By Rick Riozza

Hey sport fans! I know the past three weeks, we’ve been figuratively—and literally for some folks—in France covering the Tour de France. We just got back home, and apparently we brought some of the hot weather with us. The problem is that it’s already hot enough here—sorry for the extra heat at 118°+!!

So what’s been going on here in the desert? Fortunately, one of our favorite media & marketing mavens, Emma Haber, founder and owner of the EH PR Group, brought me up to speed on what’s happening over at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, which is, by the way, Palm Desert’s largest resort!

For those of us who are at wit’s end in this heat, trying to find some fun social gastronomic event, good news is here! The JW Marriott Resort is currently offering a Cocktails & Culinary series through the end of August. The brainchild of the property’s Executive Chef Eric Theiss, the culinary workshop series, which kicked off a couple of weeks ago, is open to locals and guests alike and takes place on Friday’s & Saturday’s throughout the summer at the hotel’s renowned T&T Innovation Kitchen. Each event has a different theme and features a plethora of chefs and mixologists from the hotel.


The culinary workshops in the past two weeks have run with the theme of “Coachella’s Indigenous Foods, and Hor D’oeurvres & Aperitifs. Many guests and locals have chimed in on how enjoyable the event was and have already signed up for the remaining three workshops coming up.

This week, Friday, July 27th & Saturday, July 28th, , the culinary theme is Cake Design + Dessert Wines, hosted by Executive Pastry Chef, Dominique Valenzuela; the next workshop’s theme is Southern-inspired fare + Whiskey (August 4 & 5) and two weeks after, the theme is Contemporary Cuisine (Aug 24 & 25).

The 45-minute events can hold 25 people at $70 per person and will also include giveaways and recipe cards. Due to limited availability, reservations are required for the two time slots, 4.30pm & 5.30pm. Visit for more info on the events and/or to book. As you can see, availability is limited!

You loyal readers will remember our coverage of past JW Marriott Palm Desert events, from the Frank Sinatra Smash Happy Hour of a couple of years ago, along with the Pinot Noir Fest, that was the rave of the resort. We always have a great time there and look forward to having fun with these culinary workshops. Bon Appétit!

Speaking about our prior coverage, how many times have we enjoyed the Craft Beer Festival that is always held at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs. This has become one of the most popular Palm Springs summer event on the calendar. With so many craft beers, seltzers, packaged cocktails, non-alcoholic beverages and more on the market—now we understand why the festival expanded the event time this summer to eight hours!

Here’s the news straight from the Ace Hotel’s website: “Get your Vitamin B. It’s our tenth annual frothy festival celebrating the micro-brewers, hop heads, cask masters and maltsters who make the world a better place for beer lovers everywhere.

The Craft Beer Fest 2023 will start at 1pm on August 5th – VIP tix get you in an hour earlier – but guests can also purchase pourings from the participating breweries, while supplies last, all weekend in The Amigo Room. The Amigo Room is open at noon all three days and, during the event, guests can stay longer and soak up the sun by the pool.

“Even better, book a stay of two or more nights and we’ll throw in two tickets to the Saturdays event, plus a pair of limited-edition beer tasting glasses. We’re hosting over 30 craft breweries—including Calidad, La Bodega, Las Palmas, Second Chance, Rancho West—pouring their golden goodness with special King’s Highway snacks included. Hop to it!

“Don’t forget to hydrate, party people!” Ace Hotel & Swim Club 701 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264 1:00 pm—11:00 pm, Saturday August 05, 2023

By the way, it’s time to recommend again the bar and dining at LULU California Bistro, Palm Springs. Anyone who reads this column gets their share of information immediately as their advertising appears on half of this CV Weekly page!

It’s definitely a tourist destination, but locals love the drinks, meals and deals along with the fun social scene on Palm Springs’ famed Palm Canyon Drive.

And honestly, we have enjoyed some of the best wine maker dinners, in all the desert. that are held at LULU (the rousing Rombauer dinner, comes to mind). Due to the past pandemic, these food and wine paring dinners had to cease. Whether or not they are to be scheduled again for the next season, it’s something to keep an eye out for.

However take note—we were always happily impressed with the quality of the cuisine and the attention to detail both as to the ambiance and service offered by the chef’s and staff. And let’s give the restaurant its due: the beautiful indoor/outdoor facing bar & patio is always fun to sit at and, should you wish, to enjoy lively conversations with locals and the international tourists. Hey!—just check out the deals on this very page! Cheers!