NAPA IN THE DESERT: A day can always be improved by daydreaming of a visit to the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. Of course, a day is much improved when a visit to the CIA occurs, or one is able to enjoy a meal prepared by a graduate. But getting to the venerable institution isn't always a possibility, nor is finding a restaurant where the person in the toque is an alum. That's why we do love events that gather a whole caboodle of CIAers in one place for talks and cooking and chitchat and, yep, eating. We do love Palm Desert, too, so it is lucky, then, that a bunch of culinaires with a certain diploma will be making for the city from Friday, March 23 through Sunday, March 25. It's Food & Wine Palm Desert, a posh, 21-and-over party that puts food fans up-close with the chefs that write the books and plate the whimsical meals.
ON THE SCHEDULE: There are a number of highlights, but we're hungrily eyeing the Grand Tasting, the winemaking talks, and snacking on the foodstuffs from over 50 restaurants. If you want to make a weekend of it, check out what is happening in nearby Palm Springs; they recently rounded-up a bunch of outdoorsy springtime go-outs.