RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – From serving the city to serving up dessert: One New Mexico mayor is giving back to his community using his talents as a chef.

When Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull isn’t at City Hall, you can find him in the kitchen.

“I do this when I go home. It’s a way for me to relax,” said Mayor Hull. He cooks everything from fruit tart to southwest chicken alfredo, all from scratch.

“The flavors, the creativity that’s involved in it. Having it come out right. You know, because I have had my dishes that didn’t come out right,” he said. Some people are surprised to learn of the mayor’s hobby.

“It’s a lot of fun, and it’s fun to surprise people,” he said. It’s a hobby he shares every so often teaching a cooking class at the Rio Rancho senior centers.

“He has a good sense of humor, and he doesn’t demand everything to be precise,” said Martha Akemon, a Rio Rancho resident. “The mayor’s cheesecake. It is just wonderful.”

On Wednesday’s menu, it was the mayor’s corn and lobster chowder.

“A quick recipe that’s easy to make, fast to get on the table, and also, my wife loves it,” he told the class. He showed each step until the dish was ready to taste, and people came up for seconds.

“I’m a member of the community too. I’m not just the mayor, right? I live here, I’ve raised my family here. My grandchildren are here,” he said. “Hopefully, one day, when I’m retired, and I’m here at the senior center, somebody’s going to be cooking for me!”

This is the mayor’s third class this year. Rio Rancho Senior Services tries to hold a cooking class each month with a different instructor. The next cooking class is on October 26 at Meadowlark Senior Center.