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24 carrots welcomes Top Chef star to their family

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24 carrots

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24 carrots is a family-owned full-service catering and event company servicing Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties. On January, 23, 2014, 24 carrots announced that Ashley Santo Domingo was appointed Executive Chef. Chef Ashley competed on Season 9 of Bravo’s Top Chef and was nominated for the James Beard’s Rising Star Chef in the Pacific Northwest in 2008. In Chef Ashley’s new role, she will partner with Creative Art Director, Arpi Torosyan to create and evolve memorable appetizers, dishes and desserts of 24 carrots. She will also oversee the menus at 24 carrots’ bistros across Orange County.

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Here’s sample of the creativity that could be part of your next event:

Crispy Pork Belly appetizer: I adored the crispy skin and subtle Asian flavors. It contrasted nicely with the pickled red cabbage.

Kumquat Shooter was refreshing and light. It was perfect as a palate cleanser for the next course.

Oxtail and Truffle Cappuccino contained oxtail consommé, braised beef, whipped truffle butter and a mini truffle biscotti. This is definitely a trick for your taste buds! Your eyes tell you it's going to be dessert-like but the oxtail soup was the utmost essence of beef with a chunk of beef and truffle at the bottom. The biscotti added a bit of texture and slight sweetness. Creative presentation!

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops and Radish Carpaccio contained slightly pickled shaved radishes, cauliflower puree, blood orange and citrus emulsion. The scallops were perfectly cooked, a little on the rare side, just the way I like it. The blood orange had just the right amount of sweetness. You could definitely taste it without overwhelming the natural sweetness of the scallops. I would have preferred the cauliflower puree to be a bit chunky versus smooth.

Bourbon Blood Orange Cocktail with Fresh Ginger was paired with the Pan-Seared Sea Scallops and Radish Carpaccio. It was refreshing and took full advantage of the brightness and sweetness of the blood oranges.

“Hot Rocks” Yuzu-Chimichurri Kobe Beef was served with a hot ishiyaki stone one a bed of sea salt and cooked tableside. I experienced this concept before at Uchiko in Austin, TX. It's a fabulous presentation. I’m not a big fan of combining beef and citrus, but liked the creativity that went into the presentation. I would definitely stick with just salt and/or a standard chimichurri with the beef. I nibbled on the kumquat garnish as a palate cleanser for the next course.

Tozai Junmai Sake was paired with the “Hot Rocks” Yuzu-Chimichurri Kobe Beef. It has a very light flavor as sakes go. It was very clean but deceptively strong.

Braised Lamb Gnocchi contained roasted butternut squash and sautéed kale with red wine braised lamb, spinach gnocchi, and goat cheese. The lamb was braised to perfection. The gnocchi was a bit heavy but the flavor matched well with the goat cheese. The kale was expertly sautéed to a state similar to sautéed spinach with no bitter flavor left behind.

2009 Qupe Roussanne from Bien Nacido Vineyards was paired with the Braised Lamb Gnocchi. Tasting notes: sour citrus, oak, nutty flavor with creamy finish, bitter bite; slight citrus aroma. With the lamb, the sourness was tamed a bit and more oak flavor was brought forth.

Meyer Lemon-Cherry Salmon contained smoked king salmon, fricassee of baby vegetables, and aji amarillo citrus sauce. The presentation under a smoky dome was the highlight of this dish. The dome was removed in a swirling motion so the smoke spired up in the air from the dish. The salmon itself didn’t have much of smoky flavor and was a little overcooked for my taste. A little Himalayan salt might have brought out a little more flavor from the salmon. The sauce was too sweet for the salmon, but would have been really good on a pork dish.

2009 Qupe Roussanne from Bien Nacido Vineyards was also served with the Meyer Lemon-Cherry Salmon. It didn't pair well with the salmon. It brought out too much of the lemon in the dish making it sour. A light Pinot Grigio would have paired better.

Crispy Duck Breast served with citrus infused demi glaze, sautéed wild hedgehog mushrooms, and dauphinoise potatoes. The duck had a nice flavor and the citrus infused demi glaze worked well with the duck. The dauphinoise potatoes were fantastic! I loved the crispy cheese crust.

2010 Merryvale Pinot Noir was paired with the Crispy Duck. It was well balanced, with dark cherry and oak notes throughout. It also didn’t leave woody aftertaste. It paired perfectly with duck drawing out a sweet cherry flavor.

White Chocolate Citrus Cake contained lemon cream, blood orange mousse, pistachio crumble, raspberry sorbet, and candied pistachios. It was a napoleon of sorts - wonderfully light and citrusy. The sauce had a little too much of a bitter bite, but was fortunately overshadowed by the sweetness and creaminess of the dessert itself. The raspberry sorbet was bright and tasted just like fresh raspberries.

2009 Chateau Suduiraut was paired with the White Chocolate Citrus Cake. It was light, sweet, fruity, and smooth on its own. When paired with fruity dessert, it truly shined. It seemed to become an extension of the dessert.

Let 24 carrots cater your next event! You and your guests will be talking about it for years to come.

For more information to plan your next event:
24 carrots
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