La Quinta Resort & Club’s Commitment to Farm-to-Table Cuisine Creates a Memorable Showcase of Flavor
Written By: Andrew Smith
Photos: La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort Farm-to-Table Ingredients
At La Quinta Resort & Club, Executive Chef Andrew Cooper oversees the resort’s commitment to farm-to-table cuisine. It’s an ethos that emphasizes locally sourced ingredients, showcasing freshness and flavor as well as economic and environmental sustainability. La Quinta Resort & Club was an early pioneer of local farm-to-table cuisine, drawing on the Valley’s idyllic year-round climate and abundant access to produce.
Chef Cooper joined La Quinta Resort & Club four years ago. Having traveled the world, he’d developed what he calls “a global culinary palate and a passion for local, sustainable ingredients.” He was enticed by the resort’s immersive approach and its 45-acre grounds, boasting copious citrus groves. “It’s a special experience watching the seasons come and go,” notes Chef Cooper. “Walking around the citrus groves, pulling lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits for the restaurants, is an incredible feeling.” The citrus groves are especially bountiful during the winter, which is perfectly timed for the Valley’s peak dining season.
Beyond his “own backyard,” Chef Cooper enjoys the Coachella Valley’s three growing seasons and abundant local agriculture. Not only is it the Date Capital of America, in winter, it supplies over 50% of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. “We rely heavily on the local farmers, the bountiful greens and the local produce,” he notes. “The freshness is incredible.”
His hands-on approach takes him to the local farmers markets, constantly learning and tasting the ingredients. “Anyone can open a box of tomatoes, but when you actually go to the farm, learn and hear the stories of how they pollinate and develop their special heirloom breeds, that’s where the true love comes in,” he explains. “It inspires the passion and love of food that comes out in the dishes you create. It’s magical… You let the ingredients speak for themselves.”
That ethos runs through each of the resort’s four dining destinations. “At Morgan’s in the desert, we celebrate a Festive Menu each month, highlighting a single ingredient that is at its peak of freshness, turning it into a multi-course dining experience.” Chef Marco Aguilar makes Adobe Grill’s tortillas with fresh corn masa from Coachella. At Twenty6, Chef Sergio Garza has an affinity for the tomatoes he buys from an Indio farm. The restaurant’s locally sourced eggs are especially noticeable for their vibrant orange yolks. “The flavor is so intense and rich,” enthuses Chef Cooper. “The servers get to tell a story about why they are so rich and bright.”
Chef Cooper adds that “In order to create long-lasting memories, you really need to know where your food comes from and what grows best in your region. The highest quality ingredients speak for themselves. They bring the dish to life.” Farm-to-table also supports the local economy and the environment. “It puts our guests’ money back into the local economy. It also reduces our footprint. If we reduce items brought in from different countries, then we are assisting in our sustainability.” Farm-to-Table Ingredients
Check out any of La Quinta Resort & Club’s four dining destinations for a showcase of local flavor and freshness. It’s a memorable experience you won’t easily forget. Farm-to-Table Ingredients
La Quinta Resort & Club, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
49499 Eisenhower Dr
La Quinta, CA 92253
760.564.4111 Farm-to-Table Ingredients