A Lee Bros. Cocktail Party

Matt Lee 

The Lee Brothers, Adventures in Charleston, and Duvall came together for a short and sweet cocktail party this week. Matt & Ted Lee joined the guests and chatted about their Charleston inspired recipes found in their cookbooks.


 Guests enjoyed a Pousse-Rapière cocktail, a drink from their second book Simple Fresh Southern, and hors d’oeuvres made with local ingredients.


Farm to Table Ingredients

Duvall has been working with Grow Food Carolina to source the freshest produce for our events. These beautiful patty pan squash were cut off the vine this morning and delivered to our kitchen this afternoon. They’ll be sizzling in the pan in a few hours and on a dinner plate tonight.

Summer squash are in full bloom in Charleston and when we’re dealing with the freshest local ingredients, we like to make sure the flavor shines. Tonight, we’ll be serving sauteed local summer squash with roasted spring onion, shaved garlic and extra virgin olive oil.

5-minute Charleston Summer Squash

Cut squash into bite-size pieces.

Heat pan to medium-high heat with 2tsp olive oil.

Quickly sautee onion until translucent, add garlic a minute or two later. Let cook for another minute. Add squash- toss and let sautee for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat and finish with course sea salt and enjoy!

According to Grow Food’s website, ”GrowFood Carolina’s mission is to help link local farmers to local and regional markets by providing adequate infrastructure and coordination so that fresh produce can move seamlessly from local farmers’ land to consumers’ hands.”

Check out Grow Food’s website for other local vendors supporting the “from land to hand” movement!


A Night For Our Future

Charleston Green Catering

Duvall’s Green Team had a great time sponsoring the A Night For Our Future Party with The Sustainability Institute (read more about the event here)! Thanks to Cockatil Club, Social, Cathead Vodka and Allagash Beer for making it a delicious evening!

Charlston Green Catering


“Duvall Catering drew inspiration from the venue and offered up a popcorn bar at the theater’s concessions stand. Truffle & Herb, Rocky Road, and Hot Buffalo Bleu Cheese were favorites among the crowd, but the Cheddar & Bacon offering was a favorite.”


Duvall Loves Local

Last week Duvall came out to support Lowcountry Local First’s Femivore event. What is a femivore you might ask? The Lowcountry Local First brochure defined a femivore as a “woman who has a deep passion for the local food community”. A recent article in the New York Times Magazine described the femivore movement in saying “the omnivore’s dilemma has provided an unexpected out from the feminist predicament, a way for women to embrace homemaking without becoming Betty Draper.”

 The event featured four inspiring and inspired women with ideas on how to improve our local food systems and inequalities. Each woman presented her case based on four categories: Nourish, Grow, Inspire, and Give. The attendees voted for their favorite business plan of the night. The winner received 2000 dollars to jump-start their activism.

-Meet the Femivores-

NOURISH: Germaine Jenkins- Urban Veggucation (Winner)

A for-profit edible landscaping and chicken coop service in North Charleston. Ms. Jenkins spent the last four years volunteering in a school garden and she hopes to increase awareness and interest in green business in minority and low income neighborhoods. The project will “improve access to locally grown fresh produce by growing food where [it] will be consumed. Our mission is to transform underutilized spaces using sustainable urban agriculture, turn local food and landscape waste into soil and transform an inner city food desert into a sustainable hub of green economy.”

GROW: Meg Moore- CSA, James Island Farmer’s Market

Ms. Moore is the owner and grower at Dirthugger Farm on James Island. She grows heirloom varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. She hopes to build an eco-friendly cooler for her produce, a small greenhouse and jump start the construction of an eco-friendly Tumbleweed home.

INSPIRE: Rebecca Preston Burke- Locavore Lawyer

Ms. Burke is the founding attorney of the Locavore Lawyer in Charleston. She would like to “provide local food entrepreneurs and small farmers with the legal and business advice they need to be successful in the Lowcountry at an affordable rate” by providing one-on-one counseling as well as relevant workshops dealing with legislation and how to be a socially responsible and successful business.

GIVE: Darlena Goodwin- Children’s Garden Project- Mini-Farmer’s Markets

Ms. Goodwin works in the Charleston community to prevent childhood obesity and health issues by teaching children in poor communities how to grow and cook their own food. In order to “bridge the disconnect that exists between the health and nutrition education that [is fostered] in schools and the lack of nutrition received [at home]” Ms. Goodwin proposed mini-farmers markets in Title One school gardens (schools with economically disadvantaged children). The school gardens would allow students to bring a grocery list to school, purchase fresh produce and bring it home along with recipes. She hopes that the project would bring “nutrition to the families where lack of transportation and neighborhood supermarkets is an inhibitor” to fresh and healthy food.

Duvall has been a longtime ally of Lowcountry Local First because we believe supporting our local food economy yields higher quality food and supports small businesses in the Lowcountry area. When asked why Duvall is a supporter of movements like this, Steve Wenger (CEO of Duvall) replied, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”

Tell us your story of how you support your local food economy and stay tuned for future Lowcountry Local First events.


Composting and You.

Duvall has a new green effort: composting. What, you may ask, does that mean? Well it is NOT dumping food scraps, floral stems, leaves and so forth in a pile outside. Composting is a process that yes, involves food scraps and leaves, but is a lot more scientific than you may realize. It requires equal parts of green and brown, a balance between nitrogen and carbon, and some effort on your part.

Here are some quick tips for composting:

  • A 3’x3’x3’ container for your compost is a good and managable size
  • Leaves, vegetables and grass clippings are good compostables to start with
  • Stay away from pet droppings and animal products- they will attract pesky pests
  • Shredded paper and coffee grounds are a great addition!
  • Your compost should have both carbon and nitrogen- carbon being cardboard, leaves and newspaper; nitrogen being coffee grounds, food waste and garden waste
  • Your carbon-to-nitrogen ratio should be about 25-30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen
  • Brown = carbon, green = nitrogen
  • Worms you find in your garden or yard can be placed in your compost for an extra helping hand

The Duvall team has been composting for about 2 months and are still working out the kinks, but are very fortunate to have some educated chefs to help us learn the process. Hopefully these tips will work for you and we can all work together to reuse those food and garden scraps rather than just throwing them away .

Continuing our efforts to be eco-friendly and adhere to sustainable practices, Duvall has switched all of our disposable plates, cups and flatware to high quality compostable/biodegradable line made from sugar cane fiber. Request our high quality compostable items at your next event!

PS That’s our lovely compost pile above in the post. And this image of the garden plots – stay tuned for what we’re growing!

For more tips on composting visit: Composting 101


Farm fresh veggies

As of April 27th, Duvall will be a CSA drop-site for Hudson Family Farms. Located in Rowesville, SC, Hudson Family Farms has been around for over 20 years and is launching its  first CSA program. Duvall, located at 1030 Jenkins Road in West Ashley, will act as one of two pick-up locations for those locals who participate in the farm’s CSA.

If you are unfamiliar with a CSA program, as described on the Hudson Family Farm website: A CSA (community supported agriculture), is based on a prepaid seasonal commitment between our farm and your family. When signing up for the seasonal membership, you will receive fresh, local produce picked at the peak of ripeness and delivered to a convenient location near you.

Duvall is not just acting as a drop-off location, but is also supporting the local farm by sourcing seasonal vegetables for its own kitchen and catering events.  The Duvall team is excited about this partnership as well and many have signed up for their own personal CSA memberships. From the CEO to the assistants, everyone wants to receive seasonal vegetables from the local farm. Hudson Family Farms offers about 30 different styles of vegetables that they are growing this season.

Each CSA lasts only about 12 weeks, so sign-up today for this season. Support local South Carolina farms and eat your veggies.


Duvall at the Potluck

Over the weekend Duvall participated in Lowcoutry Local First‘s 4th Annual Chef’s Potluck at Middleton Plantation.  The event was a celebration in which top chefs from the  area prepared dishes using local produce, meats and seafood provided by Lowcountry growers and producers.  Chefs Chip and Matt led the Duvall team, with all produce provided by Sweetbay Produce & Nursery.


Cornmilk Panna cotta with shrimp ceviche and local micro greens.

Fresh baguette with Greek olive tapanade served with local greens salad tossed in lemon juice and Greek olive oil.


Get on the Bus

On Thursday, January 27th, the U.S. Transportation Secretary toured Proterra Inc., a Greenville, SC company  that manufactures battery-powered, fast-charging transit buses – and Duvall was there.

In line with Duvall’s efforts to be green and produce sustainable events, Duvall provided the catering for the Transportation Secretary’s visit. Duvall is proud to be a part of Greenville”s efforts to to make the city a more sustainable place to live and work


My love is like a red, red rose

The Duvall décor assistants spent time last week getting their creative energy going and ended up to their elbows in flowers.  Duvall entered a nation-wide design contest with the L.A. based wholesale florist, Mayesh.  The theme was, “products that are just as beautiful and show the same amount of love as the red rose.” The exercise allowed the Duvall décor assistants to learn and practice the craft of arranging flowers.  Floral arrangements are big statement pieces at events and Duvall décor is always looking for new ideas, color schemes, and interesting pairings of flora and fauna.  Take a look at one of the arrangements below.


D.I.Y Holiday Wreaths by Duvall Décor

A Holiday Wreath adds a nice touch around the house. Here at Duvall, we like to dream up fun and festive ideas for how to decorate holiday wreaths in  fashionable and eco-friendly ways.

Below are a couple D.I.Y Holiday Wreaths from the Duvall Décor Team.

Pop Out the Cork Wreath

After entertaining guests throughout the November – December holiday season, there may be some extra wine corks lying around. Don’t throw them away. Add pop to a dining room with wine corks wired to tiny red jingle bells. Take about 22 corks of the same size and 22 small (3/8 of an inch) red bells bought from a crafts store. Drill a small hole (just big enough to fit your wire through) 1/4 of an inch from the top of each cork and another 1/4 of an inch from the bottom. It is very important to make sure all the drilled holes at the top line up with the holes at the bottom. Using long, green floral wire, push the wire though all the bottom holes of the corks. Leave enough wire at both ends when finished for tying closed later. Cut another long piece of floral wire to string the tops of the corks together, alternating with the bells. Tie ends of wire at the top and bottom, twisting to close and make a wreath shape. Hang with length of ribbon.

Red-Berry Wreath

A circle of winterberry branches brightens a mantle scene. Instructions: Cut 40 to 50 branches of winterberries to measure between 10 and 16 inches long. Using green florist wire, attach the larger branches to a 16- to 18-inch wire frame one at a time, overlapping as you go. Continue adding smaller branches until it looks full; use a glue gun when the wiring becomes too difficult.

Décor-Friendly Wreath

Bypass traditional colors this holiday and design a wreath that complements your décor. Hot glue pinecones to a grapevine base; let dry. Paint the wreath in a hue that coordinates with your room; allow to dry. Using a clean brush, dab glue on pinecones and sprinkle with glitter; let set. Display the wreath on a wall.