Solvang, California, restaurant, Root 246 at Hotel Corque, located in the heart of Santa Barbara wine country, has officially launched new spring dinner and bar menus, the second set of the restaurant’s seasonal menus crafted by Chef Crystal “Pink” DeLongpré. In conjunction with the spring menus launch, Root 246 has also announced the appointment of new, in-house pastry chef, Bethany Burns, whose inaugural dessert menu debuted on April 12. Additional news from Root 246 included the announcement of Chef Pink’s role as one of the California Avocado Commission‘s California Avocado Season Opening Partners.

Root 246’s new spring menus will see 14 items not previously featured on the restaurant’s menus, with farm-fresh, local and/or sustainable food highlights to include dishes such as Ajo Blanco Soup (garlic, almond, spicy radish, grapes, chervil) and Aguachiles (local halibut, tangerines, spicy radish, cucumber, pickled pequin chilis, grapes, limes, olive oil). Flavor-laden ingredients such as konbu and cured egg yolk will mingle with familiar spring tastes, in menu item mash-ups like Oak-Grilled Asparagus (cured egg yolk, red radish, house-made kimchi, Korean chili aioli) and a main course of Local Halibut (konbu broth, Marcona almond, fava bean, Meyer lemon, fresh herbs).

Signature “Chef Pink” dishes are also present, such as an 8 oz. American Lamb Porterhouse (cannellini bean, green garlic, leek), Local Mushroom Salad (lacto fermented chanterelles, locally-cultivated mushroom pickles, mushroom “dirt”, fresh pea shoots), and a House-Made Pappardelle (spring peas, chanterelles, Aleppo pepper butter).

A couple of new entrants on Chef Burns’ dessert menu include a Bacon Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bar (five layers of milk and dark chocolate, crunchy peanut butter and crispy bacon), and a Buttered Popcorn Donut (with popcorn ice cream, caramel corn).

As part of Chef Pink’s California Avocado Season Opening Partner role, she and Chef Burns have included a new, featured dessert item incorporating the fruit on the Spring menu: a vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free “Bliss Cake”, which entails a raw pecan and date “cake” with California avocado, banana and cacao mousse, and California avocado coconut crème.

In support of these partnership efforts, and aligning with Chef Pink’s own local and seasonal food philosophy, a statement from the California Avocado Commission reads:

“The Golden State and its farmers have garnered a delicious reputation for the bright fruits and crisp vegetables they produce locally. Springtime is when many of those products reach the peak of their seasons, including California avocados, which are only available now through late summer.

The benefits of eating in season are bountiful. By selecting foods that are grown in abundance and locally sourced, you’re getting produce that is freshly picked and at its richest flavor, while also supporting local communities and minimizing the impact of long-distance transportation.”

Bethany Burns, new Root 246 Pastry Chef, added, “My food ethos mirrors that of Hippocrates: ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’. I came to work for Root 246 with a vision of creating a pastry menu that might reveal to our patrons the many ways in which the simplest foods can be both tasty treats and food for the soul. With the insightful guidance of Chef Pink and her commitment to thinking outside the box, I have been able to level-up my signature ‘Bliss’ dessert. It is a raw and vegan offering to our guests that comes from my heart. I feel honored to have the opportunity to contribute my passion to such a dynamic and talented kitchen.”

Industry News, Menu Innovations