Meet Chef Marco - Q&A with The Man Behind Birba's Homemade Pasta

It’s no secret that we love fresh food - from the fruit in our cocktails, to the eggs in our bennies and the dough in our pasta! With its relaxed atmosphere, al fresco dining, fantastic bar selection, and inventive Italian menu, Birba is the ideal place for an evening hangout with friends, rich with great wine and shareable foods. Our little Italian eatery has become well known and loved for its variety of handmade pastas - the Tagliatelle being a personal favorite of mine. The secret behind our beloved Tagliatelle is the man who makes it, Chef Marco Saba. He was born and raised in Italy, which means his passion for quality food and his straightforward, but jovial nature is pretty much a birthright.

Chef Marco making black and white pasta at Birba image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Chef Marco making black and white pasta at Birba
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

F10 - Chef Marco, where did you grow up?

MS - Musei, Sardenia, Italy.

F10 - What is your favorite food memory?

MS - Bucatini alla Matriciana by Zio Peppino in Rome.

Bucatini all Matriciana: a traditional Italian dish made with long hollow strands of pasta, pork, pecorino romano and a spicy red sauce - yum!

F10 - When did you know you wanted to become a chef?

MS - I started young, working at restaurants, and eventually made my way into becoming a pasta worker. 

F10 - Where did you gain your culinary experience from?

MS - Working for pasta companies, I never went to culinary school. We have cooking in our blood. I have a qualification from a very large pasta company (Fresh Pasta).

F10 - Is there a chef you admire most? Who and why?

MS - No, I don’t follow chefs. It never interested me. 

Pasta Process image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Pasta Process
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

Pasta Varietals  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Pasta Varietals
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

Black + White Fettuccine image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Black + White Fettuccine
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

F10 - What is your favorite pasta to make?  Is it different than your favorite pasta to eat?

MS - I love making all pastas. I do not have a preference. My favorite pastas to eat are ones that have filling (ravioli, tortelli, etc.)

F10 - What is your favorite kitchen equipment or gadget to use?

MS - Dough Mixer, it is the most important piece of equipment for my job.

Chef Marco rolls out the dough image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Chef Marco rolls out the dough
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

Fresh Cut Ravioli  Image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Fresh Cut Ravioli
Image credit: Sarah Dickenson

F10 - What brought you to Palm Springs?

MS- I left Los Angeles because it was too chaotic. Palm Springs is more tranquil, I like Palm Springs. 

F10 - What do you love most about your job?

MS - The greatest satisfaction for me, is when everything goes smoothly and according to plan. 

image credits: Sarah Dickenson

F10 - What is your favorite dish on the menu at Birba and what would you pair it with?

MS - Black and White fettuccine with a good white wine. 

F10 - If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

MS - Can’t answer this question, I could never eat the same meal for the rest of my life. 

Words well said, Thanks Chef!

-

Follow Chef Marco on instagram to find out more about the man behind Birba’s pasta menu!

Local 622 @ BIRBA - June, 2019

JUNE 2019, LINE-UP

6/6 -  Desert Rhythm Project  Acoustic (Soul, Funk, Reggae)  Desert Rhythm Project is a neo-roots, reggae, funk, soul band from California's Mojave Desert. Fronted by desert natives Michael Reyes and Bryanna Evaro who have created their own unique style comprised of soulful harmonies, effortless melodic guitar techniques and smooth elemental bass rhythms. Michael Reyes' dynamic presence on lead vocal and guitar is reminiscent of the soulful and energetic James Brown combined with the appreciative ethereal consciousness of reggae legend Bob Marley. Bryanna Evaro's timeless velvety folk-roots presence on bass guitar and vocals is the crowning essential counterpart of this celebrated divine duo.  Look and listen:   http://www.desertrhythmproject.com    http://www.facebook.com/desertrhythmproject.com

6/6 - Desert Rhythm Project Acoustic (Soul, Funk, Reggae)

Desert Rhythm Project is a neo-roots, reggae, funk, soul band from California's Mojave Desert. Fronted by desert natives Michael Reyes and Bryanna Evaro who have created their own unique style comprised of soulful harmonies, effortless melodic guitar techniques and smooth elemental bass rhythms. Michael Reyes' dynamic presence on lead vocal and guitar is reminiscent of the soulful and energetic James Brown combined with the appreciative ethereal consciousness of reggae legend Bob Marley. Bryanna Evaro's timeless velvety folk-roots presence on bass guitar and vocals is the crowning essential counterpart of this celebrated divine duo.

Look and listen:

http://www.desertrhythmproject.com

http://www.facebook.com/desertrhythmproject.com

6/13 -  Nick Sosa  (Atomspheric Jazz, Latin)  Nick Sosa is a live and session guitarist local to the Palm Springs and greater Coachella Valley areas. His solo guitar sets include elements of pop, classic jazz, latin, flamenco, fusion, blues and rnb; providing the perfect social atmosphere . Since graduating Musician’s Institute in Hollywood California he has performed, recorded and composed with many artists in a variety of styles. He currently does recording sessions in collaboration with grammy award winning producers and performs regularly as a solo artist, the guitarist of "Trio NV" and with The Slim Man Band  Look and listen:   https://www.facebook.com/nicksosaguitar/

6/13 - Nick Sosa (Atomspheric Jazz, Latin)

Nick Sosa is a live and session guitarist local to the Palm Springs and greater Coachella Valley areas. His solo guitar sets include elements of pop, classic jazz, latin, flamenco, fusion, blues and rnb; providing the perfect social atmosphere . Since graduating Musician’s Institute in Hollywood California he has performed, recorded and composed with many artists in a variety of styles. He currently does recording sessions in collaboration with grammy award winning producers and performs regularly as a solo artist, the guitarist of "Trio NV" and with The Slim Man Band

Look and listen:

https://www.facebook.com/nicksosaguitar/

6/20 -  Symara Stone  (Smokey Blues, Jazz, Singer Songwriter)  Born in Sunny Palm Springs California, singer/songwriter Symara Stone was a born a performer! Known for her incessant humor, deep direct raw lyrics, & jazzy motown bluesy croon this girl has been taking the stage since she was a youngster. Her passion for writing songs fueled with her life experience has created an ongoing self-taught creative process that she can't stop. Writing a song per day is common in the Stone residence. Symara loves people, animals, music, art, dance, self-expression of all forms, & yoga! Her songs deal with death, love, heartbreak, nature, sobriety, & addiction. She is said to channel all the bad & good she feels into song, and uses songwriting as a way to heal herself with sound. Open to all genres, Symara's songs never are catapulted into one box. When a country song appears in her heart, a country song she will write. Electronica, Downtempo, Ambient, Indie, Indie pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Techno, Dub-step, Tribal, Folk, Mantras, Gospel, Ska, Dixie, Reggae, Funk, Motown, & Soul are just some genres that leap into her fingers when plucking her Ibanez Acoustic Electric Guitar. Piecing together the melody and lyric in her head, her songs come to life and even more so when she's on stage singing in front of you with her big smile & big soul.  Look and listen:   https://www.facebook.com/SymaraStone/    www.soundcloud.com/symarastone

6/20 - Symara Stone (Smokey Blues, Jazz, Singer Songwriter)

Born in Sunny Palm Springs California, singer/songwriter Symara Stone was a born a performer! Known for her incessant humor, deep direct raw lyrics, & jazzy motown bluesy croon this girl has been taking the stage since she was a youngster. Her passion for writing songs fueled with her life experience has created an ongoing self-taught creative process that she can't stop. Writing a song per day is common in the Stone residence. Symara loves people, animals, music, art, dance, self-expression of all forms, & yoga! Her songs deal with death, love, heartbreak, nature, sobriety, & addiction. She is said to channel all the bad & good she feels into song, and uses songwriting as a way to heal herself with sound. Open to all genres, Symara's songs never are catapulted into one box. When a country song appears in her heart, a country song she will write. Electronica, Downtempo, Ambient, Indie, Indie pop, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Techno, Dub-step, Tribal, Folk, Mantras, Gospel, Ska, Dixie, Reggae, Funk, Motown, & Soul are just some genres that leap into her fingers when plucking her Ibanez Acoustic Electric Guitar. Piecing together the melody and lyric in her head, her songs come to life and even more so when she's on stage singing in front of you with her big smile & big soul.

Look and listen:

https://www.facebook.com/SymaraStone/

www.soundcloud.com/symarastone

6/27 -  Davis Macias  ( Spanglish Jive, Latin Fusion)  Bio:  “A journey through the fusion of rhythm and music.“ My name is David and I play guitar as well as write original songs. My passion has always been music and now I am living my dream doing what I love. I am currently a student at Musicians Institute in Hollywoo, Ca. And I am getting ready to release my first album, recorded in the beautiful Joshua Tree, Ca. at the amazing High Lonesome Studio.  Look and Listen:   http://www.DavidMaciasMusic.com    https://www.facebook.com/davidmaciasmusic/

6/27 - Davis Macias ( Spanglish Jive, Latin Fusion)

Bio:

“A journey through the fusion of rhythm and music.“ My name is David and I play guitar as well as write original songs. My passion has always been music and now I am living my dream doing what I love. I am currently a student at Musicians Institute in Hollywoo, Ca. And I am getting ready to release my first album, recorded in the beautiful Joshua Tree, Ca. at the amazing High Lonesome Studio.

Look and Listen:

http://www.DavidMaciasMusic.com

https://www.facebook.com/davidmaciasmusic/

Mr. Lyons Takes On Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week

Nearly 100 restaurants from Palm Springs to Palm Desert to Indio, California are participating in Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Week from May 31 - June 9. Mr. Lyons, for the fourth year, will be offering a three-course prix fixe of some of your steakhouse favorites for $49 (not inclusive of beverages, tax and gratuity).

Read More

F10 Catering + IG Desert Chill

We here at F10, love a good party!  Did you know we offer full catering services for intimate dinners, large scale corporate events, weddings, on-location craft services and so much more!  This past season we had the privilege of being apart of some ridiculously rad events.  Our menus are always creatively inspired, locally sourced and meant to be shared amongst friends and family. Check out some of our favorite moments from Instagram’s Desert Chill Party this spring!

event + food photography by Sarah Dickenson

sarahdickenson_foundation10_desertchill_2019-1.jpg
sarahdickenson_foundation10_desertchill_2019-5.jpg
sarahdickenson_foundation10_desertchill_2019-4.jpg
sarahdickenson_foundation10_desertchill_2019-11.jpg
Desert Chill Cocktails + Mocktails by  F10 Catering   image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Desert Chill Cocktails + Mocktails by F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

sarahdickenson_foundation10_desertchill_2019-13.jpg
Strawberry Basil Lemonade “Capri Sun” -  F10 Catering  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

Strawberry Basil Lemonade “Capri Sun” - F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

“ Chicken & Waffle Cones “ -  F10 Catering  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

“ Chicken & Waffle Cones “ - F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

sarahdickenson_foundation10_desertchill_2019-12.jpg
“TacoBell Tacos” -  F10 Catering  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

“TacoBell Tacos” - F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

sarahdickenson_foundation10_desertchill_2019-6.jpg
“Edible Garden” -  F10 Catering  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

“Edible Garden” - F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

“Fry Bar” -  F10 Catering  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

“Fry Bar” - F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

“Mint Popsicles” -  F10 Catering  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

“Mint Popsicles” - F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

“Edible Garden” -  F10 Catering  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

“Edible Garden” - F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

“Fruit Cart” -  F10 Catering  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

“Fruit Cart” - F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

“Fruit Cart” -  F10 Catering  image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

“Fruit Cart” - F10 Catering
image credit: Sarah Dickenson

What post would be complete without a few faves from our awesome catering team!

Want to find out more about our us, our menus and services? Click the button below and say hi!

On Life and Design - Q&A with Christopher Kennedy

One of the biggest initiates of the FWORD is to explore innovative concepts in food, hospitality, art, design and culture and specifically how all of those things help to define the unique desert oasis of Palm Springs.  Our little city is brimming with some seriously talented creators, innovators and entrepreneurs, all working on truly spectacular projects, and after coming down from the dazzling glamour of Modernism Week, Coachella and Zenyara, we wanted to sit down and chat with someone who we felt exemplified the Palm Springs lifestyle. 

We couldn’t think of anyone more fitting than local designer, Christopher Kennedy - who is well known for both his immense design talents and his philanthropic nature. Featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, Dwell Magazine, California Home + Design and the LA Time’s just to name a few, Christopher brings a blend of big-city style and relaxed resort living to his work. But, before we give it all away, let’s see what Christopher Kennedy has to say about life, design, and living, in our little slice of heaven.

“Looking back, I realize that this project was a "big break" and a defining moment for me.” - Christopher Kennedy image credit: Chase Lingberg

“Looking back, I realize that this project was a "big break" and a defining moment for me.” - Christopher Kennedy
image credit: Chase Lingberg

F10 - Who / what are your biggest design inspirations?

CK - The life and style in Palm Spring, to be sure. I love the old photos of celebrities in Palm Springs. They were beautiful and glamorous, but they were also relaxed and on vacation! That idea of beauty and glamour combined with nostalgia and ease is something that I strive for in all the projects and products I design.

I have been drawn to modern architecture since my days in college (I have a degree in architecture) and I spent a summer in Europe studying the Bauhaus and the modern masters. I guess it was fate that I found my way to Palm Springs...

F10 - Describe your style in 3 words.

CK - JetSet Modern Glamour 

We had only spent two weekends in Palm Springs; but as you may know, that is more than enough to fall in love with it.
— Christopher Kennedy
“Christopher + Harley” image credit: Grey Crawford

“Christopher + Harley” image credit: Grey Crawford

F10 - What brought you to Palm Springs?

CK - In my early-mid 20s, I was working in insurance and finance in Los Angeles (I got an MBA after completing my undergrad in architecture).  Needless to say, I was miserable. At that time, my father passed away and my mom got very sick...I realized life is too short not to do what you love. I also had a sweet new boyfriend from Louisiana, who did not care for Los Angeles.  We had only spent two weekends in Palm Springs; but as you may know, that is more than enough to fall in love with it. Palm Springs seemed like a great place to get back to my roots in architecture and design. We knew that David, a nurse, could easily find work here. So, when I was 27, we packed up and moved. To say that I was one of the youngest people in the desert at that time would not be an exaggeration!

F10 - What is your favorite room in your house?

CK - I do love our living room. It has a wonderful two-story ceiling. It's an eclectic mix of many things I love: tonal wallpaper, a 70’s Brutalist chandelier, an 80’s Pierre Cardin bar, Italian modern coffee tables, and more. We have wonderful accordion doors that allow the room to connect seamlessly to the outside. Over the fireplace is a piece of art by my good friend, designer Kelli Ellis. Over the sofa, we have two pieces of art from my collection for Wendover Art Group. I now have over 200 pieces in the collection, which are sold through other designers and retailers around the country. 

But really, I am sure that the bar being in that room bumps it to the top of the list!

F10 - Favorite place to visit or thing to do in Palm Springs?

Midcentury-inspired glamour, with eclectic pieces from just about every decade since the 1960’s image credit: Grey Crawford

Midcentury-inspired glamour, with eclectic pieces from just about every decade since the 1960’s
image credit: Grey Crawford

CK - Do I have to choose just one? My ideal day would involve a hike on Lykken trail in the morning, shopping in the Uptown Design District in the afternoon, and dinner at Mr. Lyons in the evening. Somewhere in there I would squeeze in a little pool time.

F10 - That sounds like the perfect day to us too! What upcoming projects are you working on right now?

CK - We are working on several exciting residential projects including a few homes in Indian Canyons, a gut remodel in Vista Las Palmas, a new build in Andreas Hills, and a home in Thunderbird. We are also starting an exciting new neighborhood development which I can't quite disclose yet.

On the retail side, we are designing several new licensed collaborations, so we are actively expanding our product offerings under the Christopher Kennedy brand. Barware, accessories, tabletop, and wallpaper are all in the works. And I am always changing and improving my retail showroom. Our jewelry and lifestyle items are doing amazingly well -- if you haven't been in recently, come see us!

A vibrant midcentury-inspired dining room in Thunderbird Heights image credit: Grey Crawford

A vibrant midcentury-inspired dining room in Thunderbird Heights
image credit: Grey Crawford

F10 - Is there a defining moment that you can think of that changed the trajectory of your life / contributed to where you are today?

CK - Moving to Palm Springs was definitely a defining moment. Losing both my parents by the time I was in my early 30s was also. Career-wise, I can look back on several people that took a chance on me when I was just starting out -- a chance that they really didn't need to take. I will be forever grateful. Palm Springs is filled with many amazing, creative, and generous people. 

After nearly 10 years of having my firm, I decided to tackle a crazy project as a way of giving back and we created The Christopher Kennedy Compound: Modernism Week Show House. Basically, I brought the idea of a decorator showcase house to Palm Springs. Five years later, we have raised over $300,000 for the Modernism Week charity and, I think, changed the conversation around interior design and renovation in Palm Springs. It's a labor of love and has been a game-changer for me, for sure.

F10 - If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

CK - Be patient but stay focused. Know that what you want will come to you, though maybe not when and how you expect. 

We here at F10 appreciate Christopher for his honesty, sharing his story with us and for gracing Palm Springs with his talents! To find out more about Christopher Kennedy you can view his work here!

Local 622 @ BIRBA - May, 2019

MAY 2019, LINE-UP

5/2 -    The Adobe Collective (Psychedelic Folk)    The Adobe Collective is a musical project based in the Mojave desert of Southern California just outside of Joshua Tree. Following a crowdfunding campaign that fully paid for CD and vinyl copies of their self titled debut album, they appeared in many versatile live performance styles —from intimate duo acoustic performances at small local venues; to rowdy roadhouse band sets at the world famous Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace; all the way up to an 8-piece band on the main stage at the Joshua Tree Music festival.   Links:   https://www.facebook.com/TheAdobeCollective   https://www.theadobecollective.com

5/2 - The Adobe Collective (Psychedelic Folk)

The Adobe Collective is a musical project based in the Mojave desert of Southern California just outside of Joshua Tree. Following a crowdfunding campaign that fully paid for CD and vinyl copies of their self titled debut album, they appeared in many versatile live performance styles —from intimate duo acoustic performances at small local venues; to rowdy roadhouse band sets at the world famous Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace; all the way up to an 8-piece band on the main stage at the Joshua Tree Music festival.

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/TheAdobeCollective
https://www.theadobecollective.com

5/9 - Ben Robinson

5/9 - Ben Robinson

5/16 -    Matthew Claborn    (Acoustic Americana, Folk, Soul)     Links :   https://www.facebook.com/matt.claborn.5

5/16 - Matthew Claborn (Acoustic Americana, Folk, Soul)

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/matt.claborn.5

5/23 -    AnnaChristie    (Etherial Folk Rock)   Annachristie has had a long romance singing in the subways of NYC sharing her music with the transient city traveling relentlessly with a vigor for adventure that you can taste when she sings. She is a true minstrel looking to sing you a song on the way, a siren luring you to look at the ocean.    Links:    https://www.facebook.com/annachristiemusic/  Music:  annachristiesapphire.lnk.to/PictureOfYou

5/23 - AnnaChristie (Etherial Folk Rock)

Annachristie has had a long romance singing in the subways of NYC sharing her music with the transient city traveling relentlessly with a vigor for adventure that you can taste when she sings. She is a true minstrel looking to sing you a song on the way, a siren luring you to look at the ocean.

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/annachristiemusic/
Music: annachristiesapphire.lnk.to/PictureOfYou

5/30 -    Black Market Jazz    (Smokey Jazz Trio)   Local feel good jazz trio.    Links:    https://www.facebook.com/blackmarketjazz

5/30 - Black Market Jazz (Smokey Jazz Trio)

Local feel good jazz trio.

Links:
https://www.facebook.com/blackmarketjazz

The Bathroom Series featuring Abe Alvarez - Tostado w/ Q&A

blog-may9.jpg

The bathroom is yours, let’s make it interesting!

In terms of “public” art spaces, bathrooms are traditionally overlooked, a missed opportunity for an artist and the public to have a shared experience. By offering this blank three-dimensional canvas our goal is to give the artist the opportunity for creative expression while we and the public at large get the opportunity to think differently about a space that is traditionally thought of as a solely utilitarian.

From May - July we will be featuring our first local artist Abe Alvarez - Tostado.

Abe Alvarez - Tostado

IMG_0235.jpg

Abe is a born and raised Californian.  His parent’s divorced when he was young and he spent the first 15 years of his life with his Father in Northern California.  As the son of an illustrator, Abe found himself trying to mimic his Dad’s work.  He was inspired by his favorite comics at the time and would frequently try to recreate the cover’s of Wolverine, X-Men and Avengers.  When Abe turned 15 he moved south to Long Beach, with his sister and Mom.

Abe’s Mom was a fine artist and sculptor, she opened up a whole new creative world for Abe, attending galleries and art shows all over LA.  At the time he was entrenched in skateboard culture and was influenced by Mark Gonzales and Neal Blender, two well known skateboarders and artists.

It was around this time that Abe realized he wanted to start taking his art seriously.  After about 5 years in the LBC and another 3 years in the desert, Abe decided to make the move north again, but this time to San Francisco, to try and make a living with his artwork.  It was slow moving at first, but after a few years of drawing and going to openings, Abe landed his own shows at galleries like 111 Minna and Upper Playground with artists like Doze Green, Jeremy Fish and Mark Ryden.  In 2008, Abe decided to move back to Southern California to be closer to family and now resides here, with a studio in Yucca Valley where he produces all of his work. 

F10 - What is the name of the piece on display at Birba?

AAT - ”Somebody's Watching Me,” from one of my favorite songs...Rockwell's ”Somebody's Watching Me.”

F10 - What themes do you tend to pursue in your work?

AAT - The all-seeing eye. The sense that we are all here and always watching each other, even if we don't mean too. 

F10 - Where do you draw your inspiration from?

AAT - Life in general. Everyday situations or ideas. I tend to use people or animals in every painting. 

F10 - How did you start making art / what is your background?

AAT - I can't remember when I started to paint. Both my parents were artists so art supplies were always available. My mom has a painting I did when I was around 5-years-old. So maybe around then? I really came into my own around high school, that's when I was doing the good stuff. 

F10 - What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without?

AAT - My imagination. With that, you could use any tool. Printing, drawing, painting, sculpture…anything. 

F10 - Is there an element of art you enjoy working with most and why?

AAT - I guess just trying to do something new every day. Keep fresh. Always trying to expand on your art.

F10 - How do you know when a piece is finished?

AAT - I never do. It's never finished. I've been known to go back and work on paintings that have been on my wall for 10 years. I've gone to friends houses that purchased a painting of mine 5 years earlier and asked to take it home and add something to it because I saw something new.

F10 - What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given during your artistic career?

AAT - Never stop doing art. Never give up. Just keep producing. 

-

Please Join Us in celebrating our latest artist installation Featuring Abe Alvarez-Tostado

Where: Birba Palm Springs / 622 N. Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, CA. 92262
When: Thursday May 9, 2019 6 - 9pm
Complimentary bites and bubbles will be served. 

Plymouth Gin Hosts “Early Bird Special” at Mr. Lyons

 
image credit:  Sarah Dickenson

image credit: Sarah Dickenson

Last month, all roads led to the valley for the 20th year of the highly celebrated Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival.  F10 Creative and Plymouth Gin joined forces to host the “Early Bird Special” to entertain tastemakers from Miami, New York and LA at Mr. Lyons before everyone let loose at the festival over the weekend.  As the sun was setting, Plymouth Gin’s Global Ambassador, Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge treated guests to Plymouth Gin 50/50 martinis, the cocktail's beautiful pale pink matched the sky perfectly.

Mr. Lyons’ Executive Chef Erik Dandee and F10 Culinary Director Eddie Moran teamed up to create the perfect 3-course classic steakhouse menu, which included menu favorites such as oysters, shrimp cocktail, prime rib and Mr. Lyons special homemade hot fudge mint ice cream sundae.

Following dinner, guests joined the bumping after-party that had already started at Seymour’s, where special guest Andy Shannon of the Punch Room (The London EDITION) was preparing distinctive Plymouth Gin cocktails, including his famous punchbowl concoctions.  The party went on into the wee hours of the night, as great evenings fueled by delicious cocktails and amazing company tend to do.

image credit: Sarah Dickenson

Inside Desert X 2019 with Executive Director Jenny Gil Schmitz

 
“Jackrabbit, Cottontail, and Spirits of the Desert” by  Cara Romero  // image credit:  Lance Gerber  *read more about the artist + installation  here

“Jackrabbit, Cottontail, and Spirits of the Desert” by Cara Romero // image credit: Lance Gerber
*read more about the artist + installation here

For many years, the California Desert has been a source of inspiration for artists, musicians, actors, designers and creators from all walks of life.  In 2017, we saw the first installment of Desert X.  A truly unique, awe-inspiring, site specific - contemporary art exhibition, with the Coachella Valley and the California Desert as its backdrop. 

Over nine weeks, Desert X engaged millions of visitors from across the globe via social and digital media channels and received multiple awards for both its education and community programs and partnerships.  Needless to say that when the 2019 exhibition was announced, a sense of anticipation and excitement swept the desert yet again.  One of the things we admire most about Desert X is that it’s a true community experience.  From the installations themselves, to the symposiums, panels, tours and participation of local businesses it represents so much of what makes Palm Springs and the desert a unique place to call home.

As huge fans of the arts and the mission behind Desert X, we were excited to sit down with the non-profit’s Executive Director, Jenny Gil Shmitz, to get the inside scoop on the 2019 exhibition and what we can expect looking forward.

“Dive-In” by Superflex // image credit: Lance Gerber
*read more about the artist + installation here

F10 - What was the initial inspiration / catalyst behind Desert X?

JGS - The idea of Desert X is to bring renowned international artists to the Coachella Valley to reflect on the beauty and wonders of our valley through the lens of contemporary art; and by showing large scale public art projects outside of the traditional institutions such as the museum or the gallery to expose a very large audience to the ideas and stories that these artists are telling.

F10 - How do you select the artists / installations?

JGS - Neville Wakefield is the Artistic Director of Desert X and he, along with his co-curators, invited about 30 artists to discover the Coachella Valley during the 18 months that we had to prepare the show. Eighteen of these artists developed projects that were produced for the 2019 exhibition. The selection is made by the curators but the conditions that the show deals with such as the vastness and diversity of the space, the scale of the landscape or the environmental conditions end up influencing the artists’ projects to the extent that Neville says the desert curates the exhibition. 

F10 - What do you hope Desert X will do for the Coachella Valley?

JGS - I am hoping that Desert X will turn the Coachella Valley into a cultural destination and will make contemporary art more accessible to all of its communities. Armando Lerma, who is a local Coachella artist and has participated in both Desert X exhibitions, told me when he was growing up here he felt as an art orphan, with very little access to the ideas of art history or contemporary art that are generally shown in museums and galleries in major cities like Los Angeles or New York.

“Wormhole” by  Cinthia Marcelle  // image credit:  Lance Gerber  *read more about the artist + installation  here

“Wormhole” by Cinthia Marcelle // image credit: Lance Gerber
*read more about the artist + installation here

F10 - What was the biggest challenge you faced in getting Desert X 2019 off the ground?

JGS - The challenge was to beat the first exhibition in 2017 that was a total success with over 200,000 visitors and media coverage around the globe.

F10 - If you could tell the Coachella Valley one thing, what would it be?

JGS - I would like artists to continue to come to the Coachella Valley to tell their stories and relate to the stories of the Coachella Valley and its communities. 

-

Desert X 2019 ran from February 9th through April 21st.  If you didn’t get a chance to see the installations in person, you can follow their story on social media, check out the full list of artists, installations and images on their website or check out their new podcast available on iTunes! 

Interested in being a part of the next Desert X? Check out their involvement page to see how you or your business can help make it possible.

Instagram // @_desertx
Web // https://www.desertx.org/
Donate // https://squareup.com/store/desert-x-2