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Eat Drink RI Festival + GIVEAWAY

18 March 2013, 10:42



Did you know that Providence ranked #1 for Food/Drink/Restaurants inTravel + Leisure’s “America’s Favorite Cities 2012?”

It’s not hard to imagine, since we have some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. And I’m not just saying that because I live here (well, maybe a little); I’m saying it because I’ve traveled through and have lived in other states throughout the country and when I think of “good food,” my head (and stomach) always finds it way back to little Rhody.

In other words, you wanna eat here.

In celebration of the culinary world of RI, Eat Drink RI Festival is set to take the stage as the state’s very first three-day local food festival. Taking place Friday, April 19th through Sunday, April 21st, the inaugural festival will be held throughout downtown Providence and boasts a line-up that’s second to none.

The Eat Drink RI Festival will feature a star-studded line-up of over 40 chefs, farmers, bartenders and producers including: James Beard Foundation Best Chef Northeast semifinalist Champe Speidel of PersimmonBlackbird FarmJonathan Edwards Winery, James Beard Foundation Rising Star semifinalist Benjamin Sukle of The DorranceUnited States Bartenders’ Guild RIRevival BrewingAllen FarmsDave’s Coffee, among others.

Check out the amazing schedule of events taking place throughout the weekend:


Truck Stop to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank- Kennedy Plaza, downtown
Enjoy tastings from 10 of the best mobile restaurants that RI has to offer– from Clam Jammers to Mijos Tacos to Rocket Fine Street Food (and more)–with pairings by Jonathan Edwards Winery and Narragansett Brewery + entertainment. Proceeds benefit the food bank and families struggling to put food on their tables. How can you NOT go to this?

Cocktail Couture – Providence Biltmore Garden Room
Presented in partnership with StyleWeek Northeast, Cocktail Couture will pair the talents of Rhode Island fashion with the talents found behind the bar. The event will feature the works of local designers including Jessica AbernethyJonathan Joseph Peters and Nick Pini; with specialty cocktails created by Little Bitte Artisanal Cocktails. A portion of the proceeds will benefit AIDS Care Ocean State.



Education Panels – Providence Biltmore L’Apogee
Day two will begin with four panels dedicated to educating and entertaining attendees on the abundance and quality of local food and drink:

• Slice & Dice: Hosted by Curt Columbus, food enthusiast and Artistic Director of Trinity Repertory Company, this roundtable with chefs from Gracie’s, Nick’s on Broadway, Persimmon and Tazza will speak to the essential know-how’s of cooking in Rhode Island.

• Eat Local: Featuring local growers including Allen FarmsAquidneck Honey and Blackbird Farm, the discussion will focus on the initiatives of this vital business and the process of farm to table.

• Taste of Terroir: Embracing the true flavors of New England earth, Jonathan Edwards and other area winemakers will take a journey through local wine regions.

• Brewing in Rhode Island: Discussion and tasting with local microbrewers including Revival Brewing and Ravenous Brewing Company.

Grand Tasting presented by Providence Monthly – Providence Biltmore Grand Ballroom
As the main Festival event, the Grand Tasting will feature beer, wine and spirit tastings as well as products from local food artisans. The highly anticipated demonstrations, The Tastemakers, will pair the region’s top chefs with local farmers to showcase the best in farm-to-fork cuisine.



Grand Brunch – Gracie’s
The Festival will come to a close at Gracie’s, Providence’s only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant; with dishes prepared by several of the area’s top culinary stars including: Gracie’s own Melissa DenmarkFood & Wine “People’s Best New Pastry Chef 2012” nominee; local pioneer Jonathan Cambra; vegetarian stars Jon Dille and Jordan Goldsmith; Momofuku alum James Mark; local WJAR NBC’s Chef Kaitlyn Roberts of Easy Entertaining Inc.; Joe Simone of PBS’s The Chefs of Cucina Amore; and two-time James Beard Foundation Rising Star nominee Derek Wagner. Artisan cocktails will be provided by members of the United States Bartenders’ Guild, RI Chapter, one of the fastest growing chapters in the country. In addition, the brunch will be accompanied by live performances from the Rhode Island Philharmonic, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Philharmonic’s Music Education programs.

ARE YOU ALL AS EXCITED AS I AM??? Or maybe you’re just all really hungry now. Either way, Eat Drink RI Festival is a food event not-to-be-missed!

To learn more, visit Eat Drink RI’s Facebook page and to purchase tickets at www.eatdrinkri.com/festival.

But, wait.. I’m giving away a PRIZE. With a capital P.

I have 2 sets of 2 tickets to Saturday’s GRAND TASTING event to give away! Two winners will be randomly chosen next Monday, March 25th! Each set of tickets are a $200 value!!!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below about what part of the festival you’re most excited about.

Who will we see there???

** Eat Drink RI is the brainchild of David Dadekian, local food writer/photographer, private chef and cooking instructor, and is one of the top online outlets in the region for all things culinary. Created in 2010, the news resource covers local food events, chefs & restaurants, the beverage industry, and locally-produced artisanal products. In partnership with Brendan Chipley Roane, Director of Marketing & Events for Gracie’s, Dadekian launches the Eat Drink RI Festival.

Enjoy a clip from chef David Dadekian and Gracie’s DOM Brendan Chipley’s recent feature on The Rhode Show!

Blackbird Farm Skirt Steak Fajitas


  1. Olivia Peloquin March 18, 2013

    I would love to attend this! I love good food and I'm supporter of local small businesses.

  2. carina March 18, 2013

    I would love to take my husband! We are always on the hunt to find local places to eat & new recipes to try. The "Truck Stop" sounds especially fun.

  3. Leah DeCesare March 18, 2013

    Happy to learn about this - I shared it on FB! Thanks!

  4. Jackie March 18, 2013

    You had me at Eat, Drink and Truck Stop. ;) I can't wait! Shared it on Twitter too. Thank you!

  5. Michelle D March 18, 2013

    I think the Friday Truck Stop is going to be fantastic!

  6. David Stewart March 18, 2013

    I would love to try all yummy food/drinks and great music. Just moved to town and would love to attend this event.
    Thank you!!!

  7. Patrick Moran March 18, 2013

    Definitely the Eat Local event. Have to, have to, HAVE TO support our local farmers and food producers in this economy. Not to mention that we have so many amazing ones in this state from farm fresh produce and meats, fisherman, wineries, breweries, cheese makers, honey, sodas - I could keep going and going!

  8. Stephanie Kay March 18, 2013

    The truck stop benefit sounds like fun! While the grand tasting sounds delicious.

  9. Rachel M. March 18, 2013

    It is a toss-up between cocktails, the tasting and brunch!

  10. Dana H March 18, 2013

    Growing in the "Sticks" as known as Glocester, Rhode Island we always support our Local Farmers and Community so that's always exciting news. Helping out the small farms. I'm most excited about the Brews that I could taste. I love finding new brews that I would of never tried on my own.

  11. Rachel Ko March 18, 2013

    It all sounds amazing! The truck stop looks great and for a good cause. Also, the brunch seems to have some great chefs and entertainment packed in one!

  12. Chelley / AisForAdelaide March 18, 2013

    Oh my goodness... to know you is to be blessed :)

    This sounds SO amazing!!!! Being a JWU grad, I am obsessed with NOTHING about RI EXCEPT our amazing foodie culture- THIS is the place to be for innovative food and food concepts. Brewing in RI sounds amazing. Sean Larkin (Revival) is amazing and puts so much heart and soul into each bath he creates. What a cool event!

  13. Jennifer D March 18, 2013

    The whole festival sounds amazing! I'm excited to have found out about this! I think the eat local discussion is very important. It's a valuable discussion to raise awareness to all the great locally grown food we have here, and how vital business is to these local farms!

  14. Michelle March 18, 2013

    Wow! The entire event sounds absolutely amazing! I can't decide! Also, I had no idea that Providence, RI won the award- but I believe it! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win such an amazing experience!

  15. diane sabatini March 18, 2013

    I'm most looking forward to the education panels. I love local, fresh food. So proud to know our little state has the best of the best. Thank you!

  16. Angela Vescera March 18, 2013

    Omg! I am so excited about the food trucks!! My husband and I are always trying to track one down without success ! I am thrilled to know they will all be in one spot. I will definitely bring my appetite!!!

  17. mel March 18, 2013

    Oh, I would LOVE to win!!! For me, it is definitely the food trucks!

  18. M.Daugherty March 19, 2013

    I think the Grand Tasting sounds fabulous. I always like to try local food/food goods and would rather help keep our local farms active and prosperous if I can.

  19. Danielle March 19, 2013

    This sounds so fun! Especially the booze & food part. This mama could use a night out!

  20. Sounds like a great event!!! Sharing...

  21. Kim in RI March 20, 2013

    OMG! You have no idea how excited I am for this festival! I would love to go to the Grand Tasting, but also all of the other educational presentations are my cup of tea too! Thanks for this opportunity! Would love to win!

  22. Jennifer M March 20, 2013

    Truck Stop GET IN MA BELLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Pat M March 20, 2013

    If only for the Mijo's tacos, I'm most excited about the Friday Food Truck event!

  24. Jenny March 21, 2013

    I would love to attend this, the whole event sounds awesome. The truck stop sounds amazing! Know if there are any gluten-free options?

  25. Nancy March 21, 2013

    The whole festival sounds great, especially, the grand tasting! Would love to attend! What a great giveaway!

  26. Sheryl E. March 21, 2013

    It all sounds great, but I am especially looking forward to the Food Truck event and the Grand Tasting!

  27. Keith March 21, 2013

    Looking forward to the entire weekend, but especially the Grand Tasting. I am hoping to find some new and interesting wines and beers!

  28. Tyler March 21, 2013

    Every thing sounds so good. Saturday seems to be packed with awesomeness. Would love to check this out.

  29. Jennifer McGrath March 21, 2013

    This sounds like a great event! I am most excited to see what wines RI has to offer since I live in MA. I am a wine lover and cannot wait to see the food and wine pairings from my neighbors at Saturday's Grand Tasting! And what better location than the iconic Biltmore!?

  30. Jane's Dad March 22, 2013

    I'm excited about the food truck event. Lots of good food, and helping out a good cause.

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    My name is Jen. I have a contagiously funny husband, three awesomely gorgeous daughters, a knack for design, a love for writing, an obsession with kids fashion, a secret desire to be a photographer and a curfew of 10 pm. WHO'S WITH ME?
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