Salute to Women Lunch – Ferguson Grand Tasting Tent – Palm Desert

March 27, 2015 @ 11:30 am – 2:00 pm America/Los Angeles Timezone
Ferguson Grand Tasting Tent
El Paseo & Larkspur Lane
Palm Desert, CA 92260


The fifth annual food festival returns to the desert March 27-29 with a star-studded lineup of female chefs spearheading the first-ever “Salute to Women”

James Beard Luncheon

(Kicking off Friday, March 27, 2015 and continuing through Sunday, March 29, the fifth annual Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert will create a culinary oasis in the desert with a series of live cooking demonstrations from some of the country’s most celebrated culinary personalities, wine seminars, and two days of Grand Tastings with samplings from over 50 restaurants and 80 premium wineries and spirits purveyors. Adding to the excitement-and for the first time in its history-the festival is introducing a powerhouse, all-female lineup for its annual James Beard Luncheon. Titled the “Salute to Women,” the four-course luncheon will feature several James Beard-recognized chefs, including Cat Cora, Gale Gand, Lulu Powers, and Brooke Williamson each serving a course. The chefs will additionally each host a live culinary demo, offering attendees insight into how to recreate their recipe at home. In an effort to support the culinary community that makes this annual event possible, the Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert will donate a portion of the luncheon proceeds-including from its live auction-to the Friends of James Beard Foundation, which raises scholarship funds for culinary students.

The epicurean revelry all takes place in the heart of Palm Desert, CA’s famed El Paseo shopping district, located at the intersection of Highway 111 and El Paseo. The three-day festival is produced by Palm Springs Life magazine in conjunction with co-producers Tony Marchese and Dominic Peterson. A sampling of featured talent includes:

  • Zach Bruell (James Beard Award-winning chef, owner of six restaurants)
  • Cat Cora (first female “Iron Chef,” TV personality, cookbook author, and owner of five restaurants)
  • Gale Gand (James Beard Award-winning pastry chef, cookbook author, TV personality, and co-owner of Tru and SpritzBurger)
  • Lulu Powers (best-selling author, entertainer, and event designer)
  • Ari Taymor (chef of Alma, named a “Best Restaurant in America” by Bon Appetit)
  • Brooke Williamson (a Bravo “Top Chef” finalist and owner of Hudson House, The Tripel, and Playa Provisions; the youngest female chef to cook at the James Beard House)

Grand Tasting tickets are $90 per person/per day and include access to all chef demos, as well as unlimited food, wine, and spirit tastings. VIP Grand Tasting tickets are $125 per person/per day and include all access chef demos; unlimited food, wine, and spirit tastings; early entrance to the festival; a caviar and champagne tasting; and an exclusive celebrity chef demo. Tickets to the James Beard Luncheon range from $125-$150 per person depending on seat selection. The weekend schedule includes:

  • Friday, March 27 “Salute to Women” Luncheon (in support of the Friends of James Beard Foundation): 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

The festivities begin with a four-course gourmet luncheon, with James Beard-recognized chefs Cat Cora, Gale Gand, Lulu Powers, and Brooke Williamson each preparing a course to be paired with premium wines. Live music by the Michael Holmes Trio rounds out the luncheon ambiance. A portion of the proceeds from the luncheon and its live auction will be donated to the Friends of James Beard Foundation, which raises scholarship funds for culinary students. Guests must be 21 years of age to attend.

  • Saturday, March 28 Grand Tasting: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Over 50 restaurants and 80 premium wineries and spirits purveyors will be showcased, alongside wine seminars offered throughout the day. Guests can look forward to a stellar lineup of over ten live culinary demonstrations, including local Coachella Valley chefs like Richard Pelz (Wally’s Desert Turtle), Andrew Copley (Copley’s), and Drew Davis (Catalan), as well as chefs Cat Cora and Lulu Powers. Each demonstration takes place on one of four state-of-the-art, fully-equipped kitchen stages.

  • Sunday, March 29 Grand Tasting: 12-4 p.m.

Participants include over 50 restaurants and 80 premium wineries and spirits purveyors, along with wine seminars throughout the day. Chef demonstrations will include Ari Taymor, Zach Bruell, and Gale Gand, alongside celebrated favorites from the local desert dining scene, such as Andie Hubka (Cork & Fork), Greg Stillman (Purple Palm Restaurant), and many more.

Guests may purchase tickets and view the latest festival additions, schedules, and more by visiting

About Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert

The Food + Wine Festival Palm Desert is owned and operated by Palm Springs Life and co- produced by Tony Marchese and Dominic Peterson, with sponsorship support in part from Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa; CBS Local 2; Celebrity Cruises; Chef Works; the City of Palm Desert; Clarke & Clarke fabrics, Desert Radio Group; Egg & Dart, LTD.; Eventscape; Farley Interlocking Pavingstones; Gay Desert Guide; Jensen’s Finest Foods; Just Fabulous; My Little Flower Shop; New Leaf Catering; Sarabella Tuscan Jars; Savory Spice Shop; Tastemade; Tequila Alderete; Voss; William Switzer; and Wine Australia. The annual food and wine event aims to gather the brightest and most inspired chefs and culinary personalities from around the country for three extraordinary days of food and wine tasting. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Friends of the James Beard Foundation.

About Palm Springs Life

Palm Springs Life has represented the greater Palm Springs area for over 57 years. Its award-winning monthly publication is a reflection of the special lifestyle of the desert resort communities. Palm Springs Life‘s monthly editorial content includes: social scene; upcoming events including major golf and tennis tournaments; luxury homes; fine dining; fashion; travel; the arts; and profiles of celebrity and business leaders.

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