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Celebrity Chefs Raise $195,000 For RI Food Bank / Jacques Pépin Collaboration

Chefs joined Jacques Pépin at Newport Vineyards for a reception to raise money for culinary job training programs. 

Rhode Island Community Food Bank
Rhode Island Community Food Bank

On Thursday, June 7, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and the Jacques Pépin  Foundation joined together for a special event that raised more than $195,000 to provide culinary job training opportunities for unemployed and underemployed adults. These funds will support initiatives like the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen program, now in its twentieth year.

“We are so thrilled with the success of our first collaboration together,” said Andrew Schiff, CEO of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “Both the Food Bank and the Jacques Pépin Foundation are committed to transforming lives through community education and these funds will be put to use to expand that vision.”

Over the past year, the Jacques Pépin Foundation and the Community Kitchen program at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank have come together over their shared mission to educate and prepare the next generation of chefs for careers in the culinary field. Training programs also help lift participants out of poverty so they can support themselves and their families over the long-term.

Rollie Wesen, co-founder & COO of the Jacques Pépin Foundation, explains how this collaboration formed after he visited Community Kitchen and saw our students and their teachers in action:

“I was so moved by the incredible work that Chef Heather and Chef Ron were doing. It was so exciting to see these students that were really at the edge of hope find their confidence and a pathway back into the workforce.” 

To launch this collaboration, the Food Bank hosted Savor, an event with Jacques Pépin at Newport Vineyards in Middletown, RI.  The fundraiser with Jacques Pépin and special guest Sara Moulton, featured world-class wine pairings and a multi-course feast with plates prepared by:

  • Matthew MacCartney from Jamestown FISH
  • Rick Moonen from RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay
  • Jeremy Sewall from Island Creek Oysters
  • Champe Speidel from Persimmon
  • Andy Teixeira from Newport Vineyards (Host Chef)
  • Ming Tsai from Cooking with Ming
  • James Wayman from Mystic Oyster Club
  • Baking and Pastry Arts Faculty of Johnson & Wales University: Jaime Schick, Thao Rich and Maura Metheny

Other celebrity chefs in attendance included Rick Bayless, Michel Nischan, Claudine Pépin  and Rollie Wesen. Live music was performed by the Pat McGee Band.

Guests were treated to a live auction with prizes including dinner with Jacques Pépin , a “Best Cuisine at Sea” cruise and a day on the set of “Simply Ming” with Ming Tsai.

Community Kitchen graduate Khadijah Muhammad-Kebe spoke about the impact of the program on her life:

“This became my first step in a direction that would eventually change my life. I learned not only how to work in the kitchen but life skills that helped me love and value myself in ways that I never could have imagined.” 

The event raised $195,000 to support culinary job training programs that will prepare future chefs like Khadijah. The successful evening was made possible thanks to the generous sponsorship of:

  • Oceania Cruises
  • Atria Senior Living
  • Butchertown Grocery
  • U.S. Trust
  • Bank of America
  • Collette

Revival Brewery takes home a silver medal at the World Beer Championships

Revival Brewing Company Pinky Swear
Revival Brewing Company Pinky Swear

Revival Brewing’s Berliner Weisse, Pinky Swear, was recently awarded the silver medal in the Best Sour Ale and Best Fruit Beer category at the World Beer Championships from Tastings.com. Pinky Swear combines kettle souring with tons of fresh raspberries and blueberries to the tale end of fermentation to create a refreshing and tart drink of delightfulness at only 3.7% ABV and 8 IBUs.

“I couldn’t be prouder of this team. It’s great to see our hard work and dedication be rewarded like this. Awards are awesome, and we’ll continue to brew great tasting craft beers that our customers love,” said Sean Larkin, owner and Brewmaster of Revival Brewing.

Cans of Pinky Swear are available from their Cranston brewery and in limited amounts at package stores throughout Rhode Island. It’s also currently on nitro draft in Revival’s tasting room.

The following are the highlights from what the judges had to say about Pinky Swear.

“Cloudy red oak color. Aromas and flavors of raspberry Greek yogurt, pickled melon rind, boiled potato and cabbage, and bubblegum dust with a supple, tangy, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a silky, engaging, medium-long buttered potato bread toast with lemon zest, berry skins, wheat wafer, and mineral water finish. A very pure, clean, and precise Berliner Weisse that has a perfectly approachable style.”


Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co. Earns 100th Award with Best American Whiskey at International Whisky Competition

The Rhode Island Distillery’s Uprising Single Malt Pedro Ximénez Finish Won 1st Place in Three Categories

International Whisky Competition
International Whisky Competition

Sons of Liberty’s Limited Edition Uprising Single Malt – Pedro Ximénez Finish was rated 93.6 points at the 2018 International Whisky Competition held in Las Vegas earlier this month. With 93.6 points, Uprising PX took 1st place honors for Best American Whiskey, Best American Single Malt Whiskey and Best Small Batch Whiskey. It was the highest rated American Whiskey in the competition regardless of age or category. Their Battle Cry Single Malt Sauternes Finish took 3rd place in the American Single Malt category with 92.1 points. These medals now put Sons of Liberty into triple digits with their 100th award since the company launched in December 2011.

“We’re ecstatic to say the least,” Mike Reppucci, Sons of Liberty founder, said of the results. “We strive to bottle the highest quality products possible and are always finding ways to improve them, but to rank as high as we did against some huge names is unbelievable.”

Uprising PX’s 93.6 points put Sons of Liberty above some well-known, high quality whiskies such as Eagle Rare’s 10 Year Old, The Glenlivet 18 Year Old, Woodford Reserve’s Distiller’s Select, Dewar’s 15 Year Old The Monarch, Chivas Regal’s 18 Year Old and many more.

“Sons of Liberty is among those pioneers changing the way we see American whiskey and realize it’s not only about Bourbon.” says Sylvain Allard, Managing Partner at the International Whisky Competition. No question that Sons of Liberty is setting the bar very high for the American craft whiskey movement.”   

Sons of Liberty has been taking home medals and earning recognition since 2012 and has now eclipsed the 100-mark. “We’ve been blessed,” said Reppucci. “Our team loves what they do, and they work extremely hard every day. We are honored to be a part of this exciting industry and grateful to be able to share what we do with everyone else.”

Sons of Liberty’s world-class spirits can be sampled in their 6,000 square foot tasting room in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

Full results from the 2018 International Whisky Competition can be found here: https://www.whiskycompetition.com/2018-results/

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