CVIndependent

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Last updateTue, 18 Sep 2018 1pm

Features & Profiles

02 Aug 2018
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Kale has reached that point on the popularity curve where people are hating it because it is popular. Once, it was easy to file away this dark-green leafy vegetable as just some hippie food, but now it’s everywhere. It’s on the menu, on the vegetarian entrée and meatloaf alike. Your favorite celebrities are gushing about their daily green smoothie. Still, many people don’t enjoy eating it—nd sometimes these haters get triggered by people who do. “Kale makes you lose weight because it makes everything taste like shit,” Tweeted a smart-aleck in my timeline. “Stop putting kale in everything,” begged another, to the cold, uncaring universe. Haters are saying “fuck kale” at nearly the same rate that they are saying “fuck yoga.” For some reason it’s natural to resent success in others, and kale is a wildly successful species. The goal of any plant is to make and spread its seed,…
14 Jun 2018
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Cliff Young has been a well-known face in the Southern California food scene for more than two decades. He’s owned coffee carts and coffee houses. He’s done restaurant reviews. He’s organized food festivals. He’s hosted popular radio and TV shows, including a local PBS show, Out to Eat, for more than five years. Through it all, however, his true passion has always been coffee—specifically, roasting coffee. About six months ago, he put aside his media efforts to focus on his passion full-time via his brand-new Coachella Valley Coffee Co. The “small-batch artisanal coffee roasting” company today makes coffees specifically tailored to individual restaurants, while also roasting coffee that’s great to brew up at home—and Young always makes sure that a chunk of the proceeds go toward philanthropy. Young’s coffee can be purchased online or at retailers including Tipper’s Gourmet Marketplace and the Palm Springs Air Museum. To order coffee or…
25 Sep 2017
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When I heard that the San Francisco-based PlumpJack Group had purchased the legendary Ingleside Inn and its Melvyn’s restaurant following the death last year of longtime owner Mel Haber, my feelings were decidedly mixed. On one hand, Melvyn’s is an institution. The old-school recipes, the tableside prep, the … uh, past-normal-retirement-age maître d’s—these things make Melvyn’s a Palm Springs classic, unlike any other restaurant in the valley. On the other hand … Melvyn’s, located at 200 W. Ramon Road, has a lot of room to improve. Both the food and service in recent years have been wildly inconsistent, and it seemed management was doing little to reach new customers. Turns out that Melvyn’s new executive chef, Jennifer Town, shares a lot of the same opinions. Town, a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, has an impressive resume, to say the least. She was the head chef for the Italian…
15 Aug 2017
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Some of the valley’s best barbecue is being served at … the Red Barn in Palm Desert? Yep, the Red Barn in Palm Desert. The only food I’d remembered there was a stale bag of chips that I once bought from a vending machine on the outdoor patio—until I found myself there one night after Stagecoach in late April. I was hungry, and I heard there was barbecue for sale. After Reggie Martinez, the owner of the California Barbecue Company, gave me my food, the flavors that hit my taste buds were out of this world: The barbecue was sweet, yet spicy, and smoked to perfection. I recently had the chance to enjoy more of Martinez’s cooking while we chatted at the Red Barn: He typically runs out of his macaroni and cheese rather quickly, but I was able to try some—and it was unlike any macaroni and cheese I’ve…

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