Coming Sunday, October 16: Chefs Collaborative RI Farm Picnic

by David Dadekian
Chef Derek Wagner of Nick's on Broadway gets the picnic bonfire going

Chef Derek Wagner of Nick’s on Broadway gets the picnic bonfire going

On Sunday, October 16, from 4 – 7 p.m., Chefs Collaborative, a non-profit organization that works with chefs and the greater food community to celebrate local foods and foster a more sustainable food supply, is collaborating with some of Rhode Island’s best “farm-to-fork” chefs to promote awareness of local and sustainable ingredients available in the Ocean State. The event Co-Chairs, Chefs Derek Wagner of Nick’s on Broadway in Providence and Jake Rojas of Tallulah on Thames in Newport are teaming up with Chefs Mike McHugh of Julian’s, Ed Reposa of Thee Red Fez, Matthew Varga of Gracie’s and Beau Vestal of New Rivers—all in Providence, Chad Hoffer & Tyler Burnley of TSK (Thames Street Kitchen) in Newport and Eli Dunn of The Beehive Café in Bristol to create a home-style barbecue-themed menu that is locally sourced.

Schartner Farms in Exeter, Rhode Island is where An Autumn Harvest will celebrate local and sustainable food.  The fundraiser is to support Chefs Collaborative & to establish a Rhode Island Chapter of Chefs that can network and represent the state in culinary competitions, dinners, and fundraisers, promoting Rhode Island as a “farm-to-fork” culinary destination. It will also aid Rhode Island chefs in working together with their communities to bring more awareness of buying local and sourcing sustainable products through dinners, events, and programs at each chef’s restaurant.

“This event is so exciting as it’s a collaboration of chefs and patrons from the north part of the state to the south,” said Co-Chair Jake Rojas. Co-Chair Derek Wagner said, “This was by far the most fun event of 2010, and we’re really looking forward to it again this year. We set up right on the farm with open spits and smokers to barbecue, eat, drink and celebrate the local harvest. It’s a small, casual, fun event, truly a picnic meant to honor the farm to fork movement, with dedicated RI chefs, farmers and food lovers!”

“We are very pleased and excited to be working with such a wonderful and forward thinking group of chefs. Not only is the food coming out of Rhode Island delicious, but the chefs cooking for this event really strive to cultivate a vibrant, sustainable community,” said Chefs Collaborate Executive Director Melissa Kogut. Added Chef Vestal, “It’s a great opportunity to cook with friends, have a great time, all the while bringing awareness to the issue of local sustainable food that we all keep close to our heart. It’s a chance for guests to experience great food from their favorite restaurants while supporting Chefs Collaborative, which does so much to support chefs, farmers, and food artisans.”

There will be hayrides for the children, a scavenger hunt, silent auction, food & beverage, music and your favorite “farm-to-fork” chefs to mingle with. Silent Auction items have been donated from chefs such as Matt Jennings of La Laiterie at Farmstead in Providence. It’s a perfect event for families & friends.  Ticket holders are encouraged to bring a blanket for the picnic. The event is $45/adult, $20/children ages 5-13, children under 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased online.

Photos from last year’s event.

Bacon and swordfish from La Laiterie at Farmstead

Bacon and swordfish from La Laiterie at Farmstead

Nick's on Broadway sausages with mustard

Nick’s on Broadway sausages with mustard

Chez Pascal's chicken livers wrapped in bacon

Chez Pascal’s chicken livers wrapped in bacon

James Mark of Nick's on Broadway's in action at the smoker grill

James Mark of Nick’s on Broadway’s in action at the smoker grill

Julian's Chef Mike McHugh (foreground) and Ocean House's Chef Eric Haugen (at back) grilling flatbreads

Julian’s Chef Mike McHugh (foreground) and Ocean House’s Chef Eric Haugen (at back) grilling flatbreads

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