Sheri's Palm Springs Area Blog

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Jeremiah Tower Headlines Wine Dinner

Culinary Collaboratives Again

World-renowned Chef Jeremiah Tower shared the kitchen again with The Pink Cabana Executive Chef Jason Niederkorn for a special dining experience.

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I was fortunate enough to attend this fabulous dinner last weekend. I was very excited to go, not only because I knew it would be a wonderful experience, but because I used to work for Jeremiah at Stars in San Francisco.

He was always the most elegant, eloquent, creative chef, and I found that to still be the case. It was great to see him and a lot of the friends that flew in from all over the country to attend.

The Backstory

Fresh from graduating the Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Jason Niederkorn earned his first taste of culinary greatness in the 1990s when he was hired to work under Chef Jeremiah Tower at Stars Restaurant.

The duo worked together to further cultivate what Tower had originally created, known today as “California Cuisine,” and later a major figure in creating “New American Cuisine.”

Greater Palm Springs food enthusiasts were the lucky recipients of their collaborative efforts again when Tower came to The Pink Cabana inside the Sands Hotel in Indian Wells on Sept. 15 to help Niederkorn create the “Cabana Under the Stars” dinner experience.

“One of the great highlights of my career is the time I spent working alongside Chef Tower,” Niederkorn says, “and to partner with him on this incredible menu is an amazing opportunity. It will be an evening to remember.”

The evening featured a cocktail hour with canapés and apéritifs, a six-course menu, and thoughtful wine pairings. This dinner highlighted the chefs’ imaginative creations like filet mignon and buttered lobster, foie gras agnolotti with black truffle broth, and ended with an almond cake baked Alaska with passion fruit meringue and peach ice cream. The menu was accompanied by a curated wine and cocktail pairing from The Pink Cabana’s food and beverage director and sommelier, Molly B. Casey, featuring Mezcal shooters of mint, cucumber, and jalapeno.




 Chef Jason Nierderkorn PHOTOGRAPH BY JAIME KOWAL

Chef Jason Nierderkorn PHOTOGRAPH BY JAIME KOWAL

Tower is considered one of the most prolific chefs in contemporary American cuisine. In addition to Stars, he was also executive chef at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. He has appeared as the subject in the late Anthony Bourdain’s documentary The Last Magnificent and has won the prestigious award from the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Chef of the Year” in America and “Best Regional Chef” for California. He is also an award-winning cookbook author for Jeremiah Tower’s New American Classics; his latest release is The Flavors of Taste.

“Cabana Under That Stars,” 6:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at The Pink Cabana, 44985 Province Way, Indian Wells. 760-321-3771; sandshotelandspa.com/dining-bar/. Tickets are $260 per person including wine and beverage pairings. Seats are limited and advanced purchase is required.





Dining Around the Desert: The Pink Cabana, Indian Wells

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Created by PRG Hospitality Group, in collaboration with designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, the Sands Hotel & Spa was conceived to be the first designer boutique hotel in the prominent and exclusive community of Indian Wells, California.

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The Pink Cabana is an ingredient-driven restaurant featuring Mediterranean cuisine with a Moroccan influence. Chef Jason Niederkorn has received world renowned accolades from Condé Nast Traveler, LA Times and Forbes, amongst others.

I've had the good fortune of having cocktails and dinner at The Pink Cabana about half a dozen times since it opened a couple of months ago. Located right next door to The Nest off of Highway 111, in Indian Wells.

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My friends and I have enjoyed a selection of their specialty cocktails, including the Smoked Sage Margarita, Desert Rose Mojito, Cabana Colada, and Pink Lemonade. They take a few minutes to be created, but they are worth it!

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For shareable bites, we especially enjoyed the Cabana Meze, which included citrus scented olives, hummus, zaalouk, grilled yogurt naan, and the Artisan Cheeses with fig, date & harissa chutney, and grilled country bread.

For Large Plates, I return again and again to the Harissa Chicken with saffron potatoes, turmeric cipollini, Meyer lemon, and green olives. My friend Dean likes the Filet Mignon with fingerling potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and Sands steak sauce and Bob shared the Prime Ribeye with delta asparagus, truffled fries, and red wine sauce with the girls. Laura had the Wild Mushroom Tagliatelle with broccoli di Ciccio, butternut squash, Reggiano, and Leslie had the Alaskan Halibut with summer shell beans, Nicoise olives, and white corn emulsion.

We all love the atmosphere, the food, drinks and the service. It will be one of our go-to spots from now on.

Lunch Daily from 11am-3pm
Limited ‘Sunset Menu’ Daily from 3pm-5pm
Dinner Sunday-Thursday 5:30-9pm,
Friday-Saturday 5:30-10pm

LUNCH MENU DINNER MENU

 Laura, Sheri & Leslie

Laura, Sheri & Leslie

 Entrance to the hotel and restaurant

Entrance to the hotel and restaurant

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Dining Around the Desert: Bobby Q's

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Okay. It's not this desert, but that other desert to the East of us...

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A little background: When I moved to Newport Beach, fresh out of high school, I got a job at the coolest place in town, Bobby McGee's Conglomeration on PCH. I ended up working for the company for eight years, opening new stores all over California. The owner of Bobby McGee's is the legendary, Bob Sikora. Until this past weekend, I hadn't seen Bob in over 30 years! I was in town to help facilitate a big reunion that we are having this 4th of July weekend to honor Bob.

Aside from the extreme pleasure of getting to spend time with Bob, (since this is a dining review), I got to enjoy a lot of great food. Spit roast chicken, brisket, mac and cheese, pulled chicken, cornbread....all simply out of this world. I'll let you take a look at their website for the details, but first, a bit about Bob, who changed so many people's lives for the better, and who continues to do so.

 Bob Sikora and Sheri

Bob Sikora and Sheri

Courtesy of Bobby Q's

Whether you know him as Bobby Q, Bobby McGee, Mr. Lucky or even Mabel Murphy, there’s no denying that Bob Sikora is a legendary restaurateur. Long before he fired up his first slow smoker here at Bobby Q’s, this Phoenix native was palling around with the likes of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, and opening restaurants from here to Hawaii. And to think, it all started when a 15-year-old Sikora dropped out of school to take a job as a fry cook at one of the first franchised McDonald’s in Phoenix.

At the age of 20, Sikora opened his first restaurant – Bobby’s Pancake Stand. Here, he gained the experience to open more restaurants, many of which were beer and burger joints or small coffee shops.

In 1966, Sikora opened Mr. Lucky’s, a 19,000 square foot live music venue, featuring prominent acts of the day like Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson. Bobby McGee’s opened in 1971. The popular nightspot featured a first for the Valley, prerecorded music played by a DJ. At the time, only clubs in Los Angeles and New York were using similar technology. Bobby McGee’s became so popular Sikora eventually had to start turning people away. That led to the creation of Mabel Murphy’s in Scottsdale in 1972. It was a Euro dance club that was before its time but helped hold over the crowds from Bobby McGee’s.

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Eventually, Bobby McGee’s proved so popular that Sikora expanded it to 24 units, ranging from Australia and Honolulu to Charlotte. Most recently, he scoured the United States, traveling coast to coast searching for great barbecue. From Tennessee to Kansas to California, he has tasted every possible variation and style of barbecue.

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Revitalized by his trips, Sikora began a new endeavor – to bring great steaks and real BBQ to Phoenix. Bobby Q opened in 2005 at the former site of Bobby McGee’s, offering a culmination of barbeque favorites. In addition to his extensive barbecue research mixed with his culinary expertise, the secret behind Bobby Q’s barbeque lies within the slow cooking process over Almond and Mesquite wood paired with the perfect blend of spices found in the special dry rub for the meat, as executed by barbeque master, Executive Chef Mark Hittle. This results in succulent hand-pulled pork, smoky sausage links, fork-tender brisket, and ribs that fall right off the bone. Bobby Q is sure to offer barbecue fare unlike any other. The starters will whet your appetite and the desserts will satiate your sweet-tooth cravings, but the barbecue is the showstopper.

Read more about Bobby Q's here....