Updates on current local food and drink news in Rhode Island featuring: Winner of 2018 Newport Burger Bender / March Madness at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market / Norey’s, Newport Named Great American Beer Bar
- April 28, 2018
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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. 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, Inc.
We’re adding a 2nd food & drink presentation area at this year’s Festival 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.
- Basta’s Chef Antonio Franco on Pasta
- Ellie’s Bakery’s Chefs Melissa Denmark and Caitlyn McGuire on Decorating Desserts
- El Rancho Grande’s Co-Owner Joaquin Meza on Cocktails
For the full list of Grand Tasting tables and participants, please see the Exhibitors page (continually updated).
Grand Tasting tickets are $75 and includes all food and beverage samplings offered and Local Food & Drink Presentations
- April 26, 2018
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
One of Rhode Island’s most popular dining series, Dinner by Dames, returns for it’s seventh installment at this seventh Eat Drink RI Festival. This female-driven 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 we’ve added three guest Dames: 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 of Durk’s Bar•B•Q, Sam Royds, 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, the Festival Dinner by Dames coincides with this year’s Paint the Town RED to benefit AIDS Care Ocean State’s mission of providing quality housing, case management, medical and nursing care, and prevention to those affected by or at risk for HIV infection. Eat Drink RI President David Dadekian is a co-chair of the dining event and is proud to donate a portion of Dames proceeds to AIDS Care Ocean State.
Dinner by Dames tickets are $160 and are all-inclusive. The evening will begin with a 6 p.m. cocktail reception with welcome bites, then moving into a six-course dinner with cocktail pairings and more.
Due to the limitations of the venue we are regrettably unable to accommodate any alternative menu/allergen requests other than a vegetarian option. Thank you in advance for your understanding on this matter.
- April 25, 2018
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
This year’s festival kicks off with Rhode Island’s first Sommelier Smackdown! at the gorgeous, newly renovated Café at Easy Entertaining! Co-hosted by Certified Sommeliers Ian Magiros of M.S. Walker and Jonathan Feiler of Rhode Island Distributing, this brand new event will pit a handful of our state’s best Certified Sommeliers against each other in a wine theory quiz, a blind wine tasting, and a collaboration with a local chef! Some of our favorite chefs will present small bites with a wine pairing that the sommeliers believe is the perfect complement. 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.
Competitors in this first Sommelier Smackdown!:
- Justin Bothur of Ocean House and Weekapaug Inn paired with Chef Terence Feury of Forty 1º North
- Alan Freudeman of Gracie’s paired with Chef Matthew MacCartney of Jamestown FiSH
- Ali Innes of bin 312 wine cellar paired with Chef Benjamin Sukle of birch and Oberlin
- Alí Quero of Los Andes paired with Chef Ashley Vanasse of Easy Entertaining
If you’re passionate about wine and would love to learn more about how sommeliers refine their palates and sharpen their ability to recall wines, then this is the event for you.
Sommelier Smackdown! tickets are $50 and include wine tastings, food & wine pairing, and hors d’oeuvres.