Chef David Erickson Raises Bar on Event Food

Eclectic menu creates tasty addition to Desert Cancer Foundation celebration

Chef David Erickson of Carousel Catering has created a menu to tantalize the taste buds of its Nov. 2 audience.

Lawrence Karol


For those of you who always feel like one night of Halloween revelry is never enough, here’s your chance to extend the festivities, support a worthy cause, and dine on some great food.

The Desert Cancer Foundation will host its Halloween Gift of Life Celebration Nov. 2 at the private Palm Springs estate of Jim Houston, the former owner of CBS Local 2 News.

David Erickson, the executive chef and co-owner of Carousel Catering, has planned an eclectic menu that will erase any lingering doubt that “event” food can’t rise above the ordinary. He previewed the menu to a select audience Oct. 17.

Carousel Catering has kitchens in cities across the country, providing Erickson the opportunity to collaborate with major corporations such as Microsoft and Adobe. He also catered events for Sprint, Pepsi, and others during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Closer to home, he’s cooked for a variety of charity fundraisers and galas hosted by the Palm Springs Art Museum, the Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards, and Evening Under the Stars.

For the Gift of Life Celebration, organizers chose a menu with a Southwest theme. As an entreé, Erickson will serve two open-faced chile rellenos (pictured right) —one stuffed with beef short ribs that have been braised with beer and combined with Monterey jack cheese, the other stuffed with brown and wild rice, white cheddar, celery, and onion topped with a ranchero sauce.

“The idea behind the dish is that most chile rellenos are deep fried and we wanted to put a healthy twist on the food we served so we actually steam them,” says Erickson.

Before guests arrive at their tables, they will enjoy an array of hors d'oeuvres: a parmesan and shallot soufflé; Roma tomato and mozzarella crostini with basil pesto; shredded pork quesadilla accented with a dollop of guacamole; and cranberry chicken salad atop raisin walnut bread.

“In my opinion hors d'oeuvres are something that’s a little taste of everything,” says Erickson. “And these kind of hit everyone’s palate. If you’re a vegetarian, the tomato is perfect, if you don’t eat beef or pork, the chicken works very well. The onion soufflé is vegetarian and everybody loves it—we put it on almost every menu. And the pork is just one of my favorites, and also goes with the Southwest theme.”

Rounding out the menu are an orange and jicama salad in a creamy citrus vinaigrette  and, for dessert, a lemon bar tower with vanilla bean sauce and fresh berries.

So at this Halloween bash, there will be plenty of treats and absolutely no tricks.

Like what you're reading? Then "Like" us on Facebook and "follow" us on Twitter.

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Heirloom Tomatoes Guide Escena Lounge & Grill's Salad Choice

Since being diagnosed with high blood pressure and cholesterol, Escena Lounge & Grill Chef Oscar Ayala has found the healthy benefits of heirloom tomatoes in his salad creations.

'The Voice' Puts Tessanne Chin's Life into Hyper Drive

Tessanne Chin's life has gone to hyper drive since her dramatic win of Season 5 of NBC’s singing competition show, The Voice.

Friends of the Desert Mountains Make Hiking Cool in the Summer

Friends of the Desert Mountains has begun a series of hikes around the area that keep you cool and give a closer look at the great outdoors.

Pets on Parade Celebrates Animal Lovers and Their Work

More than 400 animal lovers arrived July 13 at the Doral at Desert Princess Hotel to support Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and the Humane Society of the Desert, beneficiaries of the 16th annual Pets On Parade awards luncheon.

Watch Our Top 10 Greater Palm Springs Restaurant Videos

Where should I eat in the Greater Palm Springs area? Watch our Top 10 Restaurant Videos to help you find the answer to that question.

Promotions + Contests

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

90 Days of Summer Romantic Palm Springs Getaway 2014

Experience the beauty, romance and excitement of the Palm Springs area when you enter to be the lucky winner of this romantic couple’s getaway
90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

90 DAYS OF SUMMER Instagram Contest 2014

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!

Each month, a first place winner will be selected to win a fabulous Palm Springs weekend!And, each month, three additional runners up will be selected to win a wonderful Palm Springs area Dining certificate!
2013/14 Best of the Best

2013/14 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2014 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.