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Indulge in the Local Flavors of Greater Palm Springs

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Gambas at Catalan Mediterranean Restaurant Gambas at Catalan Mediterranean Restaurant

TASTE News Service, November 4, 2016 – Visitors can discover one of the nation's top producing agricultural centers by following the local flavors of Greater Palm Springs.

With roughly 70,000 acres of bountiful crops like citrus, leafy greens and more than 90 percent of the nation's date crop, it's no wonder local chefs are drawing inspiration from the fields and creating a local farm-to-table movement that puts Greater Palm Springs on the foodie map.

Whether you want a casual bite or an elegant evening of haute cuisine, you'll find the best of both in the Coachella Valley.

For an informal lunch, Luscious Lorraine's in Palm Desert is a must. Owner Lorraine Ornelas not only shops at the farmers markets, she also has her own quarter-acre farm. So the veggies in her famous Green Drink may be minutes out of the ground. Every Wednesday, Cheeky's debuts a new menu at this chic brunch spot. From heirloom tomatoes to arugula, produce is locally sourced, while eggs are organic and the beef grass-fed.

Michael Beckman PicmonkeyMichael Beckman of Workshop KitchenNo vacation is complete without indulging in at least one gourmet feast. Local seasonal ingredients and a hacienda-style setting make dinner in La Quinta at Morgan's in the Desert unforgettable. Morgan's is credited with pioneering the local farm-to-table scene in the Coachella valley and their dishes pair perfectly with the restaurant's decidedly West Coast wine list.

In the heart of Rancho Mirage, Catalan Mediterranean Restaurant, brings forth tastes from Spain, Italy and California. Chef Drew Davis is proud to support local farmers and offers natural Kobe Beef from Snake River Farm, Berkshire Pork from Salmon Creek Farm and Organic Free-Range Jidori Chicken. At Essence Restaurant, located in Desert Hot Springs at the Two Palms Resort & Spa, diners are encouraged to nourish the body and replenish the soul with their farm-to-table cuisine and hand crafted healing drinks.

In the Palm Springs Uptown Design District, Workshop Kitchen + Bar pairs locally sourced food with a modern interior, industrial feel. With an ever-changing menu at this new James Beard Award winning restaurant, Chef Michael Beckman plays with local offerings like honey, mustard greens and dates. Early next year, Beckman plans to open Truss and Twine, where he will focus on product only from the desert, including a cactus ragu and a goat cheese dish incorporating crushed bougainvillea leaves and Temecula Valley honey.

From October through May in Palm Springs, Palm Desert and La Quinta, visitors can find everything from produce, meats and cheeses to fresh flowers, locally made salsa and freshly squeezed juice at the Coachella Valley Certified Farmers Markets. If you're looking for the absolute freshest produce, Madison Street Produce, a roadside stand in Indio, offers its freshly picked fruits and veggies at the corner of Highway 111 and Madison Street.

Beyond the fields, there are plenty of other ways to savor the local flavors of the oasis. You can perk up with a latte made with Joshua Tree Roasting Company's freshly roasted coffee beans at Customs Coffee or grab a new cold brew infused with Nitrogen at IW Coffee in Indian Wells. Indulge your sweet tooth with locally made Brandini Toffee or raise a glass of craft beer as you dig further into this foodie oasis.

Speaking of craft beer, the best beer tastings are the ones where someone else does the driving. Desert Adventures offers the only Craft Beer Tour in Greater Palm Springs. At Coachella Valley Brewing Company's Thousand Palms brewery, local ingredients shine in beers like the Desert Swarm, made with local coriander, kumquats and honey. La Quinta Brewing Company's award-winning favorites include the Poolside Blonde and Indian Canyon IPA, but don't miss the Koffi Porter, brewed with locally roasted coffee beans from Koffi. Babe's Bar-B-Que Brewhouse is Greater Palm Springs' oldest micro-brewery located in Rancho Mirage. The award-winning brews include a Honey Blonde Ale flavored with orange-blossom honey. Their brew with the longest list of awards is the Blackfin Lager.

Don't miss out on the upcoming Brew in La Quinta Craft Brew Fest or the Indio California BBQ State Championship and Festival. The BBQ Festival will feature professional pit masters from across the nation competing for up to $10,000 in prize money. The 4th annual Props & Hops Craft Beer Festival will feature West Coast craft breweries, food vendors, and live music among vintage planes at the Palm Springs Air Museum.

Opening later this year, the Draughtsman, a new gastropub part of Arrive Hotel complex, will serve modern American comfort food and a large selection of craft beer on draught. Whiskey One Eleven is slated to open in Palm Desert and will feature locally sourced farm-to-table food offerings, craft whiskey, and craft brews in what will be the largest indoor music venue in the Coachella Valley.

Next year, food lovers will have the opportunity to fully experience the region's evolving culinary style during the Rhythm, Wine, & Brews Experience and the seventh annual Palm Desert Food & Wine event hosted by Gail Simmons, Food Expert, Food & Wine's Special Projects Director and judge on BRAVO's Top Chef. The events will feature some of the world's best chefs, vintners, and craft brewers from across the country.


Editor’s note: Links to the websites of many Lodging and Dining options in the Greater Palm Springs area can be found in Taste California Travel’s Resource Directory.

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