Love is Always the Answer
There is 0% love in a processed bag of gravy; we know it, and you can taste it. Making food from scratch is expensive, and "roadside diner food" is known for being "cheap". As American Chefs who care for the quality of our food, it makes our jobs pretty tough.
We focus our menu offerings in favor of foods we make from scratch. This is what sets us apart from every other diner in the area. We buy organic when we can, and make practical decisions to keep our prices as low as possible, while offering our workers above standard wages for the area.
Hi. I'm Gabbi Rose.
I love to automate most of what I do every day because it makes my life SO much better. But when it comes to cooking at the 'Loaf, It's the reverse: I am always looking to find ways to bring you the best value for the best product we know how to make. In addition, we value the human element of cooking for you and operate an ethical workplace.
I want you to know what you're supporting and why it matters.
Here's a little bit about me, and what I am doing here in the middle of nowhere.
I opened the Sugarloaf Cafe in January 2019 with the idea that I could use the location as a kitchen to service my hotel in Palm Springs.
The Sugarloaf was the perfect place for me to do research, test recipes, and cater to the needs of my guests when it served. I figured we could offset expenses by being open a few days a week, offering a local menu on the weekends. I focused on the foods I liked to eat in my own home; fresh farm-to-table cuisine. Alas, my hotel was devastated by a storm the month after we opened the Sugarloaf and our plans needed to change overnight.
It was a tragedy that unfolded slowly and is still being worked on as we speak. Almost immediately I understood that the Sugarloaf would need to be a full-time restaurant immediately, as the Hotel would not need a catering facility until it was up and running again. With one foot in front of the other, I began to build a staff, a menu, and a physical facility. I began thinking about what I'd like to cook on a larger scale and speculated what menu would work for the area.
I am not a fussy eater. I generally don't want to order anything that I can't pronounce unless I am eating somewhere which I've planned in advance (usually in support of a Chef I admire) and am there to experience something "new" and "artistic". Otherwise, when I stop for a bite I like to order things I know pretty well: a Grilled Cheese, or a Burger (if I think I can trust the quality of the meat). The American part of my heritage begged for the Sugarloaf to live its best life as a BADASS BBQ and Pie Spot in the Hills. I have learned so much over the last year, and been both humbled and surprised by what I thought this project would look like.
We have offered many things and changed our hours. Through this "real-time research", I learned that freshly made comfort foods are the most satisfying things to travelers and locals alike. At the same time, it is important to be sensitive to a wide range in budgets. I knew I wanted anyone to be able to afford a bowl of soup. I soon learned how much food really costs to prepare in a restaurant.
Even though I love to forage, preserve, pickle and otherwise get geeky in my kitchen, I believe that the most sustainable contribution I can make within the culinary landscape of the Coachella Valley is in support of traditional handmade American foods. American roadside fare has taken a dive- most restaurants in the area use an abundance of processed foods to save on labor costs, resulting in a lack of diversity amongst common items. Distributors like Sysco rely upon the needs of American Style Restaurants to order pre-made, mass-produced bags of things like cole slaw and potato rolls in order to satisfy their bottom lines. In this way, you could be eating the same slaw in three different kitchens; all produced for a fraction of the price of what it would cost that kitchen to make it themselves. Sometimes it is impossible to compete with modern ways of doing things, and so truly noteworthy American Diners have become scarce.
Nevertheless, I believe that love can be tasted and that it is possible to find a balance of outsourced ingredients and higher quality goods when cooking for a restaurant. The Sugarloaf is proof of this concept, and I invite you to come and taste it for yourself.
XOXO, Gabbi Rose
PS. If you've read this far, I hope you actually do come and experience the Sugarloaf for yourself! Drop me a line and lemme know what you thought: what I could have done better, and what my staff nailed 100%: [email protected]