Ben Shearer and Santos de Jesus at the clubhouse of the Committee of 25 in Palm Springs.
PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY PALM SPRINGS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Santos De Jesus earned his place in local history as the premier Palm Springs caterer by providing all of the necessities and luxuries for formal parties that meshed perfectly with the relaxed desert lifestyle of entertaining.
Santos and Lynda De Jesus moved to Palm Springs in 1935. Santos began working in the kitchen of the world-famous Palm Springs Tennis Club. The Tennis Club, owned by pioneer developer Pearl McCallum McManus, specialized in elegant dining and serving leisurely meals with white glove service in a beautiful dining room overlooking the lights of downtown Palm Springs. He left the Tennis Club and started a mail-order business when demand for his original recipes including his cocktail cheese and salad dressing became so high that he began to package them.
De Jesus then managed the bar at Thunderbird Country Club for two years and began to cater the lunches and special affairs at the Committee of 25, a private men’s club that opened its doors in Palm Springs in 1948. He coordinated the kitchen and set up unique dining experiences at Deep Well Ranch from 1952-1957. He gained a large following and began catering private parties. He catered parties for Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra and many other residents who were living and entertaining in Palm Springs.
There is a multitude of ways to learn more about Palm Springs, which turned 83 in 2021. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring the city’s history.
The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a story whose time and place correspond with today.
For more information, visit their location at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive.