When you say “I know a guy,” you’re probably talking about Rick Marino.
He’s your go-to guy to hit up for five-star review ANYTHING – especially if you want to know where to eat.
As a rock n roll tour manager, Rick has spent years traveling the world with your favorite bands.
On tour he’s the undisputed King of Regional Cuisine – always exploring local flavors and discovering the delicious in every pocket of the planet.
“I’m a pinch of this, dash of that kind of guy”
Rick’s adventurous nature & curious palette fuel his passion for road tripping and led to a four year stint as a travel writer for Desert Magazine & USA Today.
Living in the Coachella Valley of Southern California and learning what’s being grown here inspired Rick to create his first culinary consumer product: DESERT DUST.
World traveler & culinary souvenir lover Rick Marino was standing in the gift shop wondering why there was no representation of products made in the Coachella Valley. “I wanted to bring gifts that are unique to the place I call home to give people I was flying to visit. And there was nothing.”
Odd, considering the Coachella Valley region of the California desert is the largest producer of dates outside of the Middle East.
“There’s so much more to dates than what you see in your produce aisle,” enthuses Rick, fascinated by the endless varieties of dates (over 2,000), their flavor profile, and pedigree. Known as nature’s superfood, the date palm is a staple fruit high in fiber, low in fat, full of minerals, vitamins & protein that has nourished millions of humans worldwide for centuries.
Date palm trees were transplanted from Algeria to the Coachella Valley in 1903, becoming a significant crop and eventually the largest commercial date-producing region in the Western Hemisphere – currently supplying 35 million pounds annually.
Since 1947, Indio, California, has been home to the National Date Festival – an annual celebration at the end of date palm harvest season, and a major tourist attraction.
So when Rick Marino left Palm Springs Airport empty-handed, without any souvenirs to give people a taste of the desert – he knew what he had to do. During the pandemic, Rick Marino focused on blending ingredients born in the California desert to make the ultimate all-purpose seasoning: DESERT DUST