The 5th Annual Eat Drink RI Festival returns to Providence April 28 through May 1. The festival is a celebration showcasing the best of the culinary world in Rhode Island. Farmers, chefs, bartenders and food & drink artisans from across the region participate, offering unique dining opportunities, charitable events, an All-Local Tasting featuring farmer & chef cooking demonstrations, and culminates in the Grand Brunch featuring some of the best restaurants in Rhode Island. Tickets and more information can be found at eatdrinkri.com/festival.
“The Eat Drink RI Festival is a wonderful, family-friendly event for all Rhode Islanders and visitors,” Governor Gina Raimondo said. “We’re lucky to have such a vibrant culinary scene here in Rhode Island, attracting tourists from all over the world to experience our amazing restaurants, breweries, vineyards and local products. Everyone has a part to play in our state’s comeback, and the food industry is continually creating new products and business opportunities”
The 2015 Festival kicks off Thursday, April 28th with Dinner by Dames to benefit Sojourner House, a Rhode Island domestic violence non-profit organization, at the historic Casino at Roger Williams Park. 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 Scratch Farm, Maria Meza of El Rancho Grande, Kaitlyn Roberts of Easy Entertaining Inc., and Jessica Wood of Fire and Water Restaurant Group, for a multi-course dining event. 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.
On Friday evening, it’s the return of the Truck Stop to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank at the ALEX AND ANI City Center. Last Festival’s Truck Stop raised over $110,000 for the RI Food Bank. The always sold-out event showcases the excellence and variety of Rhode Island’s mobile restaurants while benefiting an organization dedicated to ending hunger. Live music will be performed by the Superchief Trio. Some of this year’s participants include Gotta Q, Like No Udder, Mijos Tacos, Noble Knots, Rocket Fine Street Food and Tallulah’s Taqueria, among many others.
Saturday’s Grand Tasting features samplings from over 50 exhibitors of locally produced beer, wine & spirits, as well as an abundance of local food artisans and restaurants, at the Rhode Island Convention Center. During the Tasting there will be Culinary Presentations featuring Chef Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway, Jules Opton-Himmel of Walrus and Carpenter Oysters, Ann Marie Bouthillette of Blackbird Farm, plus several more of Rhode Island’s top chefs and farmers. Some of this year’s participants include The Backyard Food Company, Dave’s Coffee, Sons of Liberty Spirits Company, Jonathan Edwards Winery, Narragansett Creamery, Revival Brewing Company, Yacht Club Soda and many, many more.
On Sunday, the Festival closes in the ballroom at the RI Convention Center with the Grand Brunch to benefit the Victoria Alviti Music Foundation, an organization that raises funds and awards grants to programs that offer opportunities for music education in Rhode Island. The Grand Brunch is prepared by some of the state’s best chefs and pastry chefs. Restaurant & bakery participants include The Dorrance, Julians, north bakery, The Salted Slate, Sin and many more. In addition to the food, the Brunch features a coffee bar by New Harvest Coffee Roasters, a cocktail bar by Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails, entertainment by local jazz students, and performances by The Chifferobe TropiGals, New England’s premiere vintage dance company.