July 26, 2013

2013 Palmetto Palate is a Tasty Success

Top Chef Named at Farm Bureau’s Fifth Annual Palmetto Palate

Cayce, SC – Attendees at the South Carolina Farm Bureau (SCFB) Federation’s 2013 Palmetto Palate fundraiser for the Friends of Farm Bureau PAC voted Saluda’s Restaurant Executive Chef Blake Faries Top Chef. Last year’s Top Chef Winner was Brandon Velie of Juniper in Ridge Spring, SC. The 5th Annual Palmetto Palate reached a record attendance with more than 300 attendees. The event was held at the historic 701 Whaley building in Columbia.

Chef Faries and his team, one of 12 participating restaurants or catering companies, served up Legare Farms (Johns Island, SC) pulled pork with WP Rawl Farm (Pelion, SC) collards served over Geechie Boy Market and Mill (Edisto Island, SC) grits with Legare Farms pork cracklins. Saluda’s is locally owned by Steven Cook located in Columbia’s Five Points area.

SCFB Federation President David Winkles said, “The Palmetto Palate is a celebration of locally grown food produced by some of the best chefs in the country. We have seen the attendance and excitement over the event grow every year since we held the first one in 2009.”

SCFB pairs local farms with leading chefs from around the state to produce tapas-sized portions of food that originated from local farms across South Carolina. Attendees also got to sample beverages made from local fruits and vegetables prepared by the Ben Arnold Beverage Company.

Participating chefs for the 5th annual Palmetto Palate were from the following restaurants, 2-Fat-2-Fly, Aberdeen Catering, Let’s Cook Culinary Studio, Blue Marlin, Juniper, Pearlz, Rosso Trattoria Italia, Saluda’s, Terra, The Farmer’s Shed, The Oak Table, and Tombo Grille.

Members from county Farm Bureaus across the state donated items to a silent auction, which raised money for the SCFB Friends of Farm Bureau PAC which helps support agriculture-friendly candidates for the South Carolina General Assembly who recognize the importance of and the sustainability of agriculture in South Carolina. Agribusiness (farms and forestry) is the State’s largest industry generating $34 billion to the State’s economy annually and creating 200,000 jobs in South Carolina.

SCFB is a not-for-profit membership organization formed to help keep family farmers in business and rural lifestyles thriving across the state. The organization has more than 110,000 member families in 47 county chapters. Membership and other information about SCFB can be found at

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