Summer BBQ in Santa Barbara

By Emma Banks
Summer BBQ in Santa Barbara | Photography by Jen Huang

We knew were in for a treat when we scored a virtual invite to Brooklyn-based blog Poppies & Posies summer BBQ shindig in Santa Barbara. With a guest list like this — barbeque connoisseur Michael Steifman of Stuart & Co., photographer Jen Huang, Poppies & Posies founder Sierra Steifman, and a few more creatives in attendance — a fanciful feast was sure to ensue. Gather around the table with us for a magical evening of home-cooked barbecue at its best!

photography by Jen Huang


Fresh Farmer’s Market produce was the backbone of this family-style meal.

The menu, with handwritten calligraphy by Jen Huang Art and framed with flowers from Poppies & Posies. When choosing the flowers, Sierra says she tried not to lean too feminine while still feeling summery. She hoped the palette would also compliment the moody, masculine feel of the evening.


Pretty feminine calligraphy details from Jen Huang Art balanced perfectly with the masculine and dour branding of Stuart & Co. at this backyard table.

Flower arrangements from Poppies & Posies were composed of ranunculus, hellebores, clematis, jasmine, parrot tulips, fritillaria, and geranium.  

Summer and Bryan Ball of Grey Likes Weddings, a blog dedicated to all things wedding and style.

Cool matte black plates, dark teal napkins and wood surfaces from Pottery Barn tied it all together.

Jen Huang Art used a charcoal pencil to inscribe each guest’s name on a marble slate name tag and a sprig of fresh rosemary adorned each napkin.

Red and yellow cherry tomatoes were used for a mouth-watering bruschetta appetizer.

Boozy lemonade made the perfect backyard pre-dinner drink.

For starters? Grilled bread with Burrata and smoked local tomatoes.

Sierra Steifman, hair and makeup artist Jess Wilcox, and photographer Élan Klein dig in.

Michael also served up Bang Bang Grilled Shrimp with cilantro, peanuts, lime zest, and chili paste as another appetizer.

Elihu Bogan and photographer Kurt Boomer talking BBQ and brews. Beer and food pairings were not done for this meal; instead, guests drank light summer beers and wines of their choosing.

Stuart & Co.‘s smoked tomato salsa with smoked brisket.

Photographer Élan Klein tries the farmers’ market chopped salad from a glass swing top jar.

Roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower were the perfect flavor accompaniment to the main meat dishes: just drizzle with olive oil and mix with Stuart & Co’s All Purpose Rub, then place them on a sheet pan and in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.

Stuart & Co.‘s spiced rub chicken, St. Louis ribs, & Smash & Rub potato salad. Get the recipe for the potato salad here and the baby back ribs here.

The evening comes to a close with friends gathered around the table family-style, plates empty and hearts full.