The term ‘duo’ may bring a variety of pairs to mind. Some are fictional, like Batman and Robin. Some are famous, like Simon and Garfunkel. Some are infamous, like Bonnie and Clyde. Yet no matter what one thinks of, a duo is a pair (dictionary.com says so). But what about other kinds of pairs? Say, poached pears with ice cream? Or farm and table? Or fruit and tarts, hazelnut flourless chocolate cake and ganache, or even chocolate mocha layer cake and crushed toffee topping? If anything after “Bonnie and Clyde” comes to mind, or you want it to, Duo may be just the thing for you.
At its core, Duo is the team up of a chef, Cino Donati, and a farmer, Brittany Kordick of the sustainable Contrarian Farm. Cino was an executive chef at Noble’s Grille and has embraced local produce and the farm to table process for the last 25 years. Even when shipping produce in from all over was the norm, Donati was devoted to using local produce from the Carolinas. Now the dietary director at an assisted living facility, he met Brittany Kordick while they were working a part-time gig at a restaurant. They formed Duo, which takes its name from both combining the elements of farm and restaurant and the fact that Duo is a team of two.
Duo (duodoescatering.com) brings food from the farm to your table in two ways. The first is through catering. Duo’s catering is steered by what the customer desires, though sample menus are available on the website. Duo also provides the delicious service of desserts a la carte. Duo takes dessert orders a la carte, because, as they say, “Why wait for the excuse of an event?” While Duo now makes phenomenal desserts, Cino actually used to hate baking. This changed when he began working as the dietary director for an assisted living facility. He found that freshly baked goods added a nice touch, provided something special for the residents, and even gave a nice smell. Through this, Donati has comes to terms with the joys of baking, and now Duo not only offers a la carte desserts, but will also customize your order to your taste preferences.
Providing catering and desserts a la carte isn’t the only cool thing Duo does. Whenever possible, Duo uses produce direct from Brittany Kordick’s own Contrarian Farm. Much, if not most, of their produce comes from Brittany’s farm. That means that, not only is your dessert specially (and possibly custom made) for you, but much of it is under the care of Brittany and Cino from seed to package. In the event that an ingredient needed isn’t currently available at Contrarian Farm, Duo seeks to stay as local and sustainable. So, if something you order requires saffron, it might come from the belt running from Spain to India as there’s not a lot of other options; but any other ingredients will be as local and sustainable as possible.
So, knowing Duo’s origin and where they are now, one may wonder where Duo is headed; and the truth is, it may not be where one expects. Despite the awesome set-up of bringing food from her farm to their kitchen to your table, Duo isn’t planning to take the corporate world by storm. Actually, they want to stay small and use what they can from Contrarian Farm’s growing season. They’re a duo, and it works. Changing it would be like adding horseradish to “chocolate chip” and “cookies.” As Cino told me, they’re a duo, and that’s all they’ll ever be. They’ll remain just the two of them. And really, who can blame them? After all, three’s a crowd.