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Sunday, October 20, 2019

Fine Food Brought to Your Doorstep

Fine Food Brought to Your Doorstep

Ashland Gourmet Catering

Story by Leslee Ryerson

Photography Provided by Lisa Greene


On one of the last warm days of summer, I had the distinct pleasure of experiencing a house concert and dinner party hosted by Ashland Gourmet Catering. I say experiencing, not attending, because it was an event to remember—a celebration of harvest and friends on a gorgeous night filled with wonderful guests, the most comfortable and gracious hospitality, beautiful surroundings and food that was out of this world. Chef Alexandra is a prolific poet and artist whose medium is food and whose canvas is atmosphere.

When Chef Alexandra Delaris Hannah purchased Ashland Gourmet Catering one year ago, she was no novice to the craft. With 42 years of catering and event coordinating under her belt, she and her skilled team bring to life amazing recipes honed and perfected over the years, while adding new flavors and local ingredients, plus a flair for the dramatic. The small but mighty team features longtime Ashland gourmet catering chef, Cordon Bleu trained Danielle McKelvey, and Alexandra’s two adult children, Laurel Lilli Frazier and Gary R. Frazier, Jr.  

This particular dinner party took the tightknit team three days of “love, happiness, and magic” to create. They dreamed up a perfect menu, limited only by time and space to present. The extensive selections were each more beautiful and more delicious than the previous. 

Starters were almost too beautiful to eat—cheese and charcuterie board, perfectly ripe summer melons and figs, homemade hummus (a secret recipe she is happy to prepare for you anytime),   whole roasted bulbs of garlic and extra-delicious bread points for dipping and spreading.

In a nod to harvest, Chef Alexandra prepared four salads: a homemade Classic Caesar; Salata Alexandra, which is fresh mixed greens, fresh berries and pears, walnuts and dried cranberries, perfectly  dressed with Raspberry Champagne Vinaigrette, a Chef Alexandra custom favorite that’s been pleasing crowds for 35 years; Caprese Salad made with the juiciest Heirloom tomatoes and freshest basil; and finally, my favorite salad, (but who am I kidding, I couldn’t pick one if I tried) a roasted beet salad with orange vinaigrette. 

Those tantalizing starters were just a teaser for the main course.

The five-cheese ravioli dressed in brown butter and sage was perfectly toothsome, its pocket filled with an expertly nuanced mix of cheeses. Shrimp Scampi with herb linguine made it tough to save room for the mains, including Grilled Chicken breast with Citrus Beurre Blanc, the kind of dish you’d love to have any night of the week, if only it tasted as good as this! The Pork Loin Roast was brined, then rubbed and grilled, and served with fresh, homemade spiced applesauce creating a perfect balance of sweet and tart. As some of us were milling around the kitchen enjoying local wines and new friends, the conversation quickly turned into oohs and ahhs when a gorgeous French Rack of Lamb came out of the oven. The homemade mint conserve was just the right perk to the perfectly prepared, high quality lamb.  

For sides, there were colorful summer grilled vegetables with honey marigold sea salt (again, homemade spices, with local herbs and flowers, some homegrown, and others foraged when necessary), wilted kale with pancetta and crispy garlic chips, so delicious! And grilled polenta.

To end the sweet night, we indulged in light and delicious homemade brownies, locally-made chocolate orange biscotti and lemon lavender biscotti, fresh picked berries, and Chantilly cream, all creating an excellent dessert.

Chef Alexandra loves what she does, and her guests cannot help but feel her true hospitality with food as beautiful as it is delicious.


Ashland Gourmet Catering

2325 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland



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