Champagne Countdown to 2011

Posted online: December 2010

The Barrack family has good reason to celebrate the closing of 2010—their vines were plentiful and their Santa Ynez haven, Piocho Ranch, set the scene for the wedding of T.J. and Eileen Barrack in September. Since that glorious occasion went so well, why not bring together a small group of close friends to toast those sweet days gone by and to the golden ones ahead?

When fabulous functions are in order on the Barrack agenda, they turn to Toast Events & Design Studio’s Kim Curtis and Ashley Alleman. The dynamic duo joined forces in 2007 and quickly gained a reputation for their floral fantasies and decor for everything from dinner parties for four to weddings for 400. (T.J. and Eileen’s wedding was a smaller affair with 220 guests.) Curtis and Alleman are involved in every aspect of a party: invitations, flower arrangements, food, and each imaginative detail in between. “Our style does not try to compete with the purpose of the event, instead it enhances it,” says Curtis.

For this New Year’s Eve gathering, the team curated a Rat Pack vibe for the Barracks’ pals—high balls and cigars for the gents and champagne with little black dresses for the ladies at sunset. Soft effervescent shades of metallics and peach, gold, and pink were mixed with geodes and crystals down the center of the table to reflect the light. Silver chiseled bud vases and bronze hammered vases from Maison K held the abundance of roses and hydrangeas as accents. T.J. and Eileen’s guests—Jodi Barrack Pitts, Sean Pitts, Brett Barrack, Wes Brown, Anahit Minaysan, Lauren Dahl, and Matt Ladin—sat down to the culinary creations of up-and-coming valley chef Luca Cristinelli and local epicurean Giorgio Curti of Trattoria Grappolo. A Mediterranean feast of lobster salad, herbed lamb chops, and a rich chocolate finish was, of course, paired with Piocho wines—particularly the 2007 Cabernet Franc/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot/Malbec blend.

As the clock ticks closer to 2011, Curtis savors another successful soiree. “We absolutely love what we do,” she says. “Nothing makes us happier than being able to take a client’s idea, let our creativity flourish, and see all of the individual details and designs culminate into a fabulous event.”

Toast Events & Design Studio 1324 State St., Ste. M, Santa Barbara, 805-960-2330,

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