Duel of the Design: Recap

What happens when you challenge two teams—a designer, a florist, and a chef—and give them two hours to create something magical?

You get a really fun competition called The Duel of The Design; you get to see how talented event professionals think and move on the fly; and you get a sneak peek into the many aspects that come together to plan a successful dinner party for eight guests, complete with a five-course menu.

Last night’s event featured Sarah Trotter of Lasting Impressions Wedding and Event Coordination paired randomly with florists Fleurissima and chefs from Smack Shack, while Kari Warwick of The Bliss Life was paired with Bachman’s florists and chefs from Taste Bud.

Their challenge? Create an inaugural dinner party.

As the two teams worked together to create their individual masterpieces, guests mingled, ate delicious stir-fry by D’Amico Catering, and enjoyed cupcakes by Sweets Bakeshop and cheesecake by Muddy Paws. (The White Russian frosting on the cupcakes was outstanding. I will forever compare other cupcakes to these. And the cheesecake? Let’s just say I didn’t stop at one piece.)

Guests also had the chance to compete, taste-test style, in a contest that had them guessing the main ingredients in six different sauces.

Once the two-hour limit was up and the tables were set, floral arrangements were prepared, and food was plated, event producer Geri Wolf of The Style Laboratory questioned the two teams about the rationale behind their menu, centerpieces, and overall look of the tabletop. The audience then voted for their favorite by dropping a marble into the vase of either team No. 1 or team No. 2. The vases continued to fill at a consistently even pace as the voting went on. Some people liked the pastel roses and gold and silver elegance of the one table; others liked the deep red roses and dark blue patriotism of the other.

After tallying the votes, Geri joked that, similar to the presidential election on Tuesday, it was a close race—only one vote separated the two teams!

In the end, it was Sarah Trotter’s team who took home the winning title.

Take a look at the two tables. Which is your favorite? Why?

Kari's tabletop

Kari Warwick of The Bliss Life went with an American natural harvest/patriotic theme, incorporating red, white, and blue, yellow (for friendship), and peace signs. Part of the menu included a deviled egg and waffle cone cornucopia.

Kari's place setting   

Sarah Trotter of Lasting Impressions Wedding and Event Coordination went with a fall theme and understated elegance, mixing silver and gold. The menu for Sarah’s team included a slow-cooked pork chop, risotto, and shrimp.

Sarah's tabletop 

part of Sarah's menu


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