The PNB Tennis Classic in Indian Wells California is happening right NOW!
According to the Desert Guide.... the food is as great as the Tennis!
World-Class Tennis Plus a Feast for the Palate
Strawberry Delice Crêpe, served at Crêpe Express in The Food Village, with strawberries, Grand Marnier, and whipped cream.
BNP Paribas Open fans expect to see the top tennis players in the world when they come to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden but along with witnessing their favorites, they get to partake of culinary excellence at numerous food venues under the direction of Levy Restaurants, founded in Chicago in 1978, and its esteemed Regional Executive Chef Gilbert E. Verdugo.
Joining the Levy team in 2004, Chef Verdugo has created imaginative menus for a number of sports and entertainment venues in Southern California, including the Staples Center (his home base), Dodger Stadium, Home Depot Center, and Hollywood Park. He has also played a key role in major events such as the Kentucky Derby, Academy Awards, NBA Playoffs, Grammy Awards, and U.S. Open. His passion for great food, his creative style, and a demand for only the freshest and highest quality products make for an epicurean treat for the fans at all of the food venues. He stays on the cutting edge of culinary development and is utilizing California products and cheeses from local vendors in serving an exquisite light, California-inspired cuisine. Famous for our date groves, Chef Verdugo is working with Shields Date Garden and date farmers to include this succulent fruit in some of his creations. His tools include a new smoker operated by hand that will greatly enhance the briskets and other barbecue items. He has brought his well-trained culinary team with him, as well as chefs and kitchen workers from many of his other properties, who all love to come to Indian Wells. The motto he lives by: “Be an ambassador for your property and craft and display heartfelt hospitality with everyone you encounter.” When he is not working, he gives back to his community by volunteering his time with various groups. He is now partnering with the Culinary Department of La Quinta High School to give his insight in the culinary arts to the students.
Some of the food venues around the spacious grounds are The Food Village with themed concession stands that take you way beyond traditional sports park choices, such as Melissa’s Marketplace, serving made-to-order salads using local ingredients from Melissa’s Produce in Los Angeles; Desert BBQ, serving beef brisket, pulled pork, and barbecued chicken smoked on-site in a new smoker; Crêpe Express, a popular concept at the US Open, debuts here with a variety of savory crêpes, including La Norvegienne with smoked salmon, tomato, red onion, and mozzarella cheese, and Churasco Beef Crêpe with skirt steak, red and green peppers, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese; The Garden Club, for a break in the action, box and suite holders may enjoy Chef’s Tables, featuring grains, greens and bountiful choices of sustainable fish, BBQ and more, and guest requests are honored as well in a relaxed setting. The Emirates Club, a new sponsor, has a private suite where guests will enjoy new Chef’s Tables for lunch and dinner every day. Chef’s Tables can be put in any suite. Fresh Press, located on the Stadium Plaza, is open each morning at 10 a.m. for fresh-pressed coffee service.
Chef Verdugo is also focusing on the players’ cuisine. He consulted with an ATP nutritionist to create a custom menu for the athletes to keep them energized and ready to play. They may choose from a freshly prepared salad bar with local produce, made-to-order pasta, a carving station, sandwiches and more.
For the fourth year, the tournament will donate any leftover food to Martha’s Village and Shelter. 1,500 pounds were donated last year.