This award-winning chef and farm-to-table foodie is the owner of the acclaimed Palm Springs restaurants, Heirloom Craft Kitchen and Cork & Fork as well as the Cooking with Class Cooking School. See heirloomcraftkitchen.com
For breakfast we head to Shields Date Garden where you can take in your first meal of the day on their beautiful patio and stroll through their gardens. Shields is a local institution and tourist destination where you can enjoy some delicious pancakes with date butter, then after breakfast, shop in their expansive store featuring local products and even watch a movie about the “romance and sex life of the date”. Since the Coachella Valley is the largest producer of dates in North America, it’s a must-visit when you’re here. See shieldsdategarden.com
Wilma & Frieda in Palm Desert is a wildly popular lunch spot with delicious comforting options for both lunch and brunch as well as a killer bloody mary and made-from-scratch pastries (including homemade pop tarts). My favourite is the short rib scramble but everything I’ve tried has been tasty and fresh. There’s usually a wait to get in as they don’t take reservations but it’s definitely worth it. They have also just opened another location in Palm Springs so you can check them out there if you are on that side of town. See wilmafrieda.com
A lovely, stylish space to take in your afternoon caffeine fix, IW Coffee in Indian Wells is a locally owned coffee spot that is dog-friendly and has a devoted following. They brew a delicious cup of coffee and make their own pastries and sandwiches in house. They even occasionally have live music. Find them at 74-995, Highway 111, Indian Wells.
For the best sushi in the east valley, we head to Okura Robata Grill & Sushi Bar at Point Happy, which has an awesome happy hour that starts at 4.30pm and features small tapas-style sushi dishes and Japanese specialities, including my favourite, curried scallops and Dynamite rock shrimp. They also have great beer, sake and cocktail specials, and enough variety to please non-sushi eaters, too. The decor and vibe is swanky and just dark enough to forget you are daytime drinking. See okurasushi.com
My husband and I try to have dinner without the kiddos at the Bar at LG’s Prime Steakhouse in La Quinta once a week. It’s usually our date night. They make my favourite cocktail (dirty gin martini with blue cheese stuffed olives ), they have a killer wine list and a reasonable corkage fee, and they make a table-side caesar salad like nobody’s business. Plus, we can split their prime perfectly cooked rib eye, add a side or two and it’s plenty of food. We love that it’s a third-generation local steakhouse (LG’s grandson Dan is in charge there) and they are still getting everything right after all these years. See lgsprimesteakhouse.com