Tags archives: duo events

Roots Farms, Santa BarbaraPhotos by Karen Wise

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you my visit to the dahlia farm for the Farm to Table shoot I did. This week, we’re visiting Root’s Farm in Santa Ynez Valley. Ashley from Duo referred me, as they get a huge chunk of their produce directly from this farmer. Root’s Farm sells locally at the Farmer’s market and they seriously have these BEST tomatoes. I’m obsessed with their heirloom cherry tomatoes.

So obsessed in fact, I got permission from the farmer and I shot the tomatoes growing on the vine. Little pieces of veggie candy, every one!

Roots Farm also grows corn in one of the prettiest little valleys in Santa Ynez.

Next to the corn, a field of beans….

And a little product shots of the beans. All of these ingredients were used in the dinner catered by Duo Events and I will be posting that next week!

Photographer: Karen Wise // Produced & Art Directed & Styled: Kelly Oshiro // Location: Roots Farm // Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

Quick Eats: Armenian Cucumber and 3 Carrot Salad

It’s that time of year when the Farmer’s Market is going off and Persian cucumbers are readily available, not to mention amazing carrots grown locally by Roots Farm. This recipe by Duo takes advantage of the best of the market and puts it all into one tasty salad. Enjoy!

Armenian Cucumber and Three Carrot Salad:

Serves 6-8

– 3 Armenian Cucumbers (feel free to substitute another seasonal cucumber)- thinly sliced

– Carrots cut on the bias – 4 cups (ideally use a combination of Purple, Yellow and Orange carrots)

– 4 ounces Chevre (you can substitute Greek Feta)

– 2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs (oregano, mint and basil)

– 1 teaspoon Flaked Sea Salt (we use Maldon Sea Salt)

Honeyed Lemon Vinaigrette:

– 1 tablespoon Honey

– Juice of One Lemon

– 1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar

– ¼ cup of Olive Oil (First Press, Extra Virgin)

– Salt and Pepper to taste

To Make Vinaigrette:

Combine first three ingredients. Stream in olive oil (whisking constantly). Season to taste.

To Assemble:

Combine Cucumbers, Carrots and Herbs. Toss with Vinaigrette. Add Flaked Salt. Crumble Chevre over the top. Wild arugula is also a nice addition if you would like to add greens to the salad, the spicy notes compliment the sweetness of the carrots and the vinaigrette.

Photographer: Karen Wise Recipe: Duo Events 

Quick Eats: Padron Peppers from the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market

Its that time of year, when you’ll find the tasty padron pepper for sale at the Santa Barbara’s Farmers Market.

Duo Events was kind enough to provide this recipe for a quick snack with this diminutive, little pepper. Enjoy!

To serve 4-6 people you’ll need:

-1 pound of padron or shishito peppers (source from your local farmers market or specialty grocer).

-2 Tablespoons good quality olive oil

-1 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

-Zest of 1/2 Lemon

Heat a large, heavy bottomed sauté pan over high heat (cast iron works great for this). Add the olive oil and peppers. Saute for 1-2 minutes (the peppers should blister) – some spots will brown or blacken, do not worry, this is what you are looking for. Toss with sea salt and lemon zest.  Enjoy with friends (warning these are addictive, you may want to double the recipe!).

And a big thank you to the lovely Anna Costa for taking the lovely photos and you can check out her own food blog right here. Happy snacking!


Press: Farm to Table Series on Design*Sponge

Super stoked to have my farm to table shoot up on Design*Sponge! Check it here and you can see my posts on the shoot right here:

Visiting a Dahlia Farm

Roots Farms

Farm to Table Dinner

Special thanks to Karen Wise for the insane photos and Duo for their beautiful food.


Flower Chic: Visiting a Dahlia Farm

I’m so happy my farm to table editorial was published on Snippet & Ink yesterday (check it here) so I can finally share some of the gorgeousness I captured with the amazing photographer, Karen Wise.

Nestled just before the foothills of Carpinteria a variertable flower wonderland of dahlias of all types and varietes trive under the Santa Barbara sun. On this day, I was picking up flowers for a little engagement dinner for Samantha of Could I Have That.

Varieties grown here range from dinner plate to petite red lollipop dahlias like these guys.

For Samantha’s table I picked a variety of bright summer colors, bright reds, yellows, oranges, and fuchsias.

Thanks so much to John of Greenwell Floral for hosting my little editorial project. I will be sharing more of the farms we shot and, of course, the delicious dinner catered by the Duo in the coming weeks.

In the Kitchen: Seared Duck Breast w/ Spinach & Demi Glace

Today we’re in the kitchen once again with Duo Events and this week they’re cooking up duck breast with panisse crouton, bloomsdale spinach and blood orange and sage demi glace, how good does that sound?

Let’s get started:


6 7-8 oz Duck Breasts (source from a reliable butcher or specialty market)


2 cups Panisse (Garbanzo Flour) – Polenta is a good substitute

6 cups water or chicken stock

2 Tbl of chopped shallots

1 tsp of picked thyme leaves


6-8 cups washed spinach (roughly 2 bunches)

2 cloves garlic (sliced)

Zest and juice of 1 small lemon

2 Tbl Olive Oil

2 tsp of Butter


1 cup Veal or Duck Demiglace (homemade or sourced through a specialty grocer)

2 Tbl diced shallots

1 clove sliced garlic

6-8 Sage Leaves

½ cup of Blood Orange Juice (Pomegranate Juice would also work well)

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Serves 6.

Procedure for Panisse:

  1. Sauté shallots in 2 tbl of olive oil in a large saucepot until translucent (2 minutes).
  2. Add 6 cups of chicken stock (or water) to the saucepot and bring to a boil.
  3. Add Panisse and reduce heat to a simmer.
  4. Stir in the chopped thyme.
  5. Cook until Panisse is thickened and pulling away from the pan.
  6. Pour the mixture into an oiled baking pan and allow to cool.
  7. After cooling, cut the Panisse into 1×4 inch rectangles.

Preparing the duck:

  1. Score the skin of the duck breast. (Cut a crosshatch pattern into the skin of the duck taking care not to slice into the flesh of the duck).
  2. Heat a heavy bottom saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Season the duck with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the duck into the pan skin side down.
  5. Reduce heat to a medium low flame and cook until the skin has darkened to a rich brown color and has crisped somewhat (this may take 4-5 minutes).
  6. Flip the duck and continue to cook for 2 minutes more (be careful not to over cook the duck- you are aiming for medium rare).
  7. Remove the duck from the pan and allow to rest while you prepare the remainder of the dish.

Caterers: Duo Events

Duo Events opened last year and was created by two chefs, Ashley Transki and Brian Congdon both of whom worked for the Sage and Onion. They specialize in creating menus that are inspired by, and made from, locally grown, organic food. Large, buffet-type events are not their specialty. Rather, more intimate, multi-course, plated dinners with beautiful presentation are their strength. If you’re a foodie looking for someone to present something new for your next event try Duo.