Ranch Cooking: Interview with Chef Fred at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

ranch cooking

There’s always something delicious cooking (ranch cooking that is) at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch.  During your visit to the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, one thing’s for sure: you’re going to work up a big appetite! Especially when horseback riding all day. Lucky for you, you’ll always have a choice of mouth-watering fare and our talented chef, Fred, can accommodate a variety of dietary needs.

We offer the perfect getaway to connect to nature and enjoy an authentic ranch experience. You won’t need to sacrifice any of the comforts of home—especially when it comes to meals. Delicious ranch cooking awaits you here at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch. Your stay with us includes three full meals a day—and some extra treats along the way, too!

To get an insider’s perspective on ranch cooking at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, who better to ask than Chef Fred? Read on to learn more about Fred, dining at the ranch and even get a recipe to try at home.

Ranch Cooking

How did you get your start working at dude ranches? I’ve worked at four other dude ranches. I would generally look to dude ranch work, as opposed to high volume restaurants, when I would find myself not enjoying being a Chef. Being a Chef at a dude ranch allows me to take a step back and enjoy the craft once again.

How did you end up at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch? I had been working at a couple dude ranches in Wyoming and wanted a change in scenery. I found Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch online and headed south.

ranch cooking

Can you provide some information about what it’s like to be a chef in the middle of the Gila National Forest? It’s challenging to be off-grid and remote. Being off-grid forces you to be aware of how much power you are using at all times. Some cooking methods are not available due to power consumption. Being two hours from the only two grocery stores brings in the flexibility factor. You sometimes have to hope that they will have the product you need and it will be of good quality. I have to change menu items on the fly at times.

How would you describe the dining options available at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch? We’re able to accommodate many dietary needs. I also try to keep changing things up for our staff as well as our many return guests. I try new things all the time.

How do you think the dining contributes to the overall experience of visiting the Ranch? Dining at the ranch is half of what our guests do here. They ride horses and they dine. There is no other place to dine anywhere near here, so it is a tremendous responsibility to make it right.

What do you love to do in the off-season? Travel! In the couple months we have off, I don’t like to stay in one place for too long. There is a lot to see in this world.

What’s one signature dish that you love to prepare? Pecan Chicken with White Wine Cream Sauce. It’s a nice light dish to serve to our guests after they first arrive. And, Pecans grow on trees out here….(literally). The recipe is included below!

Ranch Cooking

Ranch Cooking, Favorite Recipes, Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch, New Mexico

Pecan Chicken with White Wine Cream Sauce

Serves 4
4 – 6oz Chicken Breasts
1 C Breadcrumbs
1 C Chopped Pecans
1 C Flour
2 EA Eggs
2 TB Water
Oil for Saute
1/2 C White Wine
1 EA Shallot
1 1/2 C Heavy Cream
1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Chopped Parsley

– Combine pecans and breadcrumbs.
– Whisk eggs and water together.
– Season Chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
– Bread Chicken by dipping into flour, egg wash, then
– Sauté breaded Chicken on both sides until golden
brown and breasts are cooked thoroughly.

– Prepare White Wine Cream Sauce by combining
white wine and minced shallot in small saucepan.
– Reduce by 1/2.
– Add Heavy Cream and again reduce by 1/2.
– Sauce will thicken on it’s own.
– Add Salt and Parsley and top chicken with sauce.
– Enjoy!

Learn More about Dining at the Ranch!