5th Annual Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert presented by Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa
Superstar chefs Cat Cora, Gale Gand, Lulu Powers, and Brooke Williamson headline a host of culinary talent headlining the 5th Annual Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert presented by Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa Friday, March 27 through Sunday, March 29.
Kicking off the event Friday is the inaugural “Salute to Women” James Beard Luncheon from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm. The four-course gourmet menu features the four female James Beard-recognized celebrity chefs each preparing a course complemented with premium wines. Live music by the Michael Holmes Trio contributes to the festivities. A portion of the luncheon proceeds and a live auction will go to the Friends of James Beard Foundation’s scholarship fund (Friends of James Beard Foundation) for culinary students. Attendees of the luncheon and all wine/spirits tasting events must be 21 years of age.
Joining the four chefs will be additional 20 celebrated culinary masters from across the country gathering under a massive white tent on Larkspur between El Paseo and Shadow Mountain to present live cooking demonstrations on four state-of-the-art, fully-equipped kitchen stages, wine seminars, and two days of Grand Tastings by more than 50 restaurants, 80 premium wineries and purveyors of fine spirits including sparkling wines, cognacs, and beers. Other highlights are the silent auction, celebrity book signings, and booths offering culinary gift items.
Celebrity talent includes:
- Cat Cora (first female “Iron Chef,” TV personality, cookbook author, and owner of five restaurants)
- Gale Gand (James Beard Award-winning pastry chef, cookbook author, TV personality, and co-owner of Tru and SpritzBurger)
- Lulu Powers (best-selling author, entertainer, and event designer)
- Brooke Williamson (a Bravo “Top Chef” finalist and owner of Hudson House, The Tripel, and Playa Provisions; the youngest female chef to cook at the James Beard House)
- Ari Taymor (chef of Alma, named a “Best Restaurant in America” by Bon Appétit)
- Zach Bruell (James Beard Award-winning chef, owner of six restaurants)
Noted local chefs on the demonstration stages include:
- Richard Pelz (Wally’s Desert Turtle)
- Andrew Copley (Copley’s)
- Andie Hubka (Cork & Fork)
- Greg Stillman (Purple Palm Restaurant)
- Drew Davis (Catalan)
Tickets to the James Beard Luncheon are $125-$150 per person, depending on seat selection. Grand Tasting tickets, including all chef demos, unlimited food, wine, and spirit tastings are $90 per person/per day. New this year are VIP Grand Tasting tickets at $125 per person/per day that add a one-hour early entrance to the festival for a private a caviar and champagne tasting and exclusive celebrity chef demo.
The three-day festival is produced by Palm Springs Life with co-producers Tony Marchese and Dominic Peterson. For tickets and complete details, go to www.palmdesertfoodandwine.com.
Photos: (left to right) Brooke Williamson / Salad Mixing / Gale Gand / Mixologist
Photos of the 2014 festival activities by Gerry Maceda
Photos of chefs courtesy of the Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert