Les Dames d'Escoffier International (LDEI), Palm Springs Chapter, presents its 14th annual fundraising event, L'Affaire Française, on Monday, April 8 at Wally's Desert Turtle, 71-775 Highway 111. A reception is at 6 p.m. with dinner seated at 7 p.m.
An Escoffier-themed dinner by Executive Chef Pascal Lallemand with wine pairings by Gerard Bertrand Wineries from Southern France's Languedoc region is $125 per person inclusive.
Chef Lallemand's carefully crafted menu begins with three amuses bouche - tomato and basil crostini, pear and Roquefort tart, and Scottish smoked salmon and dill crème fraiche on pumpernickel. Gerard-Bertrand Cremant Brut de Limoux 2010 will be poured during the reception.
The appetizer course is a goat cheese and leek tart with roasted duck breast on petite frisee. Picpoul de Pinet 2011 is paired with this course.
First course is a sautéed filet of Alaskan cod with a fennel and artichoke fondue with smoked golden tomatoes and Nicoise olives. Reserve Viognier 2011 has been selected with this course.
A Greyhound sorbet intermezzo is a prelude to the entree of sliced beef tenderloin in puff pastry with sautéed wild mushrooms and truffle demi glace, served with Yukon gold potatoes and fresh, seasonal vegetables. Gerard-Bertrand's "Grand Terroir" Pic St. Loup 2009 accompanies the entree course.
As is tradition for the LDEI Palm Springs Chapter, chocolate plays in important role in the dessert theme. A tower of three chocolates with Frangelico crème Anglaise is accompanied by white, dark and praline chocolate Bavarian cream and sugar laced cookies. Minervois 2008 is the dessert wine.
Entertaining that evening will be the Orange County Clarinet Consort, a group of clarinetists of professional, regional orchestra players and music educators. Their aim is to bring the clarinet to the forefront with new musical arrangements and compositions by talented Southern California composers. The group is slated to perform in Assisi, Italy, at the International Clarinet Association's Clarinet Fest this July.
For reservations, call (760) 534-3172 or mail checks payable to LDEI, 1775 East Palm Canyon, Ste. 5048, Palm Springs, Calif., 92263. Cocktail attire is requested.
Proceeds benefit LDEI Thelma Pressman Memorial Scholarship Fund.
LDEI is a world-wide organization of executive women of high achievement in the fields of food, fine beverage, and hospitality. Each chapter conducts fundraising projects and awards scholarships to women continuing higher education in the culinary and hospitality industries.
LDEI continues to mentor scholarship recipients, often young women who are the first in their families to attend college.
LDEI is involved with “Green Tables” Civic Agriculture & Garden Initiative, whose goals are to promote community health and well-being, enhance use of locally grown food in the community, build upon existing community food, gardening, and agricultural efforts, foster environmental health, and inspire focus on the value of regional farmers to the community.
LDEI supports organic gardening programs at several local high schools. Proceeds from fundraising events go to LDEI's Thelma Pressman Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Green Tables initiatives.
For more information visit www.ldei.org, or call (760) 837-7180.