vanessa driscoll bialobreski
Founder & Managing Partner of F2T Productions, Management and Catering— Your Farm to Table Event Company
Slow Food Columbia Co-Chair, CFSA Board Member, The Charitable Plate President/Founder, Rosewood Merchant Association Board Member, Les Dames d'Escoffier New England Member
Vanessa grew up in Columbia, SC. After graduation, she went to Brevard College, then proceeded to travel and live in various places across the US, while consistently returning to Columbia in between and finishing her degree in Public Relations at USC. After a time spent living in Asheville, where she worked with a national green events company, Vanessa decided to focus on highlighting the local goodness where her roots were. Eventually, she discovered her true passion when she created Farm to Table Productions, Management and Catering a partnership with City Roots, Columbia's in-town, sustainable, organic farm and Chef/Owner of Bourbon Kristian Niemi. Working with local chefs and farmers, she helps orchestrate dinners and events that bring a community together over locally-grown food. They have put together the popular Harvest Dinners, Annual Pig and Oyster Roast, Rose Festival, Great American Whiskey Fair and are introduced cooking classes in 2016. The company also provides catering across the city and venue management for City Roots and Hunter Gather. In the past year they have hosted the first James Beard Foundation dinner in Columbia and then put on a dinner in New York last fall. She recently won the Les Dames d'Escoffier International Legacy Award in the Farm to Sea To Table and Journalism category to study the New England Food System. Recently, Vanessa and her partners started a non-profit arm of their company called The Charitable Plate. Its goal is to help the growth of sustainable chefs, farmers, students, and local artisans by providing scholarships. The most recent program under The Charitable Plate is Our Place at the Table that Vanessa created to provide female food leaders and aspiring female food leaders the opportunity to provide and receive education, career support and guidance, mentorship and conversations on how to bridge the gap between each other and success. Vanessa has always been proud of her hometown community and the true hospitality it shows everyone, and she loves continuing that tradition with events supporting traditional farming, talented chefs, and local businesses.
Owner of Bourbon on Main St.
Kristian came to Columbia in 1993 and quickly made his mark by opening one of the first restaurants to focus on local farms, Mr. Friendly's New Southern Cafe, and has continued that theme through his other restaurants, including Rosso Trattoria and Bourbon. He opened Bourbon in 2014, a bourbon-centric cocktail bar and Cajun-Creole kitchen in the historic Brennen Building on Main Street. His love of farm-to-table cuisine comes from working under Chef Ken Goff at the Dakota Bar and Grill in St. Paul, Minnesota, where every menu was crafted from local farms. In addition to cooking, Kristian enjoys traveling the world, playing hockey and making cocktails. "Seriously, I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up."
Event Chef & Chef Liaison
Bourbon Executive Chef
Chef Frank Bradley a native of Columbia, SC joined Bourbon's team as Sous Chef when it opened. Growing up, the culture of food played an important part in his family life, which owned a 2nd generation farm. Besides growing produce, the farm served as a hunting and fishing retreat where they held regular fish fries, as well as oyster and pig roasts. Bradley started in Columbia's culinary scene in both the back and the front of the house at Garibaldi's, from the line to the bar. From there he decided to pursue a career in the culinary field and head to Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta where he graduated with honors while working for the Iberian Pig under Chef Chad Crete and James Beard Nominee Chef Landon Thompson. Bradley then went to Charleston and worked under Chef Don Drake and Kelly Franz at Magnolias before moving back to Columbia to work at Bourbon.
Owner of LowCo BBQ & Catering
Hutto grew up in historic Georgetown, South Carolina, where he loved watching generations of family and friends master the art of lowcountry cuisine. He learned that taking time to cook fresh, regional ingredients always made the mouths he was feeding satisfied. Specializing in slow, pecan smoked, hand-pulled pork, sliced brisket, ribs, and chicken, seasoned with a homemade rub and complimented with a special family recipe vinegar based barbecue sauce. Also offering multiple homemade, tasty southern sides. We love to do oyster roasts, gumbo, lowcountry boil, pig pickins, and local seafood cooked the way you like it! We cater small gatherings to large parties and everything in between! Business lunches, full service catering, outdoor events, festivals, and even by the pound smoked meats.
F2T Catering & Event Chef
Gabrielle grew up moving around the country in a USMC family starting in Chile to both coasts of the US. Her mom started her in the kitchen by second grade, paying her to make cookies for her older siblings every week. She moved to Columbia in1989 to study art at USC but got sucked into the newly emerging Vista in the early 90’s. Gabrielle developed her love for natural foods and plant based diets working with Benoit at Rosewood for a number of years until she opened a restaurant on Main Street in 1999, Cat & Cleaver with Kathy Von Der Hellen. After turning it over to Kathy in 2003, she worked in several restaurants and natural food retailers around Columbia. She has always enjoyed the education aspect of of food teaching clients and staff about eating colorfully, locally and just playing with your food. Gabrielle joined F2T Productions earlier this year and she’s excited to be working with local farmers and their amazing products. She likes to cook, eat, create and hang out with her family and friends around the fire pit.
Marketing & Public Relations Assistant
Harlee grew up in a rural farming family around Batesburg, S.C. After high school, she attended The University of South Carolina and graduated with a degree in Public Relations and minors in Environmental Studies and Photography. Having always been passionate about the environment, sustainability practices and supporting buying and eating local, becoming part of the F2T Productions team was a natural fit.
Catering, Marketing & Sales
Matt Kokernak grew up in Massachusetts, working in restaurants starting at an early age. He moved to Florida in 2005 to get away from snow. While in Florida, he began his own Event Planning and Baking company. Nine years ago he became guardian of his niece and in order to better her life, they settled in Irmo, SC. Matt has been in S.C. 3 years now, working in various restaurants in Columbia and Lexington. He has traveled the world, collecting spices for his collection and when the opportunity to join F2T Productions came to him, there was zero hesitation. With his excitement for local food, Matt adds to the dynamic of our team.
Catering, Marketing & Sales
Elaina found her way to F2T Productions earlier this year after moving to Columbia from Chicago in November 2017. She grew up both in Chicago and Nairobi, Kenya where she worked in fashion, events and catering. Kenya’s fresh, local food and her passion for cooking and hosting, learned from her mother and grandfather, combined into a heart for sustainable food. In 2013 she moved back to Chicago, started working in retail management and became more intentional about choosing sustainable, ethical food. Elaina began volunteering with an international nonprofit in 2014, and moved to Columbia when she became their operations manager. Eager to find opportunities to work with sustainable food here in Columbia, she was thrilled to join the F2T team full time in September.
— F2T PRODUCTIONS —
1005 Airport Blvd
Columbia, SC 29205