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Greenville Business Magazine

The Lazy Goat's Tania Harris Named 2019 SC Chef Ambassador

Each year, chefs from across South Carolina are nominated to serve as the state's culinary ambassadors and the governor, this year, chose five to participate -- in honor of the 5th year of the program.

These chefs embody the best of South Carolina's food scene, both in the quality of their provisions, as well as their dedication to incorporating healthy, local grown ingredients into their menus. In 2019, the chefs will participate in a number of culinary, agriculture and tourism-specific events throughout the Southeast, hosting cooking demonstrations and discussing the numerous offerings found in the cities in which their establishments are based.

The 2019 South Carolina Chef Ambassadors are:

Chef Marc Collins
Circa 1886, Charleston
At age 16, Marc worked as a chef apprentice aboard the yacht Paradise II, an experience that inspired him to pursue a culinary degree at the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts. At 23, he took his first chef position at the Fairmount Hotel, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant. In June 2001, Marc moved to Charleston and became Executive Chef of Circa 1886. As the son of an artist he learned the importance of constantly staying creative at a very young age, which serves him well in the culinary field, where he continually strives for originality in both food presentation and recipe development.

Chef Brandon Carter (Partner)
FARM, Bluffton
Born in Ohio and raised in Georgia, Brandon was inspired by the allure of the kitchen during a family trip to Italy at the age of 13. Compelled by the industry's high energy, he took his talents to the Culinary Institute of America, where he graduated in 1999. As executive chef and partner of FAMR, Brandon works tirelessly to connect the dining experience with authentic farm culture. Always cognizant of seasonality and availability of ingredients, he crafts ever-evolving menus that speak to the bounty of the region while paying homage to the many farmers and artisans who inspire him.

Chef Jessica Shillato (Owner)
Spotted Salamander, Columbia
Jessica took an interest in cooking at an early age. Food, cooking and sharing meals were always a big part of her life growing up. Being surrounded by a family of wonderful cooks inspired her to become a professional chef. Jessica is classically trained in the culinary arts, holding two degrees from Johnson and Wales University, Charleston Campus. In 2014, she opened Spotted Salamander Cafe in the Robert Mills District of Columbia where she committed to making fresh, local Southern cuisine with an inventive twist.

Chef Tania Harris
The Lazy Goat, Greenville
Tania Cienfuegos Harris attended cuilnary school in Mexico City where she studied Culinary Arts in the Colegio Superior De Gastronomia for four years to earn her culinary bachelors degree. It was after graduating that Tania discovered her love for pastries, cakes and bread -- working with chocolate and sugar. She is now in Greenville working as the pastry chef at The Lazy Goat. Being in South Carolina has helped Tania gain a wider understanding of how important local farmers and local produce are when it comes to impacting the community and the culinary scene in Greenville.

Chef Kelly Vogelheim
Town Hall, Florence
Originally from Rogers City, MI, Kelly now resides in Florence as the executive chef of Town Hall Restaurant and Bar. Her passion for food began early, cooking with her mother and grandmother in the kitchen at home. Kelly earned her associate degree in the Culinary Arts at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute in Traverse City, MI, and continued to grow in her career from there. After moving to South Carolina, she landed her position in Florence, which she is proud to call home.