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Credit: Adrianne Bonafede

Head to the Desert for the 6th Annual Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival

The festival begins today, featuring more than 60 restaurants and 40 wineries in Coachella Valley, CA

The 6th annual Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival will take place from April 8-10, 2016. Organized by Palm Springs Life magazine, the festival gathers chefs from across the country for three days of wine, craft beer, and cocktail tasting in California’s Coachella Valley. The festival begins with a four-course gourmet luncheon featuring Chefs Cat Cora, Suzanne Tracht, Valerie Gordon, and Gale Gand.

Saturday and Sunday’s Grand Tastings include chef demonstrations from Aarti Sequeira, Ricardo Zarate, mother and daughter vegan-duo Kelly Childs and Erinn Weatherbie, and Master Chef Junior Season 2 contestant Sean Le. There will also be book signings and more than 100 restaurant, wine, beer, and spirits vendors offering tastings. The event is presented by Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa.

Some of the participating restaurants include BluEmber, located at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa. BluEmber features al fresco dining under the desert stars, around the firepit or inside, looking out the arched windows at the San Jacinto mountains. Highlights of the menu include charred copper river salmon, seared scallops and a slow braised Wagyu steak.

Located at the Saguaro Hotel, El Jefe restaurant will also be participating at the festival. Chef Jose Garces’ rustic and colorful cocktail bar serves up Mexican street food and more than 100 varieties of tequila. Diners can enjoy ceviches, tacos, soups, nachos, sandwiches, salads, and a few big plates including grilled salmon, chicken, and steak. El Jefe recently opened for breakfast service, as well as lunch and dinner.

A few blocks from El Jefe is the Ace Hotel’s King’s Highway, another restaurant participating at the festival. King’s Highway is a modern twist on the traditional diner, utilizing organic and local ingredients for its menu. Chocolate brown round leather booths, wood tables, and a large elephant on the tiled wall provide a unique atmosphere, with standout dishes including almond stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, Mahi Mahi tacos, crispy Jidori chicken sandwich, and a grilled skirt steak.

Rockwood Grill, located at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, will also be at the festival. Overlooking the resort’s manmade lagoon, the restaurant features upscale American fare including burrata with pesto, Ahi poke with avocado, braised lamb shank with Tuscan kale, Brandt Farms ribeye, and a variety of pizzas.

For more information on the Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival go to www.palmdesertfoodandwine.com.

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