Essence restaurant and its new Executive Chef Cossi Houegban at the Desert Hot Springs, Calif., resort were featured in The Desert Sun, offering “caramel-style cooking” with Asian fusion.
Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., has undergone extensive renovations over the past two years, expanding spa treatments, adding fitness and enrichment classes, and offering healthier gourmet food, The Desert Sun reported.
In the kitchen of the resort’s Essence restaurant, new Executive Chef Cossi Houegban specializes in “caramel-style cooking” with Asian fusion. Born in Strasbourg and raised in Paris, Houegban is inspired by Fernanrd Point, Gordon Ramsey, Thomas Keller, Michael Mena, and Thomas Tong. After studying at Le Cordon Bleu in France, Houegban honed his skills through international internships, from the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris to the Westin in London and the Four Seasons in Singapore and Hong Kong. He joined the kitchen of the luxury Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills and followed with a stint at the London Hotel in West Hollywood and Bistro 45 in Pasadena before coming to Two Bunch Palms, The Desert Sun reported.
Houegban incorporates a farm-to-table approach at Essence, using ingredients that are 100% organic and without hormones, additives, or GMOs, The Desert Sun reported.
For lunch, the kitchen produces heirloom tomato puree soup drizzled with basil oil and pearl tomatoes. Entree offerings include citrus Scottish salmon on a bed of quinoa, cranberries, onions, bell peppers and mixed greens with a champagne yogurt emulsion; a burrata alla panna topped with arugula, Indio heirloom tomatoes, and strawberries with a balsamic glaze and basil emulsion; a local artisan lettuce salad combined grilled plums, avocado, queso blanco with candied walnuts in the champagne date vinaigrette; and Jidori chicken slow-cooked with chunks of golden beets and tender fava beans. Dessert consisted of a lemon cheesecake crepe topped with house-made lime sorbet and vanilla bean ice cream, The Desert Sun reported.
The restaurant’s decor has a calming effect, with natural lighting from a skylight, a sculpture of tree branches “growing” through a table at the entrance, polished wood floors, a black and white stone fireplace, small pots of cacti, burlap napkins and textured placemats, The Desert Sun reported.
Two Bunch Palms offers a grotto featuring two mineral water pools, a spa, lodging, nature walks, tennis, biking, and extensive fitness and wellness classes.