Palm Desert Food and Wine – Saturday April 9, and Sunday April 10, 2016

Another gorgeous day in Palm Desert at The Palm Desert Food and Wine, with so many inspired chefs and restaurateurs involved it makes me feel very grateful to be alive.

Here are the restaurants/food companies that were featured:

Balisage Bistro, Blue Star Lounge, BluEmber, Brandini Toffee, Broken Yolk Café, Catalan Restaurant, Cello’s Bistro and Pantry, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Copley’s on Palm Canyon, Eighteen48, El Jefe, Essence, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, Gioia Italian Bistro, Hankook Tea, Jensen’s, JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, Kaiser Grille Palm Springs, Koutouki Greek Estiatorio, LG’s Prime Steakhouse, Lulu California Bistro, LunaOlivio, Matchbox, Palm Springs, Mikado Japanese Steakhouse, Mister Parker’s, North Shore Living Herbs, Olive A’Sudden, Purple Room Palm Springs, Rio Azul, Rockwood Grill, Roy’s Restaurant, Rubio’s, Savory Spice Shop, State Fare Bar + Kitchen,The Palm House, The Steakhouseat Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa,Trio Restaurant, The Venue Sushi Bar & Saki Lounge, Whole Foods Market, Wilma & Frieda, Woody’s Burgers, Workshop Kitchen + Bar, WP Kitchen + Bar, Zack Bruell Restaurant Group and Events.

My favorites were:

Wilma and Frieda, Lobster Bisque. Really outstanding, generous portion, creamy, bite sizes of lobster, and perfectly balanced.

Kitchen Bar by Wolfgang Puck; Green Pea Panna Cotta. With smoky bacon, crème fraiche, edible flowers, died and went to heaven on this dish.

Rio Azul, Cochinita Pibil, green corn tamale. Fresh corn tamale was superb, structured like a honeycomb and naturally sweet.

State Fare Bar and Kitchen, Short Rib Slider. With buttermilk fried onion rings, so rich, crunchy, and decadent.

Beverage Companies featured:

14 Hands Winery, 3 Badge Beverage Corp., A to Z Wineworks, Albatross Ridge, Alexander Valley Vineyards, Ampelos Vineyards and Cellars, Ascension Cellars, Beach House Chardonnays, Boisset Collection, B.R. Cohn, Buena Vista Winery, BuzzBox Cocktails, Calcareous Vineyard, Cass Vineyard and Winery, Chacewater Winery & Olive Mill, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Chimney Rock, Cholame Vineyard, Close Pegase, Columbia Crest, Country Smooth Spirits, Crew Wine, De Loach Vineyards, Desert Distilling Inc., Dutton-Goldfield Winery, Epicurean Wines, The Federalist Wines, Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard, Flor de Campo, Folio Fine Wine Partners, Girasole Vineyards, Golan Heights Winery, Grgich Hills Estate, Hardys, Jeriko Estate, Kenwood Vineyards, Kobrand, Leese-Fitch, LOLA Wines, Markham Vineyards, Match Book Wine Company, Merryvale Vineyards, Motto Wines, Mumm Napa, Navarro Vineyards, New Age, Organic Wine Exchange, Pacific Highway Wines and Spirits, Paso’s Best Wines, Pernod Ricard USA, Priest Ranch Wines, Quintessential, Raymond Vineyards, Rex Hill, Robert Craig Winery, Rum Chata, Rutherford Hill, Sanford Winery and Vineyard, San Gabriel Beverage Group, Seven Daughters, Somerston Wine Co., Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Summerland Winery, Terlato Wines, Tequila Alderete, Tolosa Winery & Vineyards, Treasury Wine Estates, Tropical Moscato, Villa Antinori, Vinemark Cellars, Vintage Wine Estates, Westerly, Wiens Family Cellars, Wilson Creek Winery + Vineyards, Babe’s BBQ and Brew House,Black Market Brew Co., Bootlegger’s Brewery, Coachella Valley Brewing Company, Common Cider Company, Golden Road Brew Co., Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, La Quinta Brewing Co., Stone Brewing, The Dudes’ Brewing Co.

Sponsors: Palm Springs Life Magazine, Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, City of Palm Desert, Desert Lexus, Ferguson, Better Built Inc., Tequila Alderete, Rum Chata, Big Green Egg, Patios Plus, Trio Restaurant, The Purple Room Restaurant & Stage, Living Herbs, Whole Foods Market, Voss Water, Jensen’s, Chef Works, Southern Wines. Media Sponsors: Valpak, LIVE Magazine, KMIR. Design Partners: My Little Flower Shop, Angelic Imports, Desert Landscape Design, Room & Board.

Food Demo’s:

Saturday’s demo was with Gale Gand, who made Watermelon Gazpacho. Gale is very personable, relatable, charming, and most engaging. It’s a simple watermelon gazpacho with organic apple juice concentrate, brunoise (small cubed) cucumber, cantaloupe, blueberries, and pomegranate seeds. Refreshing appetizer for brunch, Mother’s Day, Bridal Shower.

The other Saturday demo was with Bruno Lopez, he cooked Braised Short ribs, and he did his restaurant version of the tasting slider.

His Demo was delightful in delivery with his French accent and sense of humor. This is a serious cooks recipe that takes close to 3 hours, for Special occasions, and anniversaries.

The last Saturday Demo was with Suzanne Tracht, who made Calamari Salad. She is famous for her JAR “Chop House”.

Chef walked us through this simple twist recipe for Calamari Salad, jalapeno pepper, carrot, and cucumber dressing with fresh grapefruit juice, and salt & pepper. She lightly sautéed the fresh calamari, then cooled it down. Added finely sliced baby fennel, red onion, then put it on a bed of sliced avocado.

Sunday April 10, I saw 1 demo that was also very interesting. Matt Leverty from Wolfgang Puck, WP Kitchen, he has been with Wolfgang for 10 years. It was a small audience, which made it better for me to catch all of the action. He made New Zealand Pink Snapper Vera Cruz Style. He was a so sweet, I was there early so he explained the recipe ahead of time to me personally. It was an upscale version of a rustic Vera Cruz dish, with better components, and ingredients. The sauce was delectable with; Canola/ olive oil blends, shallot, smashed garlic, Spanish black olives

Capers, dry white wine, red and yellow roasted pepper, and San Marzano tomatoes. When sauce is married, add lemon zest and lemon juice. The fish was flown in the day before; Chef filleted entire fish, and scored skin side. He cooked skin side down in canola / olive oil blend with his palm holding down to prevent curling, Drained excess oil, added wine to reduce. He plated the fish and then put this lovely sauce on top, yum!

What a great weekend, so much excitement, definetly a foodie’s paradise and mine too. I will be attending every year; everything is a feast for your eyes. My advise, don’t eat the week before, your stomach will need the extra room!!

Palm Desert Food and Wine

* Written by guest columnist Karen Jacobson





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