vanessa driscoll bialobreski
Slow Food Co-Chair, CFSA Board Member, The Charitable Plate President
Vanessa grew up in Columbia, SC. After graduation, she went to Brevard College, then proceeded to travel and live in various places, while consistently returning to Columbia in between. 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 she lived instead of highlighting other cities' products. 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. Working with local chefs and farmers, she helps orchestrate dinners and events that bring a community together over locally-grown food. Vanessa has always been proud of her hometown community and the natural hospitality it shows everyone, and she loves continuing that tradition with events supporting traditional farming, talented chefs, and local businesses.
Eric is co-founder and owner of City Roots, Columbia's only in-town organic and sustainable farm, which provides the idyllic farm venue for many of Farm to Table's events. Situated on roughly 3.5 acres in the Rosewood neighborhood, the farm grows over 125 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers using environmentally friendly farming practices. City Roots produces a variety of high-quality ingredients that grace the plates of top chefs across the southeast, including seasonal produce, micro-greens, culinary mushrooms, and edible flowers. Using an aquaponics system, micro-greens grow year-round.
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.
Food Logistics and Events Coordinator
Nikos grew up in Northern Virginia and came down to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business where he graduated in December 2016 with a degree in Global Supply Chain and Operations Management. Nikos travels to Greece almost every summer to visit his family and also check-in on his farm in the Peloponnesse which has olive and lemon trees. He attributes his appreciation for good cooking and quality, local ingredients to his parents who have always strove to find the best ingredients and Mediterranean recipes to cook at home. Nikos is also an intern for Slow Food Columbia, a member of USC's Sustainable Carolina where he is a member of the Hydroponics, Food4Thought, and Garden Guide Teams. He is also a youth soccer coach for South Carolina United FC. Nikos wants to apply his passion for sustainable food and agriculture to improve the food system and make local food more accessible to consumers.
Cooking Class Instructor
Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE, CLT is a private practice registered dietitian and nutrition therapist. After graduating nutrition programs at Clemson and Emory University, she worked as an outpatient dietitian in a large medical center for six years. In 2014, she started her private practice specializing in diet-free wellness with the goal of helping people nourish a healthy relationship with food. She blogs regularly at The Joy of Eating (formerly Avocado a Day), sharing inspiration for a happy and healthy life, and recipes proving nutritious food can and should be delicious.
Director of Marketing
Caroline Black is a Columbia native with many years of marketing, sales and business development experience. Before joining the Farm to Table Event Company, Caroline was the Assistant Editor with Fig Columbia. Prior to that she founded StrategicCents, LLC, a fundraising consulting group. Caroline has a deep love for Columbia and is proud to be among the guests at the very first harvest dinner at City Roots.
Catering Sales and Event Logistics
Gracen Tilton is a Columbia native, and a University of South Carolina 2017 graduate. With many years of experience in the Hospitality industry, specifically the food and beverage sector, Gracen has applied her knowledge to the community through event management at City Roots farm.
Operations and Bookkeeping