Duo was founded in January of 2006 as a full service catering company. The company was formed to express the vision of the the two founding partners; Ashley Transki and Brian Congdon; a vision that is built upon creating a harmonious relationship between locally grown organic produce and finely crafted meals. Duo is the result of a lifelong pursuit of food and flavor.
In his parents' kitchen there is a picture of Brian cooking with his chef's hat on at the age of six. Who knew this wide-eyed child would grow up to be a graduate of a prestigious culinary school and owner of his own company? Almost everyone who knew him.
Born and raised in Menlo Park, California, Brian learned basic culinary skills from his mother at a young age, and began cooking before he was tall enough to reach the kitchen counter. His passion for food lead him to the California Culinary Academy, where he graduated in 1999.
While at the academy, Brian worked a a Cajun restaurant in San Francisco under Chef Donald Link, who quickly became his mentor. Brian followed Link to a restaurant in Palo Alto, California where he took over as the Executive Chef. Through formal instruction and on-the-job training, Brian learned not only how to create award-winning seasonal menus, but also what it takes to produce a seamless, fine dining experience in or out of a restaurant.
In the winter of 2000, Brian and his wife, Victoria, moved to Santa Barbara where he met Ashley Transki at Sage and Onion Restaurant. From that point on, the two formed a partnership, jointly overseeing the kitchen at Sage and Onion and working on the development of Quantum Restaurant and Lounge. For six years, the pair continued to develop their culinary styles, as well as forge the foundation of what was to become Duo.
Ashley was born in Ft. Steward, Georgia into the ever-changing lifestyle of a military family. Moving frequently gave him exposure to a number of different ways of life and more importantly, exposed him to a variety of cuisines. From a very early age he became fascinated with food and the kitchen.
Ashley's self-styled apprenticeship began at the age of sixteen on the shores of Eastern Maine. It was there that his lifelong appreciation of locally harvested products began. From fresh seafood on the east coast, to a high-end restaurant in Park City, Utah specializing in mountain cuisine and exotic meats, Ashley sharpened his skills and created menus focused on fresh and local ingredients. During his time in Park City, Ashley was the founding partner of Realfood Inc., a full service catering company.
Continuing his culinary path west, Ashley moved to Santa Barbara, California in the summer of 2000, to focus on upscale, fine dining. After running the kitchen at Sage and Onion, and assisting friends Cynthia Miranda and Scott Schonzeit open Quantum Restaurant and Lounge, Ashley and partner Brian Congdon created duo, a full service catering and events company.
duo was formed from years of passionate work and a well-matched friendship to express a joint vision; one that is built upon creating a harmonious relationship between locally grown organic produce and finely crafted meals. duo is the result of a lifelong pursuit of food and flavor.