Locale Magazine Interview With Arpi Torosyan, Creative Director of 24 Carrots
WRITTEN BY: NICOLE FERA as featured in Locale Magazine ‘s Ultimate Holiday Guide just in time for the season!
Although the holidays are one of the most exciting, energetic and heartfelt times of the year, they can also make you want to pull your hair out with all of the stress and anxiety that comes along with them. So, how can you avoid all of the meltdowns and freak-outs on your loved ones this holiday season? It’s easy. Thanks to our friend, Arpi Torosyan, Creative Director of 24 Carrots, you’ll be ahead of the game this time around and able to pull off the perfect, stress-free get together for all of your family members and friends to enjoy and praise you about the rest of the year.
Q: So Arpi, tell me a little bit about 24 Carrots and how you guys can help our readers have their best season to date! Arpi Torosyan: Well, first off let me begin by telling your readers what 24 Carrots is all about. Our company is the most sought-after Orange County catering and events company in Southern California. We offer unbelievably delicious food, unsurpassed personalized service and a genuine passion for helping people create unforgettable memories together.
Q: Being in this industry, I’m sure the holidays are some of if not the busiest times of the year. What makes you stand out during these times to all of your customers in the past and future to come?
AT: I think our creative staff and talented partners continually push for imaginative new ideas, making us one of the top trendsetters in the catering and events industry. Our friendly team’s refusal to compromise on quality means you’ll get the attention you deserve and your guests will get an experience they won’t be able to stop talking about. That’s what we pride our company on.
Q: It sounds like you have plenty of experience with making sure that your clients have the smoothest experiences during those chaotic weeks. What tips or tricks can you give to our readers at home for these upcoming holidays?
AT: Well, as we all know the holidays are the perfect time to host parties, cook your favorite meals and make special memories with friends and family. While it’s everyone’s favorite time of the year, the holidays also come with a lot of stress; decorating and cooking for 12-plus is not easy! The best way to tackle hosting is organization and prepping ahead of time. I would say that is the biggest trick that anyone can use.
Be Prepared Ahead of Time. Additional Tips and Tricks From Arpi Torosyan of 24 Carrots.
Set your table early: Your table can be set days, or even a week ahead of time. I always suggest investing in nice linen and chargers that you can leave on your table the entire season. This is a real time saver, especially in between holidays.
Linen napkins are key: Linen napkins can also bring in a special touch to your table and add a layer of contrast, color and décor. A napkin treatment is an added little detail that will wow your guests, but doesn’t take a lot of time or money. Tie your napkins with twine and cranberries, top with pine cones, or add a fun fruit or vegetable that goes along with your menu/theme (artichokes, for example). I always like to make place cards for guests and prop on the table with cinnamon sticks.
Choose meals that you can prep and platter in advance: Getting most of the food you plan to serve prepared early ensures that you have little to do when guests arrive. This will save anyone the stress of having to play host, entertainer and personal chef all at the same time.
Hors’ d’oeuvres can be a lifesaver: It’s important to platter some hors d’oeuvres so your guests can enjoy drinks and small bites while you are putting the finishing touches on your main dishes. This keeps people happy, busy and out of your way while you finish up your soufflé or sprinkle those last seasonings on your mashed potatoes. Our favorites are a cheese and charcuterie platter, and Mediterranean spreads such as hummus, baba ghanoush and olive tapenade—all served with crackers and a fresh baguette. These hors d’oeuvres are great because they can be store bought and will look great as long as they are transferred onto slate, wood boards and mini decorative bowls.
Avoid time-consuming entrees: For example, a prime rib roast can be marinated ahead of time, put in the oven and taken out and served when your guests are ready for dinner. Gourmet comfort foods such as mac and cheese can be set in a pot with the boiled macaroni, sauce mixed in and ready to be cooked as guests are enjoying hors d’oeuvres. It is important to note that you should always stay away from risotto-like labor- intensive meals when serving a large group.