By Crystal Harrell
At Wildest Restaurant & Bar on the corner of Monterey and El Paseo in Palm Desert, the mission is to create a ‘Napa-style’ with-a-Palm-Springs-flair farm-to-table dining experience by offering a delicious twist on locally sourced food, a fun, unique, and approachable wine list, extraordinary cocktails, great music and entertainment, attentive and friendly service, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Wildest Restaurant co-owners Bill Hay and Charissa Farley-Hay believe that health-conscious food means different things to different people, so they strive to offer not only carefully sourced meat, poultry, and fish, but a wide selection of plant-based, gluten-free, nut and seed free, and dairy free options. They are committed to sourcing the finest ingredients, supporting local producers, and continuously innovating our menu to provide a diverse and exciting range of culinary delights. They also believe that happy employees create happy guests. Their goal is to create memorable moments and build lasting relationships with our guests, employees, and the communities we serve. The couple believes in the power of good food to bring people together, and they are dedicated to exceeding their guests’ expectations in every way possible.
Bill Hay and Charissa Farley-Hay also share a passion for travel, great food, and great wine. Throughout the years, they have searched out award-winning restaurants, chefs, wines, culinary events and festivals in California, the country, and the world.
Bill sold his company Thane, a direct marketing company but is still active in commercial real estate. They also operate Coachella Yoga, Therapy & Wellness on Cook Street in Palm Desert and Power Pilates Gym, a fitness manufacturing company. Bill has been a French and Italian wine collector for many years—hunting down the very best Bordeaux, and now Burgundy wines.
Prior to owning Wildest, Charissa owned Farley Interlocking Paving which took her throughout California. where she could explore California wines and chefs. Since her early twenties, her passion has been the use of local ingredients and creating healthy and innovative recipes.
When they are not at their home in Indian Wells, the couple are either at their home in Kauai, Hawaii or Ontario, Canada. In Kauai, they have a 100+ acre turmeric farm that has
100 exotic fruit trees on the property. When she’s not at her desk working on the businesses or zooming with her teams, Charissa writes, scours local famer’s markets, create recipes, cooks, researches award-winning chefs, surfs, paddleboards, cycles, hikes, as well as practices multiple types of yoga. Bill is often on a tractor.
“We dreamed of bringing our best experiences and favorite things back to the desert utilizing the best ingredients found here. We believe that the best restaurant experience is one that offers something for everyone, executed beautifully in a comfortable, but elegant environment, and where you are surrounded by friends. We are so glad you are here and hope you love Wildest as much as we do,” shared Charissa.
Executive Chef Trilby Tatro grew up in the West Hollywood food scene around Wolfgang Puck, Mark Peele, and Nancy Silverton during her mother’s career as a restaurant and celebrity publicist and a maître d’ of the original Spago.
Trilby first discovered her passion cooking plants, but her broad range of culinary skills brought her to the Viceroy Hotel in Palm Springs. She was thrilled to be the Executive Chef at the Purple Palm in The Colony Palms, designed by world famous architect Martin Lawrence Ballard where she worked with esteemed chefs Greg Stillman, Brian Keiper, and Jeff Armstrong.
The Arrive Hotel, the first ground up hotel built in Palm Springs in over 30 years, recruited Trilby to oversee the build and development of the restaurant from the ground up including kitchen design, cost analysis, and menu development with the owner, Ezra Callahan (the 6th employee ever with Facebook.)
She spent three years running one of the largest banquet kitchens in the desert, the Waldorf Astoria La Quinta where she executed high-capacity events such as Ted Talks, Marine Balls, weddings for high net-worth individuals, and constant corporate events. During the pandemic The Waldorf became a movie and TV production set, and Chef Tatro executed all of the catering for entire seasons of The Bachelorette and Chopped, as well as, multiple movies including the Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles movie, “Don’t Worry Darling”.
Chef Tatro has also been an executive banquet chef at one of the most historic hotels in the US, The Omni Mount Washington in New Hampshire as well as the Omni Rancho Las Palmas. She has assisted Task Force Kitchen Management for both Hilton and Omni Hotel Group at the Mandalay Beach Resort Ventura.
“It’s elevating that experience. It’s like kicking a football team to the Super Bowl. You always start out goal that you’re going to the Super Bowl, and the Super Bowl to us is wanting our customers to feel comfortable and relaxed in an elegant environment with exceptional food quality and food that has appeal to different people’s sensibilities. We took the approach that instead of offering a very tiny menu that we think is excellent, we’ve stretched ourselves to hopefully create a restaurant that everyone brings a party of 10. I would have something for everyone that everyone would enjoy. And that means having sensitivity to people’s allergies, to their food, and to what they think is healthy and a great meal,” revealed Charissa.
Wildest Restaurant has received a Wine Spectator award, a Best New Restaurant award, and also being credited as the first restaurant in the Valley to offer a list of non-alcoholic adoptogens. It is the belief at Wildest that a larger menu is much more difficult to control costs and execute. The restaurant also is hoping that the city of Palm Desert is going to improve its patio plans so that even preferences like where customers want to sit, how much music they want to experience, are able to be fulfilled.
“I find with any business, you know, whether it’s my past life in construction or you know currently in hospitality, I think the character of the restaurant reflects the skills and talents of the people who are running it, of the team. So, it takes a few years to build that team to create a culture in your company where everybody’s rolling the boat the same direction and we are excited to think where they are,” shared Charissa.
As for the fun part of Wildest is their entertainment, which includes Derek Jordan Gregg. If you aren’t up for a full meal, you can relax and listen to the music while having a crafted cocktail, glass of wine, or non-alcoholic adaptogen beverage. Small plates are also available for sharing.
Wildest also books private events.
To learn more about the restaurant, visit www.wildestrestaurant.com.