Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival Returns for 7th Year in March

The seventh annual Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival takes place March 24-26, 2017 in Palm Desert, CA. Organized by Palm Springs Life, the event features three days of spectacular food and drink that celebrates the region’s exploding culinary scene.

Headlining the event will be Gail Simmons—Food Expert, Food & Wine’s Special Projects Director and judge on Bravo’s Top Chef. She will be joined by an extensive lineup of accomplished chefs who will be putting on an exciting lineup of cooking demonstrations throughout the weekend. Additional participants include Aarti Sequeira, Gale Gand, Zack Bruell and Melissa King among many others.

Palm Desert Food & Wine begins on Friday, March 24 with the four-course James Beard luncheon. The luncheon is followed by two days of grand tastings, featuring delectable items from more than 40 restaurants, created by renowned chefs from all across California and the country. More than 60 premium wines and champagnes will be offered as well, and participants will be able to interact at length with the vintners and chefs. The event will take place in Palm Desert’s El Paseo shopping district. For more information visit palmdesertfoodandwine.com.

Wild Living Foods: If You’re Going to be Vegan for a Day…

Wild Living Foods is perfect for Downtown Los Angeles, and vice versa. Part coffee shop, part salad bar, and part vegan fast casual, with a setup straight out of the Venice Beach boardwalk, the vibe here is analogous to an urban watering hole. Groups from all walks gather to enjoy meatless burgers, creative salads and some of the best hot drinks that can only be described as ‘remedy bar magic.’

The diverse menu covers sandwiches to sushi, but comes together under the motif of fascinating ingredients—kelp noodles, Brazil nut cheese and pumpkinseed chorizo take things to another level.

So, if you’re going to be vegan for a day, or even just a meal, Wild Living Foods is your place to go without breaking the bank. The care and attention that goes into every item, plus the sheer novelty of the crowd, is certainly worth a visit. For more information visit Wildlivingfoods.com.

Bacaro Gains Another Sister Restaurant: Bacari GDL in Glendale

Bacari GDL is the newest concept launched by owners Robert and Danny Kronfli, and Executive Chef/Owner Lior Hillel, who famously brought Bacaro to Downtown Los Angeles. Located at the Glendale mall The Americana at Brand, the Italian-inspired restaurant focuses on fire-roasted dishes made in the new wood stone oven, and incorporates Mediterranean influences from Executive Chef Hillel’s Israeli heritage.

Executive Chef Hillel’s extensive menu features a new collection of Bacari’s “cicchetti,” or Italian small plates. And while the menu is almost entirely different from its sister restaurants, Bacari GDL keeps favorites such as the open-faced Bacari burger and the mac & cheese. Unique to this location is a large wood stone oven, which is used to cook hand-crafted pastas and pizzas, including foie gras cresto de gallo pasta and bacon and double cream brie pizza.

A third restaurant, Bacari PDR, is located in Playa Del Rey. For more information visit Bacarigdl.com.

Winter Wine Classic Enjoys 6th Successful Year in Santa Barbara

Wineries across California gathered in Downtown Santa Barbara on Saturday, January 21 for a festive showing of high-end libations at the 6th annual Winter Wine Classic. Held outside the Fess Parker Hotel, a luxury resort just steps from the beach, the Winter Wine Classic brought together a solid lineup of purveyors for a mid-sized crowd of joyful guests. Drink, food and fun certainly highlighted the event, with several labels and restaurants to revisit again.

A slew of 90+ point wines made their way to the event, as did bottles that retailed for more than $100. On the culinary end, Enterprise Fish Co. led the way with a stunning lobster bisque that was perfect for the winter weather. Patxi’s Pizza Santa Barbara served up some excellent Chicago deep dish, and showed some fun resourcefulness when they placed a delivery order in the middle of the event to replenish their inventory.

The 7th Winter Wine Classic is already being planned out, to take place January 2018. For more information visit CaliforniaWineFestival.com.