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Features & Profiles

12 Jan 2015
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At 6 foot 5 inches tall, chef Tom Hogan stands above the crowd. His stature doesn’t just involve his height. He stands out because he’s cooked for five presidents: Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. That’s quite a resume for a chef who calls the desert home, and has done so off and on since 2005. Chef Tom—that’s how he’s known in the restaurant business—has been cooking for 39 years now. He started learning the trade as a kid in his aunt’s hotel in Atlantic City, right on the Boardwalk. “I’d go down there to vacation with my parents, but I’d rather stay in the hotel’s kitchen with chefs, fascinated with cooking,” Hogan said. From then on, Hogan, 53, followed his gastronomical passion all over the United States. “My first job was in my birthplace, Holyoke, Mass., at The Log Cabin, one of the…
14 Jun 2013
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The internationally famous desert resort destination that we call home, as of this moment, has never had a larger-scale commercial brewery that focused on one thing, and one thing only: beer. Who knows why? Blame the caviar crowd, or maybe the midcentury martini surroundings. In any case, this omission will soon be no longer, thanks to Coachella Valley Brewing Co. Every craft-beer drinker knows that good beer isn’t possible without competent brewers, proper equipment and a vision. CV Brewing’s chief operating officer and brewmaster, Chris Anderson, started home-brewing in college with an extract kit nearly 20 years ago, and has been brewing his way through competitions and breweries ever since. He, his colleagues and beer-lovers across the Coachella Valley are all keeping their fingers crossed for a mid-July opening. Before joining forces with other beer-lovers to start his own brewery in the Coachella Valley, Anderson was part of some incredible…
22 Apr 2013
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Among the chic desert shops and restaurants of downtown Palm Springs, and mere steps from the Sonny Bono fountain, is an oasis for cigar-smokers, wine-enthusiasts and craft-beer-lovers alike. The unassuming Fame Lounge attracts tourists, locals and a fair share of cigar-aficionado celebrities. A wall of wine and beer, and spicy scents from the walk-in humidor greet visitors. My curiosity immediately led me to this herbaceous alcove. As a cigar newbie, I honestly didn’t know what to look for, but I found myself sniffing the various cigars as if I did. With the help of the owner, Mel Shaw, I learned I wanted a lighter, vanilla stogie with earthy and sweet woody undertones. Beyond the retail store—which features cigars, wines and an amazing selection of craft beers—lies a backroom lounge in the classic sense of the word: a living-room setting with comfy leather chairs and couches, dim lighting and a not…
08 Jan 2013
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Awards and medals for Babe’s brewing excellence adorn the dining room at Babe’s Bar-B-Que and Brewhouse, in Rancho Mirage, like golf courses adorn the Coachella Valley. Decades ago, Don Callender started a Southern California chain of American-style restaurants that was known for its pies, its fully stocked saloon and its salad bar. As the years passed, and the restaurant chain was sold and merged with other restaurants, Don had a slightly different vision of barbecue and beer. It’s not as well known that Don was fascinated with craft beer. In the late ’90s, when the craft-beer revolution took hold, Don’s passion for these new styles led him to taste what Southern California brewers had to offer. Don knew excellence when he tasted it. Strawberry blondes, pumpkin ales and fruit beers from upstarts like Belmont Brewing Company satisfied Don’s sweet tooth and culinary prowess. Don was also one of the first…