Savor the Flavor!

Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert, Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27, 2011

Photo by Gerry Maceda

After debuting at Fashion Week El Paseo 2010, the Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert has a prestigious new partner. The James Beard Foundation joins the Culinary Institute of America in endorsing the 2011 festival. Attendees will enjoy celebrity chef demonstrations, seminars, and cookbook signings by James Beard Award-winning chefs, as well as other renowned culinary masters. And new this year, the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus will offer branded merchandise in the Big White Tent.

The Palm Desert festival holds the distinction of serving not only as a celebration of fine dining and wine, but also as a fundraising event for the CIA’s Endowed Scholarship Fund and Friends of James Beard. Local beneficiaries include Desert AIDS Project and Martha’s Village & Kitchen. Check out the silent and live auction items, which include a Viking Professional Series wine cooler valued at $3,000, a Viking Ultra-Premium gas grill valued at $2,500, a Culinary Institute of America Sophisticated Palate Program cooking class for two valued at $1,995, and dinner for four at the Mobil 5-star Gary Danko restaurant in San Francisco.

One key aspect of the festival is that fine-dining restaurants and caterers have provided their menus in advance so they can be located adjacent to wines that pair best with the flavors in their dishes — a bonus that also helps participating wineries showcase specific varietals and vintages.

Between sampling wine and gourmet bites, festival-goers will be able to glean food preparation tips from award-winning chefs throughout the day or stop by the book-signing area to pick up a new cookbook to inspire them at home.

Also offering advice will be winemakers and sommeliers such as Hugh Davies of Schramsberg, certified wine educator Antonia Quast, Tracy Cervelone of Wilson Daniels Ltd., and Joel Templin of JAQK Cellars. They’ll speak on a stage (new this year) in the Jensen’s Finest Foods Marketplace. Joan Salyer, West Coast market manager for Gérard Bertrand Sud de France, will speak on Languedoc-Roussillon, the largest wine-producing region in the world.

The marketplace also is where you can purchase any wines that strike your fancy as you make your way around the tasting tables. Armed with some new wine, a new cookbook and newly discovered cooking techniques, and perhaps a new corkscrew, you’ll be able to celebrate the festival long after the Big White Tent comes down.

Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert  will be held, on both Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27 attendees will walk through and experience Fine Dining at its best from over 35 of the top award winning restaurants and their accompanying chefs from throughout California.
Call (800) 775-7256 for tickets and info

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