Carlo Gislimberti was a chef and artist originally from Italy.

Carlo Gislimberti was a chef and artist originally from Italy.
The hiker who died at the Santa Fe ski basin Wednesday has been identified as Carlo Gislimberti, a well-known local chef and artist.
According to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, Gislimberti, 77, died from an unknown medical episode. A spokesman for the state Office of the Medical Investigator confirmed Gislimberti’s identity Thursday but said he could not provide details on the cause of death.
A native of Merano in northern Italy who moved to Taos in the late 1970s, Gislimberti was a restaurateur and painter, famous for his expertise as a mushroom hunter and the mushroom dishes he prepared at his Taos restaurants, Casa Cordova and later Villa Fontana.
“He was a very special person,” his ex-wife, Siobhan Gislimberti, said Thursday.
According to a biography posted on his website, Carlo Gislimberti had wanted to be an artist, but when his father died, he had to provide for his family, leading him to become a chef. He became well known in Taos for his knowledge of edible fungi and the mushroom dishes he prepared at his restaurants; as of 2003, he was the only person in New Mexico legally authorized to pick and sell wild porcini and chanterelle mushrooms, according to a Mother Earth News article from that year.
“His cream of wild mushroom soup and other mushroom-based delicacies are unmatched,” the article says. “Gislimberti, an artist who believes that art and cooking go hand in hand, fits right in here.”
Being a restaurateur in Taos led him to form friendships with many artists. They encouraged him to display his paintings in his restaurant and invited him to participate in art shows.
In 1999, Italian President Oscar Luige Scalfaro honored Gislimberti with the title of cavaliere, or knight, for his contributions to Italian art and cuisine.
Gislimberti moved to Santa Fe after he and Siobhan Gislimberti divorced, opening an art gallery in 2006. He presented three shows of Southwestern paintings during a trip to Merano, Italy, in 2008. Siobhan Gislimberti said he was a prolific painter and “constantly evolving with his art,” his subjects ranging from landscapes and still lifes to people and portraits.
“I think you would often see him in Santa Fe under a red canopy, painting en plein air [outdoors],” she said.
Siobhan and Carlo Gislimberti met in England in 1970. After they married, they moved to Carlo Gislimberti’s native Italy, where their two sons were born. They moved to Taos around 1978.
The sheriff’s office, which responded late Wednesday morning to reports of a death at the ski basin, said Gislimberti had gone up the mountain that day with another person, but the two became separated.
By the time Gislimberti’s companion found him on a maintenance road on the back side of the ski lifts, he was dead, said spokesman Juan Ríos.
Assistant City Editor Nathan Brown contributed to this story.
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