By Chef Jimmy Schmidt
Raised on a farm near Champaign, Illinois, chef Jimmy Schmidt became interested in cooking when he was studying in Avignon, France. He worked in Boston, Detroit, Denver before eventually ending up in the Coachella Valley to become the executive chef of Morgan’s in The Desert. Here’s his eating and drinking guide for Palm Springs.
SHIELDS DATE GARDEN | DATE MILKSHAKE
They have a whole museum on dates with 13 different varieties. Their famous thing is the date milkshake that everybody is crazed over.
80-225 U.S. Highway 111, Indio, CA 92201-6599
T: 760.34.0996 | www.shieldsdategarden.com
NITROINFUSIONS | Ice Cream
They are making ice cream with liquid nitrogen. They make it per order and they make a very good espresso, dark chocolate one as well as the sea salted caramel.
78010 Main Street #108, La Quinta, CA 92253
T: 760.771.0700 | www.nitroinfusions.com
CORK & FORK | Californian Cuisine
They do interesting small plate dishes. They do a great Ahi tuna. It's a little taco that’s in a fried wonton shell with really big flavors of reduced soy glaze on it. They do a house-cured salmon that’s really good. It’s just a tiny place and the little bites are really good.
47875 Caleo Bay, La Quinta, CA 92253
T: 760.777.7555 (Book a Table) | www.corkandforkwinebar.com
THE PURPLE PALM | Californian Cuisine
They’re using lots of local ingredients which is great. They tend to lean towards more braised items, more hearty slower cooked items. They do a very good lamb shank here.
572 North Indian Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92262
T: 760.969.1818 | (Book a Table) | www.colonypalmshotel.com
EL MEXICALI | Mexican Cuisine
This is an authentic Mexican restaurant with lots of delicious shellfish. They do great little jalapenos stuffed with shrimp which are pretty crazy. They have a hot chili aioli type mayonnaise with it. They also do a lot of long-cooked stewed meats with chilies.
47150 Washington Street, La Quinta, CA 92253
T: 760.625.1541 | www.elmexicalicafelq.com
TACK ROOM TAVERN | Bar
This is a bar located right next to the Empire Polo Club fields and you sit in saddles at the bar. During polo season all the polo players hang out here and most of them are from Argentina and South America, so it’s a pretty crazy bar. I usually get a tequila and a beer.
81800 Avenue 51, Indio, CA 92201
T: 760.347.9985 | www.tackroomtavern.com
Chef Schmidt is a three-times James Beard award winning chef, restaurateur, food scientist and and co-founder of a collective called FoodShed Exchange. He made a name for himself at the Rattlesnake Club restaurants in Denver and Detroit before moving to the California desert to take over as executive chef of Morgan’s in the Desert in La Quinta.
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