The terroir of the Coachella Valley came to New York City this fall for the Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival dinner at the James Beard House as a quintet of Greater Palm Springs chefs each presented a canapé and a course to attendees of the Oct. 28 dining extravaganza.
The five featured chefs were: Andrew Copley of AC3 Restaurant + Bar in Palm Desert; Andie Hubka of Cork & Fork in La Quinta; Tara Lazar of Cheeky’s, Birba, Mr. Lyons Steakhouse, and F10 Catering + Events in Palm Springs; Gabriel Woo of The Barn Kitchen at Sparrow’s Lodge and The Pantry at Holiday House in Palm Springs; and Kenneth Williams of Agua Caliente Resort Casinos.
The smorgasbord was held inside the James Beard House, the lavish Greenwich Village townhouse where American chef and cookbook author James Beard famously lived and entertained.
Before dinner, each chef crafted a signature canapé to tempt the crowd: Copley’s ahi tuna and avocado taco; Hubka’s deviled eggs with pickled jalapeno, red onion, curry, ginger, black sesame, and dehydrated garlic; Lazar’s jicama-wrapped California avocado bomba; Woo’s Impossible meat pâté with smoked mushrooms and shallots and a cranberry-date chutney; and Williams’ baby Yukon gold roasted potato topped with date-chive creme fraiche.
The nonprofit James Beard Foundation regularly invites luminaries from the culinary realm to visit, cook, and collaborate through events open to the public. The feast marked the second time the organization invited Coachella Valley chefs to bring a taste of the desert to Manhattan.
For dinner, attendees savored five wine-paired courses: Hubka’s white sweet potato bisque topped with barrel-aged whiskey-date crema, spiced pepita brittle, and micro-cilantro; Woo’s TKTKKT; William’s five-spiced pork belly served with an apple chutney, agave glaze, and a touch of basil oil; Copley’s grass-fed venison with corn, peas, mushrooms, and charred peppers; and Lazar’s plant-based chocolate cake.
“Everyone thinks the Coachella Valley only produces dates,” Copley said. “All that produce comes out of the valley, too.”
The dinner was a hit with attendees, which included food and travel journalists, foodies, and members of the culinary world (including Food Network Challenge host and head judge Keegan Gerhard, who will be on hand at this year’s Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival).
Want your own James Beard dining experience in the Coachella Valley? The James Beard Gourmet Four-Course Luncheon is scheduled March 27 during the Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival, featuring emcee Carla Hall and celebrity chefs Curtis Stone, Jamie Gwen, Elizabeth Falkner, and Chris Ford. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Friends of the James Beard Foundation and to Coachella Valley’s FIND Food Bank.
For tickets, visit palmdesertfoodandwine.com.