Jillian’s in Palm Desert, California was the setting for the Palm Springs Bailliage’s holiday dinner on December 16, 2019.
The guests were welcomed to the fireplace-warmed patio of this 1948 Spanish hacienda with Champagne and hors d’oeuvres. Surrounding the central court are four dining rooms with adobe walls and beamed ceilings. Owner June Trubee has heightened the atmosphere with holiday decorations, fresh flowers, antiques and original art. Dinner was enjoyed in the starlit courtyard which provided a magical atmosphere as a backdrop to the creative and innovative cuisine.
Chef Owner Jay Trubee’s training at the Culinary Institute of America and his travels in Europe and the United States have inspired his imaginative, eclectic cuisine. All pasta, breads and desserts are made in-house daily. Not only does Jay prepare superb cuisine, he is responsible for the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Chef Trubee opened restaurants in Boston, New York and Nantucket before opening in Palm Desert in 1986. He and his wife named the restaurant Jillian’s after their first child.
Each year the Trubees travel to Nantucket and Rhode Island. Inspired by their annual trips, Jay has Nantucket scallops flown in overnight to serve in the restaurant during their fishing season. Some of Chef Trubee’s fondest memories include clamming in Nantucket. He and June would go out chest deep at low tide with rakes. One person would be the catcher with an inner tube floating a wire basket and would catch the big quahogs that were thrown to him. Then they would go home, steam them and make chowder that same afternoon.
The Trubees attribute much of their success to their loyal staff, many of whom have been with them since the restaurant’s opening in 1986. The Trubees’ desire to continually strive for perfection distinguishes Jillian’s as an outstanding dining venue. As the dinner was concluded, Jay, June, and the entire staff were given a hearty round of applause for their efforts to make the evening so special. Commandeur Annette Rakowitz presented the Trubees with a set of two Chaîne engraved wine glasses.