Outstanding in the Field has announced the chefs that will be cooking for this year’s Coachella edition of the roving dinner series. A mix of L.A. favorites and a few out-of-towners will set up a nightly pop-up restaurant serving elegant alfresco dinners right in the VIP area of the music festival. If you’re the type who subscribes to the adage that chefs are the new rock stars, this news might be as big as the roster of on-stage festival performers.
For the first weekend of Coachella 2017, meals will be cooked by Neal Fraser of Redbird, Alvin Cailan of Eggslut, Nakul Mahendro of Badmaash and Bruce Kalman of Union. That local contingent will be joined by Donnie Masterton from the Restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; Paul Kahan from the Publican in Chicago and Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer of Toro in Boston and New York.
The second weekend features an entirely different crew, including Jet Tila Pakpao Thai and formerly the Charleston (and seen on pretty much every Food Network show), Perry Cheung of Phorage, Louis Tikaram of E.P. and L.P., Vartan Abgaryan of 71Above, Charles Olalia of Ricebar, Antonia Lofaso of Scopa Italian Roots, Dakota Weiss of Estrella, Nyesha Arrington formerly at Leona and Eduardo Ruiz formerly at Corazon y Miel.
Outstanding in the Field is always known for giving chefs an opportunity to show off some special dishes and cooking in a setting that gets them out of their typical kitchen, and the Coachella editions are particularly famous for encouraging exchange and collaboration between some of the city’s most elite chefs who might not otherwise have many opportunities to work together and taste each other’s food.
“For me it’s been amazing to see Ray Garcia laughing with Steve Samson while Jason Neroni walks by. That’s my kind of backstage,” organizer and festival culinary director Nic Adler told the L.A. Times of some of the A-list chefs who have been seen palling around at his events.
Want to reserve your spot for one of the dinners? Tickets for the four-course meals with beer, wine and cocktails run $225 per person and must be purchased online in advance. You will also need a festival wristband in order to get to the dinner, a limited number of which can be purchased for $399 or $899 along with the dinner tickets. Seatings are at 5:30pm and 7:30pm each night, so you should still be able to make it to see the headlining acts after completing your lavish meal.
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