(Santa Fe, NM – September 27, 2011) – Santa Fe’s exceptional chefs and cuisine will be the centerpiece of the premier Santa Fe Harvest Festival, November 1st-23rd, a culinary extravaganza to benefit Cooking with Kids. Along with substantial discounts at participating restaurants, the Santa Fe Harvest Festival will feature cooking classes, a chef competition for professional and amateur chefs, a mixology challenge, a food & wine tasting expo, a gala dinner and more.

The festival’s events kick off with a Restaurant Relay servers race around the Plaza and culminate in the “Best of the Fest” gala dinner & silent auction at the Eldorado Hotel Pavilion. At this thrilling finale of the three-round Chef Showdown, four of Santa Fe’s top chefs will prepare a meal for celebrity chef judges, as spectators enjoy a delicious dinner of their own. Amateur chefs and bartenders also will compete in exciting, two-round challenges. Throughout the three-week festival, pass holders can take unlimited cooking classes taught by local chefs for both adults and kids, taste delectable food and wine at the Grand Gourmet, and save hundreds of dollars on dining, lodging and more. For dates, times, venues and details on all events and cooking classes and to sign up for the amateur chef competition, visit www.santafeharvestfestival.com.

A minimum of $10 of every Santa Fe Harvest Festival pass will benefit Cooking with Kids, a Santa Fe-based non-profit that motivates and empowers elementary school students to develop healthy eating habits through hands-on learning with fresh, affordable foods from diverse cultural traditions.

Passes start at just $35 and are available now at all Whole Foods and Sunflower Markets in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque, on www.santafeharvestfestival.com/purchase, on Cooking with Kids’ web site (www.cookingwithkids.net), and at participating restaurants, retailers, hotels, sponsors and other venues (listed on www.santafeharvestfestival.com/purchase).

“The Santa Fe Harvest Festival is designed to spotlight our talented chefs, incredible cuisine and local foods, as well as give cooking enthusiasts of all ages a chance to learn from the pros and showcase their skills,” said Michele Ostrove, co-organizer of the event. “It is also about getting people out to have some serious fun before the holiday season – and helping kids discover the joy of cooking healthy, locally sourced foods.”