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The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage Partners With Celebrated Chef, Joachim Splichal
of Patina Restaurant; Pinot Mirage to be Expansion of Chef Splichal's
Well-known Pinot Restaurants

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., Jan. 3, 2007 - Hailed as one of the nation's "Legendary Chefs" by Bon Appetit and named Bon Appetit/Food Network "Restaurateur of the Year," Joachim Splichal is widely-acknowledged as a contributing force behind the growth of Los Angeles into one of the world's premier dining capitals -- and will now lend his culinary artistry to The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, slated to open September 2008.

"I have always looked up to the Ritz-Carlton as setting the standard for quality service and I am honored to partner with them to create these exciting new dining destinations," says Joachim Splichal, chef and founder of Patina Restaurant Group.

Splichal's whimsical talent emphasizes a playful, yet perfectionist style and his enthusiasm for California's abundant resources translates into innovative and elegant dishes, which will be further inspired by The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage's majestic setting. In keeping with The Ritz-Carlton's strong culinary tradition, sophisticated dining venues under the guidance of Joachim Splichal will complement the savvy of the resort's French-born Executive Chef, Eric Branger. 

Chef Splichal is creating menus that are exclusive to the Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, and will lend his expertise and leadership to both the culinary and front-of-house staff of the locations. Pinot Mirage will expand upon Chef Splichal's well-known Pinot restaurants, and will feature an exhibition kitchen where diners can follow the preparation of their epicurean experience. An intimate wine bar, Split, features more than 100 half bottles of unique, organic and bio-dynamic wines. An inviting Lounge 6Fifty, offering an expansive list of wines by the glass, signature cocktails and an avant-garde tea service -- will beckon guests in an ambiance reflective of the natural elements enveloping the resort. Embracing the setting's indoor/outdoor lifestyle, The Edge is a contemporary, chef-driven steakhouse situated cliff-side and offering unparalleled views of the Valley. A sophisticated, yet casual dining destination, The Edge will offer guests a menu as dramatic as the views, making it the first choice for evening cocktails and stargazing poolside.

Based upon his vision of unique restaurants emphasizing fresh, seasonal ingredients and unparalleled service, Joachim Splichal opened the flagship restaurant Patina with his wife Christine in 1989. Today, Patina Restaurant Group has grown to include a world-class catering division and an array of award-winning restaurants on both the east and west coasts. Chef Splichal's restaurants include the Michelin award-winning Patina, now located in the landmark Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Cafe Pinot, Nick & Stef's Steakhouse, and several others in Los Angeles, Pinot Provence and Leatherby's Cafe Rouge in Orange County, and Julia's Kitchen in the Napa Valley. Splichal's much anticipated contemporary seafood restaurant, Paperfish, opened in Beverly Hills last month.

The shores of the United States beckoned Chef Eric Branger from his native France, where he worked along-side the father of "Nouvelle Cuisine" and Michelin 3-Star Chef, Paul Bocuse, before landing in San Francisco. There, he impressed the influencers that eventually led him to Ritz-Carlton hotels in Atlanta and New Orleans, among others. Branger's distinguished global career has come full circle, as he returns to California following an impressive tenure at the helm of the acclaimed kitchens of The Ritz-Carlton, New York, Central Park.

"We are fortunate to have the expertise, vision and creativity of Chef Joachim Splichal and Chef Eric Branger," said Brad Jencks, general manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage. "The dining experience will be exciting, innovative and memorable in our restaurants and our catering venues."

The affluent enclave of Rancho Mirage, known as the Beverly Hills of the Coachella Valley and a resort playground to generations of politicians and Hollywood personalities, is poised to shine even brighter with this culinary collaboration. A comprehensive $500 million, 40-acre project is set to transform the breathtaking setting into the area's premier, five-star resort under the Ritz-Carlton banner. Featuring a completely-new 244-room resort, a multi-million dollar La Prairie spa and a 150-unit luxury residential community, the development is situated 650 feet above greater Palm Springs, offering one of the area's most awe-inspiring views.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., operates 70 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and Africa. Over 30 projects are under development around the globe with future openings including Sanya, Dublin, Beijing and Denver. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldridge, National Quality Award, which recognized outstanding customer service.


The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.

Also See: Top Toques Weigh in on the Season's Biggest Food Trends and Flops in New York / April 2004
Gencom Spending $500 million to Transform the Lodge at Rancho Mirage to The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage; Adding Spa and Residential Components to 244 room Hotel / January 2007

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