Something WILD is coming to El Paseo: Following in the footsteps of French “Chef of the Century” and restaurateur Joel Rubichon who believed healthy food was the future of fine dining, one of the most celebrated chefs in the Desert, Eric Wadlund with his partners Bill Hay and Charissa Farley, are introducing the first restaurant in the valley committed to continuing this vision. Old World style fine dining upon which Robuchon built his legacy and trained the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Eric Ripert with caviar and truffle studded cuisine is facing the difficult challenge of taste versus health: adapt or die.
Wildest’s dynamic food originates in wild-caught fish, local pasture-raised and grass-fed poultry and beef, as well as plant-based meals that promise to be flavorful options to those who choose to eat meat-free. There are zero hormones and steroids in their proteins, as the restaurant strives to be cruelty free and supports local organic, biodynamic and sustainable farms. Provisions not made in house will be sourced from the coolest epicureans.
There aren’t often restaurants that a certain dish is so extraordinarily special that it defines a chef but it is our goal that Wildest and Chef Eric are exactly that. When you think of fine dining, these are moments that many think of as only for special occasions or splurges. Not at Wildest where casual fine dining is an experience anyone can go to on a regular basis. We want people to come consecutively to see that our dining experience can be a cure to ensure a healthy life.
But will it be delicious? At the helm is Chef Eric Wadlund. Chef Eric literally wrote the book on desert food, having co-authored the 2007 cookbook “Palm Springs Flavor.” He has cooked for U.S. presidents and royalty alike and he has been celebrity chef at the James Beard house more than once. His resume, list of appearances, and awards reads like a who’s who food superstar.
Based on a belief in the marriage of food and wine, Bill Hay who has been collecting French wines for a majority of his life will be carefully curating our wines from Europe over multiple decades, as well as wines from California and throughout the world. These outstanding and uncommon wines can be enjoyed in one of the few wine rooms in the desert available for private wine dinners. The wine list by glass will also not be common or boring.
With its origins in the dreams of Denise Dubarry-Hay “Wildest” will still be making a majority of its content in house. This includes juices, kombucha, and fermented ingredients… that will also be included in handcrafted cocktails and creations of inspired mixologists. The plant-based proteins are also made in house, so the “impossible burger” is now possible, but with locally sourced ingredients. In addition, similar to the Wynn Hotel, whatever healthy means to you, you can simply order off a carefully crafted menu sensitive to different dietary goals without having to ask for plant based options, non-alcoholic cocktails, or gluten free options… you can simply order them off the menu.
No detail has been overlooked in the design theme of extinct wild animals, an homage to Denise, and the creation of the award-winning Jeffrey Jones and Steven Love of Egg and Dart and the execution of Terrance Ross Construction to create an elegant, hip and comfortable environment.
Charissa Farley, who many people know from construction, has also been interested in ethno-botany, plant-based nutrition and nutritional science for years. She was asked to be on the advisory board for the original restaurant and is deeply committed to keeping the vision of healthy food choices alive. Spencer Burguan, Chef de Cuisine, who was with the original restaurant has been pushing the envelope and exploring new and unique recipes even prior to the conception of “Wildest” and has an incredible enthusiasm for exciting cuisine.
Additionally, Wildest’s unique cuisine, is not just available on El Paseo. It will come to you. They have a kitchen dedicated primarily for catering, and will be offering pop up satellite corporate events as well as accommodating any event you can dream up.
Casual fine dining that is entirely based on healthy nutrition is the future. When we look all around us, we see so many people with health problems. What if incredibly tasty food can gain 10 to 20 years of vibrant
life by just eating properly? And what if it was served in an incredibly fun vibe with great friends. It is their hope you will be enjoying many of your Wildest moments with them. Wildest will be open seven days a week, serving both lunch and dinner.