Sunnylands Cuisine Revisited for Today’s Palate

I don’t know about you, but every time my mind wanders to the good old Rancho Mirage days and nights when former U.S. Ambassador Walter Annenberg and his lovely lady Leonore would host global royalty and other dignitaries at their desert winter home known as Sunnylands, in the middle of the Palm Springs Valley, part of me wishes I could have been there for just one breakfast, lunch, or dinner behind those fabled pink walls.

Well, now I finally have my chance—or sorts.  On Tuesday, March 25, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., chefs from such local restaurants as Le Vallauris, Jake’s, DISH, Share Kitchen, Cello’s, and Rancho Mirage’s own Wally’s (touting relatively new chef Richard Pelz, no flash in the pan so far) will descend upon the retreat’s kitchen for “Taste of Sunnylands,” which will pay homage to the Annenberg way of entertaining by having said chefs give a contempo spin to 15 of the couple’s favorite dishes.  Each recipe will be taken from a new cookbook titled, what else, “A Taste of Sunnylands.”  The volume (which retails for $20 and can be purchased at the gift shop) includes anecdotes as well as period images.

But why settle for just the cookbook when, for the $55 ticket price, you can obtain not only the tome but actually sample the food itself, made by expert desert culinary stars to boot?  Valet parking will be provided at this nosh fest, but carpooling is recommended.  Reservations may be made at  And how fun that, post-event, you can try your hand at recreating these scrumptious dishes in the privacy of your own home!

Bon appétit!  And see you at Sunnylands on March 25!  I’ll be the one with the pink bib on…