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An ACE in the Hole

Orchestrating an event during a pandemic requires a lot of problem-solving and creativity—but not for 24 Carrots Catering and Events.

Guest welcome and registration Photo courtesy Villa Visuals

As this year’s recipient of Best Off-Premise Catering, the SoCal favorite put a spotlight on the history and culture of California during a fundraiser for Orange County’s Pacific Symphony with its event “Fandango! Alta California.”

“Alta California” refers to a Mexican territory (formerly “New Spain”) that was established in 1822 following the Mexican War of Independence.

A Spanish-inspired courtyard evoked images of the Spanish mission, complete with mission-inspired lanterns. Photo courtesy Villa Visuals

Photo courtesy Villa VisualsFor the event, 24 Carrots transformed a vast, open-air lawn into an intimate, beautiful experience for the senses. Spanish-inspired décor greeted guests, with 40-foot arches draped in bougainvillea towering over the main stage. Mixed textures and mediums of rustic wood, Spanish linen, bone flatware, and cowhide were all as beautiful and ontheme to the touch as they were visually stunning. Florals were vibrant and celebratory, and technology was woven seamlessly to ensure guests were able to view the program from anywhere on the field. By using elements of design and event production, guests were transported to an immersive experience.

ACE Submissions Now Being Accepted
It’s once again time to celebrate the best of the best! Nominations are now being accepted for the Catersource 2023 Achievement in Catered Events awards. We invite you to submit your best work from the past year. Join in the excitement and the spirit of our industry as we celebrate the hard work and exceptional accomplishments of our peers. Eligible events must have occurred between January 01, 2022 and November 30, 2022. To submit an entry to this year’s ACE Awards, please visit our awards portal at https://ace-gala.

Additionally, 24 Carrots created a menu that not only honored Alta California, but it was also tangible and enticing to guests. By emphasizing ingredients that were prominent during the harvest, but presenting them in modern, elevated dishes, 24 Carrots was able to present a food experience that wasn’t just gala food, but truly an extension of the curated experience.

Congratulations to this year’s Best Off-Premise Catering ACE award winner!

The oyster station featured grilled oysters with smoked paprika garlic butter and lemon. Photo courtesy Villa Visuals

The main stage was framed in Bougainvillea and decorated with Estrella printed faux tiles. Photo courtesy Villa Visuals


Shrimp paella, baby squash and zucchini, heirloom cherry tomatoes, preserved lemon aioli. Photo courtesy Villa Visuals


Wooden laser-cut menus communicated the day’s offerings, which featured all gluten-free items. Photo courtesy Villa Visuals

The plated dual entrée featured slow roasted prime strip loin and Diver Sea Scallops served with braised Spanish Gigante beans, roasted baby zucchini and Patty Pan Squash, sweet corn, braised oxtail Jus, Popcorn Sprouts, and pea tendrils. Photo courtesy Annie White Photography

Whole roasted suckling pig with corn cakes, pickled mustard seeds, Rose’ wine vinegar, and petite arugula. Photo courtesy Villa Visuals

The “Slice of Life Vignette” featured a vintage produce cart filled with fruit, vegetables, flowers, and props to help transport guests back in time. Photo courtesy Villa Visuals

The tables were set with Spanish linen, bone flatware, cut crystal stemware, white and black Spanish tile inspired chargers, and linen napkins for an earthy yet elevated dining experience.  Photo courtesy Villa Visuals

The pork confit station featured suckling pig. Photo courtesy Villa Visuals

Amber Kispert

Senior Content Producer

Amber is the Senior Content Producer for Catersource. Amber previously worked as a Communications Specialist for LeClair Group and a reporter for the Woodbury Bulletin, both located in Woodbury, Minn.  As a self-described "foodie," Amber loves to experience the world of food and beverages, and is excited to help share the stories of Catersource and the world's caterers.