Brad and Lynne Toles of Savoury’s Catering in Palm Springs Created a Custom Menu for 2023’s The Chase
For veteran husband-and-wife culinary team Brad and Lynne Toles of Savoury’s Catering, DAP Health has never been just a client, and The Chase certainly isn’t just a gala.
“We’re so proud to be such longtime partners of this organization for its biggest annual fundraiser,” says Lynne. “Brad and I have lived in Palm Springs since 1997. We care very deeply about this community, and DAP Health is one of its pillars. We’ve been members of the nonprofit’s Partners For Life donor group for more than a decade, and I joined donor group 100 Women the very first year it was created. We’re just so honored to be invited to the party every year.”
Being a perennial participant in The Chase means the Toleses can use their experience of past galas to fine-tune immediate future ones. Last year was the first occasion the entire event — pre-show cocktail hour and main program — was held outside. It was also the initial offering of a cold entrée inside a bento box. “It’s exciting and fun to create food that will present well cold while maintaining all its flavor,” says Lynne. “Plus, whereas we usually try to keep hot foot hot at any venue, using Sterno canned heat in hotboxes, here we have refrigerated trucks and dry ice in those hotboxes to keep cold food cold. Every event is different, of course, and it comes down to the magic of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. It’s an orchestrated dance, to be sure, but we love the challenge.”
Not only do the Toleses and their expert team of chefs, bartenders, bussers, and servers love the challenge, they meet it, and then some. Lynne reports that this year, Brad and his crew created a customized array of choices for The Chase’s gala co-chairs — DAP Health Board Members Kevin Bass, Lauri Kibby, and Scott Nevins — which resulted in a fun first: an entirely gluten-free menu.
Included in 2023’s new Koraku bento box — which translates from Japanese to “picnic lunchbox” — will be a golden and red beet salad with quinoa and a blood orange vinaigrette pipette, seared beef tenderloin with a port wine demi-glace, a poached salmon tower with sliced avocado-mango-papaya and a habanero glaze, and a kale and mushroom ravioli in a pomodoro sauce.
Vegan diners will be offered the same beet duo appetizer alongside a seared spiced tofu salad with miso dressing, the identical ravioli, and a roasted vegetable bundle that includes green beans, spiced portobello mushroom, and red pepper.
The sweet finish will consist of a mini raspberry and chocolate cone paired with a Mexican wedding cookie and a lemon bar. The vegan option will be a mini peach cobbler, a chocolate-dipped strawberry, and a double-chocolate pistachio brownie.
Prior to the formal sit-down dinner, guests will see and be seen — and hopefully engage in meaningful conversation — at Amazon’s Big Ideas Cocktail Party, which will be held inside the Palm Springs Convention Center so as to keep coifs and couture from wilting in the desert heat.
Here, Savoury’s will tray-pass a variety of cold and hot traditional, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free hors d’oeuvres. Just some of the selections will be peppered ahi cones with a wasabi cream, mini grilled cheese sandwiches drizzled with tomato soup, a Middle Eastern beef sirloin lollipop with tzatziki sauce, caprese canapés, shrimp canapés, mini pigs in a blanket, and Belgian endive with butternut squash and dried cranberry.
To wash it all down, invitees can indulge in a full open bar, or imbibe a specialty cocktail created for the occasion — whose recipe is a well-guarded secret in order to not ruin the surprise: The Glamazon, named after Amazon’s LGBTQ+ affinity group. (Please note: A non-alcoholic version will also be available.)
As Savoury’s puts finishing touches on every detail for the fast-approaching big night, Lynne shares their philosophy of catering such a large-scale event. “First off, I love the collaboration with the client and the event producers. They come to you with their vision for the gala, and then you get to be part of trying to bring that to life,” she says. “Our goal at the end of the day is always the same, every year: to outdo ourselves, to exceed guest expectations, and to provide the best experience humanly possible.”