Now in it’s fifth year, I HEART PROVIDENCE 2013 is hosting a culinary competition at Providence City Hall between East Side chefs Nemo Bolin of Cook & Brown Public House, Brandy Schwalbe of The Duck & Bunny, and Paul Jalaf of Vanity versus West Side chefs Mike McHugh of Julians, James Mark of North, and Jonathan Dille of The Grange, a plant-based restaurant from the owner of Garden Grille opening in March.
“This year’s collaboration with RI Food Fights is exciting to have at I HEART PROVIDENCE,” said Mike Ritz, the I HEART PROVIDENCE event founder. “It’s a free party that includes complimentary food, two live bands, a graffiti-styled art project, and hundreds and hundreds of Providence lovers . . . a fun celebration of our diverse city!”
Ritz created I HEART PROVIDENCE in 2009 as a way for positive Providence people to congregate and shout to the world why their city is so great. Since 2009, the annual event has expanded to all three floors of Providence City Hall.
The culinary competition judging panel of David Dadekian of Eat Drink RI, Chef Branden Lewis of Johnson & Wales University and Chef Matthew Varga of Gracie’s will determine the winners for two awards: Best PVD Chef and Best Side of Providence. The winners will be announced by Mayor Angel Taveras in front of his second floor office at 7 p.m. In addition to these two awards, the public will get a chance to vote for their favorite chef to determine the “People’s Choice” award which will be announced at the event’s after party at The Dorrance at 9 p.m.
This year’s event will showcase staggered performance times on the second and third floors with local bands Bored with Four and Miss Wensday & The Cotillions. Restaurants offering food sampling include Abyssinia, Ebisu, El Rancho Grande, Eye Cookies, Fertile Underground Grocery, Kabob and Curry, Los Andes, Olneyville New York System and Whole Foods Market. The RI Convention Center is supplying two cash bars. The Avenue Concept, a sponsor of the event, will oversee a graffiti wall for participants to “tag,” leaving an artistic memory of the evening.
I HEART PROVIDENCE is held at Providence City Hall on Tuesday, February 5 from 6 – 8 p.m. and is free to the public.