All-Local Celebration of Everything Edible returns for a Sixth YearThe 6th Annual Eat Drink RI Festival is a celebration showcasing the best of the culinary world in Rhode Island. Presenting farmers, chefs, bartenders and food & drink artisans from across the region, the Festival offers a VIP reception, unique dining opportunities, charitable events, and culminates with the Grand Tasting, an All-Local Tasting featuring farmer & chef cooking demonstrations and author signings. Tickets and more information can be found at eatdrinkri.com/festival. “Rhode Island’s vibrant food culture is a major point of pride—with good reason. From our amazing restaurants and vineyards to our local products, breweries, and more, there’s never been a better time to dine in the Ocean State,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “The Eat Drink RI Festival brings together Rhode Islanders and visitors alike to celebrate our culinary scene, and this year’s sixth-annual event promises to be the best yet.” The 2017 Festival kicks off Wednesday, April 26th with Fiestaval!, a VIP product launch from the team behind the incredibly successful Rhode Island food business, The Backyard Food Company. This event, showcasing the culinary collaboration between best friends and gardeners Matt McClelland and Louby Sukkar, will feature custom cocktails from Bootblack Brand, small bites from Easy Entertaining, live music and entertainment, and the unveiling of the newest BYFC product before it hits the shelves. Thursday, April 27th is the sixth installment of Dinner by Dames, a unique experience bringing together a group of Rhode Island’s most talented female chefs & bartenders for a multi-course dining event held at the brand new Skyline at Waterplace in downtown Providence. This year’s Dinner by Dames is a part of Paint the Town (RED) to benefit AIDS Care Ocean State. This female-driven dining experience brings together five of Rhode Island’s most talented chefs, Melissa Denmark of Gracie’s & Ellie’s Bakery, Jordan Goldsmith of Moonrose Farm, Maria Meza of El Rancho Grande, Ashley Vanasse of Easy Entertaining, and Jessica Wood of Fire and Water Restaurant Group, for a multi-course dining event, in addition to guest Dames Rebecca Lentrichia of the Renaissance Providence Hotel and Sarah Williams of Seven Stars Bakery. To make the evening that much more special, Jen Davis of The Eddy will lead a group of RI’s top bartenders in creating cocktail pairings for each course with spirits provided by Origin Beverage Co. On Friday evening, we’re expanding the Truck Stop to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank by moving it to the Food Bank’s huge lot in Providence with 21 vendors—the largest gathering of its kind in New England. The always sold-out event showcases the excellence and variety of Rhode Island’s mobile restaurants while benefiting an organization dedicated to ending hunger. Last Festival’s Truck Stop raised over $130,000 for the RI Food Bank. Drinks will be offered from Yacht Club Soda, Jonathan Edwards Winery and Revival Brewing Company, with live music performed by the Superchief Trio. Some of this year’s participants include Friskie Fries, Gastros, Gotta Q, Like No Udder, Mijos Tacos, Noble Knots, Open Season and Rocket Fine Street Food, among many others. Saturday’s Grand Tasting features samplings of locally produced beer, wine & spirits, as well as an abundance of local food artisans at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Some of this year’s participants include Barr Hill, Dave’s Coffee, multiple members from Hope & Main, Narragansett Beer, Narragansett Creamery, New Harvest Coffee, Newport Vineyards, Stock Culinary Goods, Whalers Brewing Company and many, many more. During the Grand Tasting there will be all-new local food & drink presentations on the Frigidaire Professional Presentation Stage sponsored and provided by Wickford Appliance featuring James Beard Award Best Chef Northeast Semi-Finalist Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway, Master Pizzaiolo Billy Manzo of Federal Hill Pizza, Ann Marie Bouthillette of Blackbird Farm and several more of Rhode Island’s top chefs and farmers, guaranteed to wow attendees with some of the best food in the country. New to this year’s Festival, Eat Drink RI is partnering with the Point Street Reading Series for a trio of food-author readings & signings during the Grand Tasting with James Beard Award winning writer David Leite, local writer/photographer Christine Chitnis and James Beard Award Best Chef Northeast Semi-Finalist Evan Mallett. The key to the Eat Drink RI Festival is that it is dedicated to showcasing Rhode Island food and drink. This Festival, unlike many others, is about our local chefs, farmers and producers. Tickets and more information can be found at eatdrinkri.com/festival.