Kyle Pacheco found his calling in cooking and was a beloved star and graduate of Santa Fe Community College’s culinary arts program.
Pacheco died unexpectedly last week at age 27. The cause of his death is unclear, although some acquaintances said he died in his sleep at his home in Santo Domingo Pueblo, also known as Kewa Pueblo.
Pacheco learned how to cook traditional Kewa food from his grandmother and eventually blended that knowledge with the understanding of how to prepare more conventional plates.
Jerry Dakan, director of Santa Fe Community College’s culinary program, recalled Pacheco once describing how to make a meal from robins.
Representatives of the college said he started as a shy student and grew into an assertive leader.
“He was our shining star,” Dakan said. “Pretty much the champion of our program.”
He won two first-place awards in the state SkillsUSA cooking competition while he was