Executive chef and co-owner Workshop Kitchen + Bar and Truss & Twine
A Southern California native, chef Michael Beckman is a driving force in the evolution of the region’s dining scene, evidenced at his Palm Springs restaurant Workshop Kitchen + Bar and cocktail haven Truss & Twine.
While attending the University of San Francisco, he worked in front-of-house positions at restaurants including Kuleto’s and Il Fornaio. It was then that he fell in love with restaurant culture and developed a passion for food and wine.
His affinity for wine and European regional cooking landed him in Geneva. For two years, he cooked at an eclectic centre ville bistro, a traditional countryside French restaurant near Geneva’s vineyards, and at a sushi hot spot, where he honed his knife skills as a fishmonger.
Determined to join the brigades of a 3-Michelin-star restaurant, Beckman saw Lyon’s prestigious L’Institut Paul Bocuse as a gateway to the next level. He spent the next two years under the wing of four Meilleur Ouvriers de France instructors at IBP and also as an apprentice at Burgundy’s 3-Michelin-star Lameloise. He ultimately landed a chef de partie position with The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin where he cooked under chef Thomas Kellermann.
Beckman later returned to California and held a series of elite private chef positions in Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, and Rancho Mirage. Shopping the farmers markets each week and keeping pace with restaurant trends sparked his vision for and desire to open his own brick-and-mortar concept.
In 2011, Beckman opened Workshop Kitchen + Bar, which has had a major impact on the local community’s dining scene and contributed to re-branding Palm Springs as a dining destination. Hitting the mark with his seasonal cooking that utilizes fresh and local desert ingredients, contemporary and classic cocktails, and industrial chic design, Workshop Kitchen + Bar has gone on to become one of Southern California’s most critically acclaimed restaurants, gaining media recognition and a plethora of awards, including the 2015 James Beard Award for Outstanding Restaurant Design.
On the heels of this success, Beckman opened his second concept, Truss & Twine, adjacent to his first venture. Truss & Twine specializes in classic cocktails broken down by five eras, alongside a desert-inspired menu using ingredients sourced from the Coachella Valley. Providing a dark juxtaposition to the adjacent restaurant, Truss & Twine delivered an aesthetic that the Palm Springs dining and nightlife landscape was missing.
In 2018, Beckman announced he will be opening a second outpost of Workshop Kitchen + Bar, bringing a taste of the desert to Los Angeles’ diverse culinary scene in 2019.