Brandt Beef Filet Mignon Takes Top Honors at California Date Chef Competition

BRAWLEY, Calif. – Brandt Beef – The True Natural, a single family owned, premium natural beef producer is proud to announce that Leanne Kamekona, executive chef at Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Rancho Mirage, Calif., received top honors at the 2008 California Date Chef Competition for her dish featuring Brandt Beef filet mignon.

Chef Kamekona was awarded First Place Entrée and People’s Choice Award for her New Mexico red chile and date crusted Brandt Beef filet mignon. Three panels of judges tasted a selection of appetizers, entrees and desserts, which were evaluated by criteria including: best use of dates, originality, flavor and overall presentation. The People’s Choice Award was determined by more than 500 guests who sampled competitors’ dishes.

Fifteen professional chefs competed in the eighth annual event, which was sponsored by the California Date Administrative Committee, representing Coachella Valley’s date growers and handlers. The first Date Chef Competition began in 2000 to promote a locally grown crop, dates with the Coachella Valley's hospitality, restaurant and tourism industries. The annual competition, open to professional chefs, is designed to encourage chefs to be creative and adventuresome with California dates. The 2008 competition was held at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, Calif. on Sunday, April 27. More information on the competition and winning recipes can be found at

“On behalf of Brandt Beef, I would like to congratulate Leanne for her outstanding success and the first place honors she received in the California Date Chef Competition,” said Eric Brandt, managing partner, Brandt Beef. “We are thrilled that Leanne chose to feature Brandt’s all-natural beef in her winning dish and appreciate her continued support of our local, family-owned operation.”

“I am honored to have received the first place award and People’s Choice Award for my dish featuring Brandt Beef filet mignon,” said Leanne Kamekona. “The Brandt family is a local purveyor that is extremely passionate about producing natural beef using environmentally sustainable practices. The quality of Brandt Beef is among the best I have ever tasted, and I look forward to passing along this exceptional product to the patrons at Rancho Las Palmas.”
As executive chef of Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Kamekona oversees the property’s dining venues, including the new bluEmber restaurant, R Bar, Splash Grill, Palms Café and Spa Café, as well as all of the banquet facilities. With more than 20 years of culinary experience, Chef Kamekona joined Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in 2006 after working in some of California and Hawaii’s top resort kitchens.

The 444-room Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa recently underwent a $35 million renovation. In addition to new dining and recreational facilities, the resort also features a 27-hole Ted Robinson-designed golf course; 20,000 square-feet of spa and a Yamaguchi salon; four pools; a 25-court Peter Burwash International tennis center; and 41,000 square-feet of flexible event space. More information on Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa can be found at

About Brandt Beef
Brandt Beef – The True Natural, is a family owned premium natural beef producer for the up-scale restaurant and retail markets. The Brandt family is passionate about producing the most consistent, highest quality, 100 percent source verified natural beef in the market. Through cattle selection, natural feeding practices and humane treatment of animals, Brandt Beef produces a product that is unparalleled in taste, tenderness and consistency. Recently, Brandt Beef received the Master Chefs’ Institute Seal of Excellence for its achievement in obtaining the Master Chef’s Institute standard of quality. More information is available at