams about traveling the globe in search of great meals and adventure. Their dozen plus books on food cover broadly the subjects of outdoor cooking and American home cooking, and are noted for their depth of research and cultural background. Cheryl and Bill’s landmark Smoke & Spice, on real American barbecue, has sold over a million copies.

Nothing thrills Cheryl more though than living in the Southwest. She’s written about it for publications such as Saveur, Cooking Light, and Bon Appétit and in books including The New Texas Slow Cooker, Texas Home Cooking, The Border Cookbook, The 50th Anniversary Rancho De Chimayó Cookbook, American Home Cooking, and Tasting New Mexico: Recipes Celebrating 100 Years of Distinctive Home Cooking. She also collaborated with James Beard Best Chef Southwest Finalist (and co-owner of Santa Fe’s Restaurant Martín), Martín Rios, on The Restaurant Martín Cookbook.

Cheryl chose to move to Santa Fe 35 years ago, drawn by the beauty, culture, and—of course—the food. As a young teenager in Illinois, she read about New Mexican chile rellenos and attempted to make them, with such disastrous results that the story has become family lore. She is still trying to figure out whether enchiladas, carne adovada, green chile cheeseburgers, pinto beans, or flan might be her favorite New Mexican dish. She eats all of them regularly in a futile but always satisfying attempt to select one.

Cheryl was culinary editor for New Mexico magazine, where she remains a contributor. She has consulted with the New Mexico Tourism Department too, where she developed the cuisine section for and worked on culinary initiatives such as the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail and Culinary Treasures Trail.

Cheryl teaches cooking classes internationally, but often at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. She has instructed Al Roker how to grill chicken and shown Bobby Flay how to make a New Mexican breakfast.

She is a three-decade resident of the village of Tesuque on the outskirts of Santa Fe, where she raises a small flock of chickens with out-sized personalities and all hues of eggs. Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday, though she likes any excuse for a party. Cheryl is always—always—excited about food. She digs into the food world’s hottest topics weekly as host of Heating It Up on Talk 1260 KTRC radio, podcast at