Top Chef Comes to Palm Springs
During its 12 seasons, Bravo’s Top Chef has spent time in great food cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and, most recently, Boston.
Now we can add Palm Springs to the list … sort of.
For the show’s 13th season, producers decided to mix things up by returning to California—but hopping around, with stops in L.A., San Francisco, Oakland, San Diego, Santa Barbara and the Coachella Valley.
While not a lot of details on the Palm Springs stop have been released, here’s what we do know: On Wednesday, May 20, the chef-testants were tasked with cooking for a mass same-sex wedding/renewal-of-vows ceremony. We also know that Over the Rainbow’s Roman Blas was asked to make a wedding cake for the show. (He shared that tidbit on Facebook.)
If any more Top Chef news makes its way to our desk, we’ll be sure to pass it along.
Johannes Stops Offering Tap Water in Favor of Bottles … to ‘Preserve the Environment’?
OK, we’re confused here.
Johannes Restaurant—for my money, one of the top restaurants in the valley—has announced that as of June 15, it will no longer serve tap water, and will instead offer bottled water from New Zealand.
Why, you ask? It’s being done in an effort to “preserve the environment.” Yeah, we don’t get it, either.
Here’s the scoop, straight from the news release:
“The restaurant will offer Waiwera Organic Artesian Still Water, a New Zealand treasure for centuries, for $1. Waiwera water is carbon neutral and bottled at the source in BPA-free PET bottles. If a guest doesn’t finish the bottle of water, they can take it with them.
“Serving tap water with ice has become wasteful, and in order to conserve water, Johannes has made this decision to convert to a new concept. Restaurants in other cities are adopting this same concept. During the course of a year, the restaurant uses over 150,000 to 200,000 pounds of ice and 15,000 gallons of water, which converts to an average of over 75,000 glasses of water and ice per year.”
The news release goes on to say: “We hope more restaurants in the Coachella Valley will consider doing the same and that our guests will understand and support our concept.”
OK. We understand that less water will be coming out of California’s aquifers as a result of this move, perhaps … but shipping water all the way in from New Zealand!?
If we figure out how that works, we’ll let you know. For more information, visit www.johannesrestaurants.com.
Babe’s Joins Forces With The Venue for a Special Dinner
It’s being touted as “the desert’s first five-course sushi and craft beer pairing dinner.”
It is taking place at The Venue Sushi Bar and Sake Lounge, 73111 El Paseo, in Palm Desert, at 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 3. The Venue’s sushi will be combined with the great beer—and a little bit of the barbecue—from Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse, in Rancho Mirage. The dinner starts with tempura-style stuffed zucchini blossoms (with spicy tuna!) being paired with Babe’s Honey Blond Ale—and it goes from there. As for the third course: We’re dying to find out what hickory-smoked tri-tip sashimi is! It’s being paired with Babe’s Bin 1214 Imperial Red Ale.
The dinner is $65 per person. For reservations or more details, call 760-346-1500.
Twin Palms Bistro and Lounge is closed—again. After getting back on its figurative feet after two recent fires, the restaurant, at 1201 E. Palm Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, quite suddenly shut its doors on May 17. We’re told that serious maintenance issues within the building could not wait any longer to be fixed, so management decided to bite the bullet and address them, all while keeping fingers crossed for an Aug. 1 reopening. Here’s hoping that’s the case, as we’re already hankering for a bowl of Twin Palms’ amazing gumbo. Watch www.facebook.com/twinpalmsbistro for updates. … Jersey Mike’s Subs is now open at 79174 Highway 111, in La Quinta. It’s the second Jersey Mike’s in the valley; there’s already one on Highway 111 in Palm Desert, and a third is supposedly coming to Palm Springs. … Wasabi, a Japanese/sushi joint that had for years been located at 333 S. Indian Canyon Drive, in Palm Springs, has closed, and an Italian restaurant is taking its place. More details to come. … The Ace Hotel and Swim Club has again tweaked its menus with help from Five Leaves restaurant out of Brooklyn, N.Y. We recently joined other media folks at a tasting of the new fare at the Ace’s King’s Highway, and found the food to be quite tasty. In particular, we were blown away by the shepherd’s pie! We’re also intrigued by the fact that the Ace is now serving some special cocktails out of taps and bottles. We’ll share more boozy details when we get ’em; in the meantime, head to www.acehotel.com/palmsprings to check out the new menus.