It’s a Date
By Ashley Bennett
Every year the festival begins with a “Blessing of the Dates” which opens the fair to date vendors and best of all: daily cooking demonstrations. Visiting chefs can get as elaborate in these demos to the max with only one rule to abide by: the use dates in all of their dishes.
The first Friday and Sunday of the fair features the culinary talents of Chef Freddy Rieger, Fantasy Spring’s famous Executive Chef who takes part in the tastes of the casino’s restaurants The Bistro, JOY Asian Cuisine and POM. On his first day he’ll help guests discover the wonders of a French chicken breast stuffed with Medjool dates, roasted apple and brioche filling, served with caramelized shallot and sherry-date demi-glace. Sunday will reveal a duck Waldorf salad with more of those famous Medjool dates and the addition of white seedless grapes apples and snowflake walnuts. How’s that for date love?
Fri, Feb. 15-Sun, Feb. 24. $8. Riverside County Fair and Date Festival, Riverside County Fairgrounds, 46350 Arabia St., Indio, (760) 863-8247; www.datefest.org.