Jun 4, 200905:04 PMThe Life
Chefs Meet Dates and Wow!
Photo Credit : ARTHUR COLEMAN
Leanne Kamekona, executive chef at Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa, People’s Choice Award; Timothy Neri, pastry chef, Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa, First Place Desserts; Executive Chef Freddy Rieger, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, event spokesman; Yasmin Martin, pastry chef at The Vintage Club, Best of Show; and Oliver Wolf, executive chef at Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort and Spa, First Place Entrées. Not shown is Herve Glin, executive chef at The Cork Tree Restaurant.
The Ninth Annual Date Chef Competition held on Sunday April 19th - presented by the California Date Administrative Committee, was a smashing success that played out before more than 350 food fans at a gala champagne reception. Again held at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, a premium sponsor.
Fifteen chefs competed, several of whom had entered before and some were previous winners. Their entries were innovative and eclectic and all the chefs were excited and cheerily interacted with the guests. The lively Art of Sax with Will Donato played their special brand of music and are favorites of this audience.
Five local chefs won top awards, trophies and prize money, They are: Herve Glin, executive chef at The Cork Tree Restaurant in Palm Desert for First Place Appetizers, his Date Trio “California Style” ¬ Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Smoked Sea Salt and Dates; Oliver Wolf, executive chef at Desert Springs JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, for First Place Entrées with his delicately sliced Pork Tenderloin over Boniato Date Mashed Potato with Vincotto Jus, a light brown sauce; Tiburcio Neri, senior pastry chef at Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, for his Simple Elegant Date Cake, elegantly decorated with chocolate and sugar palm trees Neri is a previous winner in this category; Yasmin Martin, pastry chef at The Vintage Club in Rancho Mirage, won Best in Show for her intricately crafted Date Mousse and Fromage Blanc Cheesecake. Martin was a previous desert winner in 2004; Leanne Kamekona executive chef at Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, won the People’s Choice Award for her Date Brined Pork Loin, served with Yellow Date Crusted Roasted Beets and Cayenne Date Smoked Bacon. Kamekona has won the People’s Choice Award all three time that she has competed.
The blind judging panel was Donna Skidmore, director of consumer services, Dole Food Company; Byron Vaughan, associate publisher of Sante Magazine; Chef Heath Stone, chef instructor at Johnson & Wales University culinary arts in Denver; Bruce Jacobs, executive chef of Bristol Farms; Henry Fenwick, author and food columnist with The Desert Sun; Donna Curran, food editor for Palm Springs Life magazine; Jackie Olden, KNWZ radio talk show host; Brooke Beare, news anchor with KPSP Local Channel 2; and Lila Fulton, co-owner of Jensen’s Finest Foods.
Keep your April 2010 date book open until the date is announced for the next foodie extravaganza. For information, call 760-347-4510 or toll-free 800-223-8748 or visit www.DatesAreGreat.com