Chef Biography

Jimmy Schmidt is considered to be one of the most influential forces on the American cuisine scene.

Raised on a farm near Champaign, Illinois, he studied electrical engineering at the University of Illinois, and ventured into cooking purely by accident. During a summer break in France in 1974, Jimmy studied both cooking and wine in Avignon, and it was there that he met Madeline Kamman, who became a force in his career.

Rather than return to engineering, he decided to stay on to pursue a career in the culinary arts and wine, earning a culinary degree from Luberon College and the French Institut Technique du Vin diploma from Maison du Vin in Avignon. He then returned stateside to Boston, where he continued his culinary education and graduated magna cum laude and first in class with a Professional Chefs diploma from Modern Gourmet, Inc.

After serving as senior chef at Chez La Mere Madeleine in Newton Centre, Massachusetts, he moved to Detroit in 1977 to become executive chef and general manager of the London Chop House.  He then moved to Denver in 1985 to open his first Rattlesnake Club.

It was there in 1986, that Great Chefs caught up with him to tape three dishes for their PBS series Great Chefs of the West, a Blue Corn Blini w/Salmon appetizer, a Curried  Lamb Sausage entrée, and a White Chocolate  Ravioli dessert. Chef Schmidt went on to open Rattlesnake Clubs in Detroit and Palm Springs. He sold the last Rattlesnake Club to Stroh’s Brewery Group who owned the building, in November 2010

In 1991, Chef Schmidt founded the Chefs Collaborative, and was one of the original board members of the James Beard Foundation, as well as a founding board member of Share Our Strength in Denver. He has authored and co-authored several cookbooks, has pioneered the farm to table movement, and is a three time James Beard Award winner.

Chef Schmidt is now drawing inspiration from the bounty of the Coachella Valley and its environs to create the contemporary American cuisine at Walter Morgan’s “MORGAN’S in The Desert”, the new signature restaurant at the La Quinta Resort & Club in La Quinta, California.


White Chocolate Ravioli

Serving: 8 Print White Chocolate Ravioli By Great Chefs May 9, 2014 If you are facile with your pasta making, rolling out white chocolate to create this unusual trompe l’oeil dessert will be easy. The ravioli are like little individual candy bars, with the hazelnut sauce adding a perfect background flavor. While no one will […]

Curried Lamb Sausage with Compote and Pecan Pancakes

Serving: 4 Print Curried Lamb Sausage with Compote and Pecan Pancakes By Great Chefs May 9, 2014 This is one of the best brunch or light supper dishes, with a wide variety of flavors and textures. Curry and fruit are a natural combination, and the pancakes have a rich pecan flavor. The sausage and compote […]

Blue Corn Blini

Serving: 4 Print Blue Corn Blini By Great Chefs May 9, 2014 These feathery light pancakes are not only the best blini, but the best combination of spicy sauce and salty smoked salmon. This could be a casual supper or a brunch dish as well as an appetizer. The sauce is even better made a […]

Restaurant Information

Phone : 760-564-7600

Address : 49499 Eisenhower Dr, La Quinta, CA 92253

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