Palm Desert Food & Wine 2016

Recently, we heard about an upcoming event that combines two of our favorite things–“EAT” and “GO”!  And given this is only about 2 hours out of LA (which, let’s be honest, is practically the same as being IN LA), one could argue it is a “SEE” too!  What is this tailor-made event, you ask?  Why the Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival being held April 8-10, 2016 at The Gardens on El Paseo, in Palm Desert, of course! We had a little preview the other night and we wanted to share it with you because it looks to be a great event.

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There will be food demos and tastings from 40 Palm Desert restaurants as well as over 60 wines and craft beers at the Grand Tastings on Saturday and Sunday.

Delicious meatballs and sausage from newly opened Gioia Italian Bistro.
Delicious meatballs and sausage from newly opened Gioia Italian Bistro.
Ceviche from Chef Engin Onural, of The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge. Be sure to check out his cooking demo too!
Ceviche from Chef Engin Onural, of The Venue Sushi Bar & Sake Lounge. Be sure to check out his cooking demo too!
A small sampling of the over 60 wines and craft beers that will be featured.
A small sampling of the over 60 wines and craft beers that will be featured.
Palm Springs Life IPA from Babe's Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
Palm Springs Life IPA from Babe’s Bar-B-Que & Brewhouse
Rum Chata and iced coffee. Seriously, make sure to find this if you go and try it!
Rum Chata and iced coffee. Seriously, make sure to find this if you go and try it!

Not only will the festival feature tastings from restaurants and drink pairings, there will also be over 20 food demonstrations by notable chefs from the area and elsewhere.  Actually, some of our favorites will be there.  Chefs Cat Cora (Iron Chef America, Food Network host, and author) and Suzanne Tracht (Chef/owner Jar Restaurant, a recent Foodie Birthday Luncheon venue, see post here ), with whom we went on a Princess Cruises Culinary Experience Cruise last fall (don’t worry, we will be posting about THAT amazing trip soon!  Promise!) will be there, participating in the James Beard Gourmet Four-Course Lunch on Friday, April 8 along with Chefs Valerie Gordon (chef, author, owner Valerie Confections) and Gale Gand (Chef, restaurateur, cookbook author).  Now that should be a pretty delicious experience.  There will also be a special VIP cooking demos by Chef Cat Cora (on Saturday) and Chef Ricardo Zarate (on Sunday).  You may remember that Chef Zarate was the founding chef and owner of critically acclaimed LA Peruvian restaurants, Mo-Chica, Picca, and Paiche!  He’s going to be coming back in a few months with his new restaurant but until then, this is your chance to see him and get your Leche de Tigre fix!

Cat Cora and Suzanne Tracht aboard the Ruby Princess hosting a food demonstration.
Cat and Suzanne aboard the Ruby Princess hosting a food demonstration during the Culinary Cruise
Suzanne and Cat on an excursion to the Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara on the Culinary Experience Cruise. They were so much fun to hang out and eat with. Their demos and lunch will be fantastic!
Suzanne and Cat on an excursion to the Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara on the Culinary Experience Cruise. They were so much fun to hang out and eat with. Their demos and lunch will be fantastic!
Chef Zarate demonstrating how to make his Leche de Tigre sauce and ceviche.
Chef Zarate demonstrating how to make his Leche de Tigre sauce and ceviche.
Ceviche with Leche de Tigre and Crispy Calamari. So delicious!!
Ceviche with Leche de Tigre and Crispy Calamari. So delicious!!
Chef Zarate is one of our favorite LA chefs! We had fun reminiscing about some of our favorite dishes of his and talking about Peruvian potatoes (did you know there are hundreds of varieties?)!
Chef Zarate is one of our favorite LA chefs! We had fun reminiscing about some of our favorite dishes of his and talking about Peruvian potatoes (did you know there are hundreds of varieties?)!

Other demos will feature personalities like Aarti Sequeira (Cookbook author and Host of Food Network’s Aarti Party), Sean Le (Contestant, Master Chef Season 2) as well as some of the terrific local culinary talents like Chefs Thomas Horner (JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort) and Matt Leverty (WP Kitchen + Bar) among many others.

Chef Aarti Sequeira demonstrates making Arais, a Middle Eastern meat-stuffed bread. Delicious and surprisingly easy to make!
Chef Aarti Sequeira demonstrates making Arais, a Middle Eastern meat-stuffed bread. Delicious and surprisingly easy to make!
Arais with spiced beef filling in a whole wheat pita with yogurt sauce.
Arais with spiced beef filling in a whole wheat pita with yogurt sauce.

So, if you are looking for a little get-away that’s practically around the corner and ticks all the boxes (Resorts! Spas! Fresh air! FOOD!), this may just be the perfect thing for you!

Palm Desert Food & Wine 2016

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  1. Pingback: Tips for Getting the Most Out of a Food and Wine Festival – EatSeeGo

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