Eat Drink RI Festival: April 25 – 28, 2018 | All-Local Celebration of Everything Edible returns for a 7th Year

Eat Drink RI Festival logo

The 7th 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, this year’s Festival offers a brand new wine tasting experience, the return of Dinner by Dames, the largest food truck event in the area, and culminates with the Grand Tasting, an All-Local Tasting featuring even more culinary & beverage presentations than before. Tickets and more information can be found at eatdrinkri.com/festival.

This year’s festival kicks off with Rhode Island’s first Sommelier Smackdown at the gorgeous, newly renovated Café at Easy Entertaining! This brand new event is co-hosted by Certified Sommeliers Ian Magiros of M.S. Walker and Jonathan Feiler of Rhode Island Distributing. The Smackdown will pit Certified Sommeliers Justin Bothur of Ocean House and Weekapaug Inn, Alan Freudeman of Gracie’s, Ali Innes of bin 312 wine cellar, and Alí Quero of Los Andes against each other in a wine theory quiz, a blind wine tasting, and a food & wine pairing collaboration with a local chef. Guests will vote on the fan favorite pairing and judges will tally the points of all three components of the competition to decide who reigns supreme in RI’s wine world. Tickets include wine tastings, food & wine pairing, and hors d’oeuvres.

One of Rhode Island’s most popular dining series, Dinner by Dames, returns on the Thursday evening of the Festival. This dining experience brings together five of Rhode Island’s most talented chefs—Melissa Denmark of Gracie’s and Ellie’s Bakery, Jordan Goldsmith of Moonrose Farm, Maria Meza of El Rancho Grande, Ashley Vanasse of Easy Entertaining Inc. and Jessica Wood of Fire and Water Restaurant Group—for a multi-course dining event. For the 2018 Eat Drink RI Festival three guest chef Dames are joining the team: Lisa Lofberg of Little Moss, Rebecca Lentrichia of Renaissance Providence Downtown Hotel and Caitlyn McGuire of Ellie’s Bakery.

To make the evening that much more special, Jen Davis of The Eddy, along with a group of RI’s top bartenders—Cassie Coutard of Courtland Club and New Harvest Coffee & Spirits, Megan Freitas, Sam Royds of Gracie’s, Elizabeth Sawtelle of Nicks on Broadway, Britt Simons of Persimmon and Kayleigh Speck of The East End—are creating cocktail pairings for each course with spirits very kindly provided by Origin Beverage Co. Dinner by Dames will once again be held at the beautiful Skyline at Waterplace in downtown Providence. In addition, Dinner by Dames coincides with this year’s Paint the Town RED to benefit AIDS Care Ocean State and Eat Drink RI is proud to donate a portion of Dames proceeds to ACOS.

Every year the Truck Stop to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank continues to grow! The event is back at the Food Bank’s huge lot in Providence with twenty-three mobile food vendors and a trio of local beverage greats! This sixth annual Truck Stop showcases even more of the excellence and variety of Rhode Island’s mobile restaurants, features local musicians the Superchief Trio, and also benefits an organization dedicated to ending hunger. Trucks include: Citizen Wing, Friskie Fries, GottaQ Smokehouse BBQ, Noble Knots, Portu-Galo and more.

The Eat Drink RI Festival Grand Tasting features samplings of over sixty locally produced beer, wine & spirits, as well as an abundance of local food artisans in Hall D of the Rhode Island Convention Center. Grand Tasting participants include: American Mussel Harvesters, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Los Andes, Narragansett Creamery, Revival Brewing Company, Seven Stars Bakery, Yacht Club Soda and so many more.

During the Tasting there will be all-new local food & drink presentations on the Frigidaire Professional Presentation Stage sponsored and provided by Wickford Appliance featuring Rhode Island’s top chefs paired with a local producer to wow attendees with some of the best food in the country, all included with admission to the Grand Tasting.

  • Easy Entertaining’s Chef Ashley Vanasse and Narragansett Creamery’s Pattie & Mark Federico
  • Nicks on Broadway’s Chef Derek Wagner and Blackbird Farm’s Ann Marie Bouthillette
  • Tallulah’s Taqueria’s Chef Jake Rojas and American Mussel Harvesters

In addition, a 2nd food & drink presentation area has been added at this year’s Grand Tasting. Get a floor-level, up-close look at the detail work & techniques of these chefs and artisans with this more interactive and intimate show area.

  • Pastaio’s Chef Adam Baffoni on Pasta
  • Ellie’s Bakery’s Chefs Melissa Denmark and Caitlyn McGuire on Decorating Desserts
  • El Rancho Grande’s Joaquin Meza on Cocktails

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 local chefs, bartenders, farmers, brewers, distillers, producers and more—the people who have elevated Rhode Island to national renown for its culinary scene. Tickets and more information can be found at eatdrinkri.com/festival.

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News Bites: Newport Vineyards for Puerto Rico / Bon Me Opens / Hope & Main App / Rhode Island Quahog Week

Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.

Newport Vineyards Cultivate Committee Raises over $8,000 For Puerto Rico Recovery Efforts

Newport Vineyards Puerto Rico Fundraiser. Photo by Marianne Lee Photography.

Newport Vineyards Puerto Rico Fundraiser. Photo by Marianne Lee Photography.

Newport Vineyards, an award winning winery located in beautiful Middletown, RI, raised over $8,000 for Puerto Rico recovery efforts via their Una Noche Para Puerto Rico event put on by the Cultivate Committee. Born out of the passion of Newport Vineyards employees who have immediate family and friends in Puerto Rico that have been devastated by the storms in 2017, over 200 guests were welcomed to the event held on Friday, February 23, 2018.

The over $8,000 raised is being split between the Mark E. Curry Family Foundation – Cosa Nuestra’s Hurricane Relief Fund, who’s goal is to feed warm meals to those who are still in need and get small restaurants back on their feet. The organization will use 100% of funds raised to pay local restaurants and local chefs to produce meals that will be delivered to those in need. The funds will also go to help rebuild La Estación in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, the restaurant owned by Chef Kevin Roth, who is a long time friend of Newport Vineyards Executive Chef Andy Texeira.

Guest chef’s Chef Kevin Roth of La Estación in Puerto Rico, and Chef Giovanna Huyke of La Fabrica Central in Cambridge, MA joined Newport Vineyards Executive Chef Andy Texeira’s culinary team in creating truly authentic Puerto Rican fare including; Pork Pinchos, Matahambre and a Lechon Station. Maris Corujo, Newport Vineyards Event Manager, worked with Narciso Moreno, Sales Director of Puerto Rican Tourism Company, who helped procure jaw-dropping silent auction items including a grand prize trip to Puerto Rico that encompassed airfare, hotel and attraction vouchers. Silent auction, as well as food and beverage sponsors included; Don Q Rum, Goya, Foley Fish, Newport Storm/Thomas Tew Rum, Rail Explorers, ESJ Azul Hotel, TRYP by Wyndham, Courtyard Marriott Miramar, The Water Club Hotel, JetBlue. The night was a celebration of Puerto Rican culture, and included dancing to the music of Robertico Y su Alebreke of Providence.

Founded by brothers John & Paul Nunes in 1995, Newport Vineyards is the largest grower of grapes in New England. The winery produces nearly 30,000 cases of estate-grown wine each year through sustainable farming methods on 75 acres of historically preserved farmland. Following a multi-million dollar renovation completed in 2015, the winery has become a culinary and wine destination offering multiple experiences including daily tours and tastings, 100% from scratch culinary programs at Brix Restaurant and The Vineyard Café, The Marketplace, seasonal live music, private events and year-round public activities.

The Newport Vineyards Cultivate Committee is a team of employees who strive to do good, give back and be green through volunteer, charitable and sustainable efforts.

Follow Newport Vineyards on Facebook @NewportVineyards, Twitter @NewportVines, and Instagram @NewportVines. For more details, please visit www.newportvineyards.com.


Introducing the Hope & Main App

Hope & Main app screenshot

Hope & Main app screenshot

Rhode Island’s first food business incubator is bringing its small businesses online with a virtual “Makers Market.”

Hope & Main has partnered with Providence-based food technology company Crave Food Systems to create its custom online marketplace – the Hope & Main app. The app will allow shoppers to discover new favorite makers, pre-order their desired items and select convenient pickup locations, all in support of Rhode Island’s local food economy.

The app will complement the suite of resources Hope & Main offers the food entrepreneurs who grow their businesses in the former school house on Main Street in Warren. Hope & Main provides a broad suite of technical support and industry resources to give members a distinct advantage in a competitive marketplace. Frequent community events, farmers markets and trade shows foster a robust variety of connections with both retail and wholesale consumers year-round. The app will amplify this approach, significantly boosting makers’ access to a range of customers otherwise unreachable.

“We are witnessing major disruption in the food industry, and Crave Food Systems is at the leading edge of the an important trend: shortening the supply chain in food retailing,” Lisa Raiola, founder and president of Hope & Main said. “Amazon is certainly the best example of this, but has offered no path for local producers. That is why we are so excited to partner with Crave Food Systems. This app puts the power of purchasing local directly into the hands of the consumer. No distributor or grocery store shelf necessary. We love that it will connect Hope & Main makers to the consumers who are seeking their products at farmers markets across the state.”

While offering eaters new access to a wide variety Rhode Island made goods, the Hope & Main app is also a powerful eCommerce tool to strengthen entrepreneur’s growing businesses, at no cost to them. To make business more sustainable for makers, the app charges no signup, transaction or credit card processing fees. It has the potential to directly strengthen Rhode Island’s food economy by making it more convenient for Rhode Islanders to buy local.

“Hope & Main has been the foundation for so many amazing food businesses in our state – and Crave Food System’s unique technology will help their members reach new customers and markets,” Sue AnderBois, director of food strategy for the State of Rhode Island, said. “Partnerships between food businesses like these are part of what makes Rhode Island’s food economy so vibrant and innovative.”

To get a taste of some of the best Rhode Island-made goods from the convenience of a mobile device, anyone can now download the Hope & Main app for iOS or Android.

About Hope & Main: Hope & Main is a nonprofit food business incubator on a mission to help local entrepreneurs jump-start early-stage food companies and food related businesses by providing low-cost, low-risk access to shared-use commercial kitchens and other industry-specific technical resources. Hope & Main’s goal is to help grow the local food economy by creating a community of support for food entrepreneurs and cultivating an environment where emerging culinary startups can test, create, scale and thrive.

About Crave Food Systems: Crave Food Systems Corporation (CFS), established in 2014, is a food technology company that brings eCommerce and marketing tools to farmers, fishermen, artisans and the local communities they serve. CFS believes the right technology can open the door to healthier food for all.


Bon Me Opens Food Truck in Providence

Miso-Braised Pulled Pork Rice Noodle Salad

Miso-Braised Pulled Pork Rice Noodle Salad

Bon Me, an award-winning Boston-based food-truck-and-restaurant company will start serving its Asian-inspired eats in Providence on March 14th. They will be bringing their food truck to Brown University starting Wednesday and to Kennedy Plaza on March 27th.

Bon Me’s menu features dishes with bold flavors, fresh vegetables, and housemade dressings. From their customizable menu, you can order a sandwich, rice bowl, or noodle salad with tasty proteins like spice-rubbed chicken or miso-braised pulled pork. They also have a full lineup of housemade drinks, including a special new drink that’s exclusive to their Providence food truck. To honor their new locale, they created the Dirty Chai in collaboration with Rhode Island-based New Harvest Coffee Roasters.

To celebrate their grand opening at Brown, Bon Me invites you to come out on Wednesday, March 14th from 11:30 am-2:30 pm for a free taste of their signature sandwich. They will be handing out half-portions of their take on the classic banh mi with your choice of Chinese barbecue pork or roasted paprika tofu.

For their grand opening at Kennedy Plaza on March 27th 11 am-2 pm, the socially conscious food truck will partner with the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Customers will be encouraged to “pay what you want” and all proceeds will be donated to the non-profit, which works “to improve the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders by advancing solutions to the problem of hunger”.

Following the grand openings, you can find the bright yellow truck slinging sandwiches on Waterman Street by Brown University on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11:30 am-2:30 pm and at Kennedy Plaza on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 am-2 pm.


Rhode Island Kicks Off Third Annual Quahog Week on March 26

Quahog Week 2018

Quahog Week 2018

Governor Raimondo – along with Senator Jack Reed, Congressman Jim Langevin, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and other partners – will kick off the 3rd Annual Rhode Island Quahog Week with a special launch event at Save The Bay in Providence on Monday. Quahog Week, which runs March 26 to April 1, highlights the importance of Rhode Island’s wild shellfish harvest to the state’s history, traditions, and economy.

WHERE:
Save The Bay
100 Save The Bay Drive
Providence, Rhode Island

WHEN:
Monday, March 26, 2018
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

At the launch event, local shellfishermen will be on hand to educate guests about their profession. Guests will also enjoy a raw bar courtesy of the Rhode Island Shellfisherman’s Association, and creative preparations of the quahog, courtesy of participating local restaurants including Easy Entertaining, Eli’s Kitchen, Matunuck Oyster Bar, and Nicks On Broadway. Beverages will be provided by Rhode Island’s own Yacht Club Soda.

Rhode Island is known for its food and diverse food cultures. Our booming local food sector supports more than 60,000 jobs and continues to attract and inspire the imagination of entrepreneurs and innovators. The local fishing industry has been, and continues to be, a vital part of the equation. The commercial industry, which includes both wild harvest and aquaculture operations, generates close to $200 million in annual sales, supports nearly 7,000 jobs, and generates about $150 million in annual income. Last year, more than 22 million quahogs (off-the-boat value of $5 million) were harvested from Narragansett Bay and local coastal waters. To support continued industry growth, the state, along with its partners, developed the RI Seafood brand to uniquely identify local seafood in the marketplace and to provide a brand under which local seafood events and activities can take place.

As part of the week, participating restaurants and markets will feature quahog-inspired menu items and deals. Among the special menu items are quahog carbonara at The Mooring in Newport; quahog bruchetta at Trio in Narragansett; littlenecks, clams casino, and littlenecks with chourico at Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown; quahogs over angel hair tossed in red or white sauce at Harmony Lodge in Harmony; New England clam chowder with quahog cakes at Federal Taphouse and Kitchen in Providence; and unique versions of stuffed quahogs at 22 Bowen’s in Newport, Gulf Stream Bar & Grille in Portsmouth, Hemenway’s in Providence, Providence Oyster Bar in Providence, 15 Point Road in Portsmouth, and Plouffe’s in Pawtucket.

Quahog Week partners include Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, Brown University Dining Services, Dave’s Marketplace, Discover Newport, Eat Drink RI, Eating with the Ecosystem, Go Providence, Narragansett Bay Lobsters, RI Commerce, RI Department of Environmental Management, RI Shellfisherman’s Association, Save The Bay, and the University of Rhode Island.

For more information about Quahog Week and/or a list of participating restaurants and markets, visit www.seafoodri.com or @RISeafoodRocks on Facebook. Join the conversation in social media, using #QuahogWeek.

News Bites: Winner of 2018 Newport Burger Bender / March Madness at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market / Norey’s, Newport Named Great American Beer Bar

Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.

LaForge Casino Restaurant Sweeps the 2018 Newport Burger Bender

The winning restaurant, a Newport institution for more than half a century, wowed diners with The Crowley Burger.

Newport Burger Bender 2018

They took an all-beef patty, cooked it to perfection, topped it with Gruyère cheese, layered it with creminis and tempura cornichons, generously drizzled it with truffle aioli and wedged it all between a buttery brioche bun. And the result won over the hearts and taste buds of Newporters and beyond. LaForge Casino Restaurant’s Crowley Burger, which has now become a part of the regular menu, won the coveted popular vote in the second annual Newport Burger Bender.

“We are thrilled to hear that we have won the Burger Bender Competition!” said James “JR” Rodrigues, the restaurant’s general manager, when informed of the victory. “We are extremely proud of our staff for the effort and support. The Crowley Burger was delicious and proudly honored a great Newport family. Thanks to all who came out for it.”

But the Crowley Burger isn’t the only entry in the spotlight. Providence Journal Food Editor Gail Ciampa has crowned 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grill’s Secret Burger her “Critic’s Choice.”

“Don’t assume the toppings of foie gras and butter-poached lobster are why this was my favorite of the 2018 Burger Bender. No doubt the richness of the ingredients makes this a winning combination on any plate,” said Ciampa. “It was all about the burger, the dripping-with-juice Wagyu dry-aged beef. Made from one the Japanese breeds of beef cattle known for superior marbling, the flavor was amazing, the meat tender. Starting with that beef gave Bowen’s Executive Chef Walter Slater’s burger an edge. Pickled red onion, truffle garlic aioli and house-made pickles are the perfect complementing condiments for the stellar burger on a house-made onion bun. Several restaurants amped up their burgers this year and I loved them all. But nobody did it better than 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille.”

Jamie Coelho, Associate Editor at Rhode Island Monthly and author of The Dish, the magazine’s monthly newsletter, declared The Wharf Pub’s Antipasti Patty the “Creative Champion.”

“It’s an Italian take on a bacon cheeseburger, subbing in prosciutto and mozzarella in place of bacon and cheddar. The balsamic roasted red peppers, onions and Rhode Island mushrooms gave it an epic presentation while rounding out the flavors with a bit of sweetness from the caramelized vegetables and cherry pepper aioli. The toasted ciabatta roll held up to all the toppings and gave the perfectly cooked burger a nice and sturdy foundation,” said Coelho. “And I’ll never look at French fries the same way again after munching on those truffle tater tots!”

The Newport Burger Bender is now an annual simple burger contest which recognizes the bevy of culinary creativity throughout our destination. There is no participation fee for restaurants nor has there ever been. Participating restaurants must be in Newport or Bristol County, Rhode Island, and this year’s contest was limited to the first 30 restaurants to register. Participants receive complimentary promotional materials including custom menu inserts and Burger Bender coasters. Each entry is photographed and featured on DiscoverNewport.org.


March Madness at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market

Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market

Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market

March can be a challenging month for local farmers. It signals the start of a long thaw after winter and the beginning of planning for next season’s harvest. Shopping at farmers markets is a great way to support local farms year-round. But March is a time of year when local farmers need your business and support most of all.

To celebrate these local heroes, Farm Fresh Rhode Island is hosting a month of special events at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market, called March Madness. Shop at the market every Saturday in March to enjoy fun events like cooking demos, take advantage of seasonal sales, and participate in a one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt for a chance to win amazing prizes! Participating in March Madness is a great way to support local agriculture, empower small businesses, and build vibrant community with local food at the center of every table.

March Madness: Free Events
Demos and Food Pairing to be held in the New Harvest Coffee Roasters Training Room, Hope Artiste Village Suite 110, during the farmers market.

  • Every Saturday in March, 9a-1p – Scavenger Hunt through the Market!
  • March 3, 10a – Cooking Demo by Harvest Kitchen
  • March 10, 10:30a – Beer Tasting by Revival Brewing Company
  • March 17, 10a – Local Producers Spotlight by Hope & Main
  • March 24, 10a – Cooking and Ceramics Demo by the African Alliance of Rhode Island
  • March 31, 10a – Coffee Roasting Demos by the New Harvest Coffee Roasters

The Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market is open every Saturday, 9a–1p, until April 29. Located in two spacious hallways of the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, RI, it is easily accessed via the R-Line bus and off-street parking is available. For more information: www.farmfreshri.org/winter


Norey’s, Newport Named CraftBeer.com’s Great American Beer Bar in Rhode Island

Norey’s, Newport has been recognized as the best beer bar in Rhode Island in the annual Great American Beer Bars competition conducted by CraftBeer.com —the Brewers Association website for beer lovers.

With more than 4,100 small and independent craft brewers operating in the country, there are more options than ever to enjoy great beer. To help beer lovers navigate their way to the best places they can take advantage of this phenomenon, CraftBeer.com readers were recently polled to determine the best beer in all 50 states and Washington D.C.

“CraftBeer.com readers know craft beer and 9,000 of them took the time to cast their vote rewarding their favorite beer bar in each state,” said Julia Herz, publisher of CraftBeer.com. “Cheers to each of the winners and the ever-increasing diversity of our local beer movement here in the U.S.”

The Blogetarian’s Review: The Nitro Bar

The Nitro Bar, photos by George Evans Marley

The Nitro Bar, photos by George Evans Marley

The other day I was wandering around the West Side of Providence and I stumbled upon The Nitro Bar. I had the pooch with me otherwise I would have sat inside the adorable cafe with large windows overlooking the hustle and bustle of Broadway. Even on the the coldest of winter days it’s great for people watching.

Though it was chilly outside, I am a creature of habit and ordered an iced coffee, and good thing too! This place specializes in ice cold coffee infused with nitrogen, making it like drinking a rich, creamy stout. It pours just the same way and even has a head on top! The menu of specialty drinks caught my eye and The Candy Bar was the winner. A Nitro Coffee, espresso and rich creamy chocolate. It was amazing!

Their baked goods come from Caprichos Antioqueños! I tried the ham and pineapple empanada and of course, a warm churro. Overall, I am not a fan of ham. It makes me uncomfortable. However, the combo of flakey crust and pineapple made all those traumatic memories melt away.

I’m a sucker for fried anything, but I have a soft spot for churros. My nephews and I went to Six Flags every summer and we always got a Theme Park Churro. We waited in longer lines for churros than for any roller coaster. I took one bite and it brought me back. It was soft and cake-y in the middle, and the crispy outside exploded with the flavor of sugar and cinnamon mixing together with each bite. It warmed my heart on this particularly brisk afternoon.

This charming establishment also doubles as Dash Bicycle shop so while you’re there, get a bike and try some of the awesome treats and specialty coffees! They are open every day from 7-7. Located at 228 Broadway, Providence, RI 02903

See you there!

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News Bites: Newport Burger Bender 2018 / Condesa Opens in Warwick / Two RI Companies Receive Good Food Awards / Social Enterprise Greenhouse Food Accelerator 2018

Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.

The Newport Burger Bender is Back and Bigger Than Ever

Thirty local chefs will be crafting creative, savory and sensational recipes in the hopes of taking home the “best burger” trophy.

Newport Burger Bender 2018

The Newport Burger Bender returns for its second edition this February 16 to 25, 2018, once again coinciding with the Newport Winter Festival. This simple burger contest, which recognizes the bevy of culinary creativity throughout our destination, challenges local restaurants to compete for the lauded “Newport Burger Bender Best Burger” title, burger bragging rights and the coveted Burger Bender trophy.

This year’s burger battle was open to an increased 30 entries with the contest reaching capacity in a matter of weeks. “It’s clear that there’s even more enthusiasm – and friendly competition – among the chefs and restaurateurs this go-around,” said Brittany Lauro, Discover Newport’s social media manager and the contest’s organizer. “There are some truly inventive burgers being planned specifically for the Newport Burger Bender and if I have one piece of advice for the public it’s this: come hungry.”

To vote, diners can go to the Newport Burger Bender website to see the entries, plan their burger tasting adventure accordingly and then vote for their favorite burger. The burger with the most votes at the end of the contest will be crowned the winner. A “Critic’s Choice” will be named by Providence Journal Food Editor Gail Ciampa and a “Creative Champion” will be named by Jamie Coelho, Associate Editor at Rhode Island Monthly and author of The Dish, the magazine’s popular monthly newsletter.

Mouth-watering entries include a dry-aged beef burger topped with butter poached lobster, roasted tomato and parmesan cheese from Forty 1 North, the “Confit Pork Belly Burger” from Bristol Oyster Bar featuring a 50% prime ground beef and 50% confit pork belly patty served with house cured bacon, Four Town Farm lettuce and pickled mustard slaw on a griddled sesame bun, and the “Fork & Knife Burger” from Speakeasy, a 10-oz. double burger with chourico, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno and sour cream – all sandwiched between a “bun” of bacon and cheddar loaded potato skins.

The 2017 defending champion, Jo’s American Bistro, is looking to keep the crown with a barbecue spice-infused natural ground beef burger topped with roasted jalapeno peppers, barbecue glazed house pork belly and melted cheddar cheese topped with frizzled onion straws and drizzled with Carolina-style “Que” sauce served on a griddle-toasted Kaiser bulkie roll.

Diners can tag their burger photos on social media with the hashtag #NPTrightnow. Tagged photos will be automatically entered to win giveaways from Discover Newport. The public can vote throughout the entirety of the contest.


Condesa opened its doors in Warwick

A Rhode Island staple comes to Warwick

Condesa Warwick

Condesa Warwick

Condesa recently opened its doors on 721 Quaker Lane in East Greenwich, Rhode Island  02893! A staple of RI, they opened their first location in Smithfield. This establishment is family owned and operated, with a Mexican scratch kitchen. Along with the delicious  food is a full bar, accompanied by hand-shaken margaritas and more of your favorites.

Unlike many restaurants, Condesa, both in Smithfield, and now Warwick is also known  for its Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Vegan selections on their menu. As Condesa owners Roberto and Ernesto remark, “Scratch kitchen. Hand-crafted drinks. Vegetarian and GF option to cater to all our wonderful team.” Prices range from $5 appetizers to $19  entrées.

Make sure to stop by soon to check-out their brand-new location, and bring along your family and friends to try their unique foods and drinks that are catered to everyone’s needs.

Condesa Warwick is open Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sundays, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

For more information, call (401) 828-1005 or visit ​www.condesarestaurant.com​.


Sweet Victory: Two Rhode Island Makers Receive Coveted National Good Food Award

Hope & Main-based SanoBe Superfoods and Halvah Heaven beat out more than 2,000 contenders from across the country for recognition by the Good Food Foundation

Good Food Awards 2018

Two Hope & Main member companies, SanoBe Superfoods and Halvah Heaven, came home victorious earlier this week from the 2018 Good Food Awards in San Francisco, CA. The annual national competition recognized 199 food companies out of more than 2,000 entrants this year. The awards were presented in style by culinary pioneer Alice Waters and actress Madhur Jaffrey, in categories that included sustainably sourced and crafted charcuterie, cider, beer, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, preserved fish, honey, oils, pantry items, pickles, preserves, spirits and elixirs.

Getting a nomination for this competition is rigorous, and starts in August with blind taste-testing among 25 judges from around the country. The judges are charged with meeting strict standards on ingredients, sourcing and certifications. Once nominated, entries are judged by over 250 food crafters, chefs, farmers, journalists, retailers and thought leaders.

One of those leaders is Sue AnderBois, the Governor’s Director of Food Strategy who confirms that the national contest was “incredibly competitive.” Working with the Good Food Foundation, she has organized an opportunity for a number of Rhode Island food brands, including many Hope & Main member companies, to host a table at the Good Food Mercantile in New York City later this year to shine a spotlight on the rapid expansion of the new entrants into the marketplace that are coming out of our State.

SanoBe Superfoods founder Jennifer Beauregard developed her peanut butter product line to be super nutritious and delicious complete meals — in a jar. Each variety is produced with whole body health and wellness in mind. SanoBe, which translates to “Be Healthy” contains high concentrations of more than 30 trace minerals. Beauregard’s winning peanut butter is her Crunchy Cacao flavor.

Says Beauregard, “This Good Food Awards is and honor and a blessing. To be included among some of the most creative and most responsible food producers in the country fuels my passion for inspiring others to heal their lives and to make healthy, conscious choices for themselves. This recognition inspires me to remain constant in my desire to offer quality at a reasonable cost, and to create additional delicious and healthy foods that the consumer will continue to love for their flavors and appreciate for their health benefits and value.”

Halvah Heaven founder Victoria Wallins decided to make her delicious tahini-based candy because she saw an opportunity in the world of small, creative purveyors. Halvah is mass-manufactured across the globe with mostly artificial flavors and preservatives, but Wallins takes a traditional approach, making each batch meticulously by hand, using all natural, gluten-free, vegan ingredients and organic sweeteners. Wallins’ winning halvah is her Silk Road flavor.

“The experience was so gratifying,” says Wallins “my obsession with halvah and years of trial and error is bearing fruit…Imagine, Alice Waters and Madur Jaffrey presented us with the awards. They shook our hands and gave us hugs and kisses. So warm!”

Lisa Raiola, Hope & Main’s Founder and President notes that both of these women- owned companies, exemplify how a dream for an original food product becomes not only a reality, but a true success driven by the vision and persistence of the entrepreneur. Raiola says, “Victoria and Jen have been so clear about what they want to achieve with their businesses, and Hope & Main is proud to support them on this journey that has put Rhode Island on the national artisanal food map. These companies are helping to redefine Rhode Island’s food culture, and are bringing recognition to a flourishing food manufacturing economy by leading the way towards a more authentic and conscious food system.”

The wins kept coming for both Beauregard and Wallins all weekend long. Each participated in a wholesale show and mercantile event related to the awards, which resulted in new customers and connections with premier buyers from across the country. Nominations aren’t promised to any of this years winners for 2019, so both women are already preparing to defend their titles.

As the State’s premier food incubator, Hope & Main provides an environment for entrepreneurs like Beauregard and Wallins to test and develop, adjust and pivot, scale up and reach new markets.


15 Food Businesses to Begin SEG Food Accelerator Next Week

15 Rhode Island based food businesses are set to begin the Social Enterprise Greenhouse (SEG) Food Accelerator program on February 15, 2018. The Accelerator, SEG’s signature social enterprise development program, includes a 12-week blended learning model developed and delivered in collaboration with Brown University. Throughout the three months, each of the food businesses will work to refine, formalize and grow their social mission with the support of SEG’s community of coaches and advisors. Additional value is provided by industry-customized curriculum and advising, a peer-learning cohort model and access to SEG’s co-working space at 10 Davol Square, Providence.

Meet the 2018 Impact Accelerator Cohort:

Beggar’s Tomb Marine Livestock is a floating barge oyster producer. They will support other growers by providing services related to sorting, labor, logistics, seed, breeding and algae.

Coffee Collective is a workers’ co-op that will create a café and community space serving the Woonasquatucket neighborhood.

Foodies Without Borders is a non profit focusing on empowering young entrepreneurs in developing countries through culinary arts and sustainable farming..

Fortnight Wine Bar is a casual and experimental wine bar in downtown Providence focused on naturally and biodynamically produced wines, small-batch beers, seasonally-inspired food made from local ingredients. As a workers’ cooperative, they model a new way of organizing business and hope to support other cooperatives that share similar values.

Grow Earthly collects and processes food waste into high market-value compost by feeding it to a certain species of worms. This form of compost has no foul odor, is all-natural, eco-friendly and can help grow a wide variety of crops.

Herb & Forage is a new farm business which is starting the first commercial orchards of beach plum and elderberry in the state of Rhode Island.  These native plants will be processed into high quality food products that celebrate locally grown flavors while supporting responsible land stewardship.

Hocus Pocus Farm grows produce and flowers for a CSA while providing education, ecological stewardship, health and community-building.

Hope’s Harvest will mobilize volunteers to feed the hungry and prevent food waste by rescuing surplus fruits and vegetables from local farmers’ fields.

Jeow is a spicy Laotian pepper dip and topping. Through their products and cooking classes for the community, they aim to make Laotian cuisine, and its culture, a familiar standard in America’s food scene.

One World Cacao is a wellness and education platform selling single origin eco forested cacao from Guatemala.

OURgrain produces tasty and nutritious snacks from Brewers’ Spent Grain (BSG) which is typically sent to landfill or fed to livestock. The goal of OURgrain is to provide education on sustainability, and make savory and sweet treats that positively impact the environment.

PVD Dinner Share creates food that fulfills. Their convenient farm-to-table meal preparation service allows members to spend more time on the things they love, and less on preparing food throughout the week. Their commitment to the community extends beyond the kitchen with monthly projects benefiting local causes.

Rustic Roots Baking strives to create locally sourced, delicious desserts made in the tradition of their grandparents. They use quality local ingredients to create real, rustic baked goods.

Sanctuary Herbs of Providence brings to you an extraordinary line of herbs whose essence enhances health, comfort and peace. They source their teas and herbs in partnership with Rhode Island’s refugee and immigrant farmers, with the goal of expanding small, local farm viability.

Three Mouths Tea is a Providence-based company that sources and shares exceptional teas from small family farms in China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, India and Nepal. Their mission is to cultivate knowledge, culture and community around tea here in Rhode Island while contributing to the preservation of traditional, ancestral tea production methods and the autonomy of the communities from which they emerge.

The purpose of the SEG Food Accelerator is to help create more successful, sustainable ‘do well do good’ food businesses in Rhode Island, leading to a more just and resilient local food system. The 2018 Food Accelerator is funded in part by the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and RI Department of Labor and Training’s Real Jobs RI initiative, and is also made possible by SEG’s network of 200+ volunteer coaches and advisors, many of whom are business and community leaders in Rhode Island. Upon graduation, participants will receive priority access to the SEG loan fund that provides competitive interest rate loans to high potential social enterprises.

The 2018 Food Accelerator culminates with a Demo Day on May 15th, 2018.