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Chefs Garcia and Sobel stoking the porchetta flamesEXPAND
Chefs Garcia and Sobel stoking the porchetta flames
Michele Stueven

Coachella: I Saw God This Weekend and He Was Outstanding in the Field

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival brought in a lineup of star chefs like Bruce Kalman and Curtis Stone, and amid the mind boggling super bloom of the Empire Polo Field Rose Garden this weekend, chefs Ray Garcia and Adam Sobel made an evening of porchetta a religious experience for about 200 guests.

Celebrating 20 years of pop-up dinners and the rich agricultural landscape of the Coachella Valley for the sixth year at the festival, Outstanding in the Field brought together teams like Garcia and Sobel for a full service, four–course meal at sunset which included cocktails and a constant flow of Scribe Winery vintages.

Upon arrival in the garden, guests were greeted by a mild breeze and Sahara Palomas — tequila, grapefruit, prickly pear cactus, local palm and lime. Old friends and new friends settled into the long, shared table for an evening of family style dining that started with Clark Street breads and agave butter, followed by JF Organic Farms beet conserva and baby fennel with DOP mozzarella, toasted hazelnuts and aged balsamic.

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The team of Garcia (Broken Spanish) and Sobel (Cal Mare) made for a harmonious blend of two cuisines in one menu, with a pair of overflowing main courses.

Guests started with spicy ancho chile–rubbed lamb ribs with Coleman Family Farms woodpecker spinach, radishes and Lamborn pea tendrils. And then the highlight of the evening — if not the entire festival itself — the perfect porchetta. Slowly and carefully roasted and then finished off over hot coals, the Beeler’s porchetta was stuffed with local Sage Mountain Farm green garlic and nearby JR Organic Farms Tuscan Kale. Juicy inside and served with a cherry mostarda, the outer skin was the perfect — slightly salty and a crackling finish.

“The ribs remind me of a spicy mole, and being Mexican I love it, ” Palms Springs resident Marcela Javier said as she passed the plate in between glasses of Scribe chardonnay and pinot noir.

Sister-in-law Amelea Javier — who was pleasantly surprised at the gut-busting amount of food — was completely under the spell of the roast pork. “I love the crispiness of the skin, and the cherry mostarda really compliments it with an even balance of savory and sweet. It’s just amazing.”

Sobel and Garcia took charge of the two desserts as well, so that the guests might really appreciate what it’s like to actually feel like a stuffed pig. With blow torches in hand, the team toasted the meringue tres leches cake topped with vanilla chiffon, mandarins and candied almonds. The arroz con leche was adorned with pistachio, Flying Disc Ranch dates, homemade honeycomb and olive oil.

For more photos, click here.

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