vanessa driscoll bialobreski
Founder/Managing Partner 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 Event Company, 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, Cream of the Crop Beer Festival, Rose Festival, Great American Whiskey Fair and are introducing cooking classes and a butcher paper dinner series this year. 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.
Executive Assistant and Productions Manager
Katie Kuhn grew up in Columbia, South Carolina and graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2017 with a major in Sport and Entertainment Management and a minor in Hospitality and Tourism. She has many years of experience in the food and beverage industry which has always kept her busy. Through those connections in the service industry she found the opportunity to do an internship with F2T Productions during the Summer of 2017 and accepted a full time position afterwards. Curious and fond of traveling, food and living local Katie has found herself a great fit with F2T Productions.
Elaina moved to Columbia from Chicago in November 2017. She started working event staff at F2T Productions and quickly fell in love with the job and the team.
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. 9 years ago he became guardian of his niece. In order to better her life, they settled on Irmo, SC. He has been in SC 3 years working in restaurants in Columbia and Lexington. Matt has traveled the world, collecting spices for his collection. When the opportunity to join F2T Productions came to him, there was zero hesitation. He has an excitement for local food which will add to the dynamic of our team.
Catering/ Event Chef
— F2T PRODUCTIONS —
1005 Airport Blvd
Columbia, SC 29205