Coming Sunday, October 14: 2012 Chefs Collaborative RI Farm Picnic

by David Dadekian
Nick's on Broadway's wood grill at the 2011 Picnic

Nick’s on Broadway’s wood grill at the 2011 Picnic

On Sunday, October 14, 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 Matthew Gennuso of Chez Pascal, Mike McHugh of Julian’s, David Reynoso of Al Forno, Darius Salko of Tini, Matthew Varga of Gracie’s and Beau Vestal of New Rivers—all in Providence, Champe Speidel of Persimmon and Eli Dunn of The Beehive Café in Bristol, and Tyler Burnley of TSK (Thames Street Kitchen) in Newport to create a locally sourced, home-style barbecue-themed menu. Wine will be provided by local vintners Greenvale Vineyards in Portsmouth and Jonathan Edwards Winery in North Stonington, Connecticut. Local breweries Grey Sail Brewing Company of Westerly and Revival Brewing Co. will be offering beer selections.

An Autumn Harvest will celebrate local and sustainable food at Schartner Farms in Exeter, Rhode Island. The fundraiser is to support Chefs Collaborative and to support the Rhode Island Chefs Collaborative Local, a group of chefs that network together to 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 is by far my favorite event of the year. An event that truly celebrates all of the things that we as cooks, chefs, farmers, artisans and food lovers are so passionate about, hand-crafted food and drink, the farm, the fall harvest in New England and our sense of community,” said R.I. Local co-leader Derek Wagner. “This is our 3rd year and it just keeps getting better and better. This is an event put on by chefs for chefs and gives us the opportunity to break bread with our friends and fellow food lovers in the most fun, sincere and beautiful setting possible: on the farm.”

“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.”

Chefs Collaborative is a partner with the National Food Day, a nationwide celebration of and movement toward more healthy, affordable, and sustainable food culminating in a day of action on October 24 every year. The Rhode Island Farm Picnic embodies Food Day’s message of “Eat Real” and seeks to reinforce Food Day’s aim to bring us closer to a food system with “real food” that is produced with care for the environment, animals and the women and men who grow, harvest, and serve it. For more information about National Food Day, visit

The Rhode Island Farm Picnic is a perfect event for families and friends. Ticket holders are encouraged to bring a blanket for the picnic and enjoy the pristine beauty of the pond-side environs of Schartner Farms. The event is $55/adults, $25/children ages 8-18, children under 8 are free. Tickets include all the food and beverage offerings and can be purchased online at

Photos from last year’s event.

Panorama of the Schartner Farms site. Please click the image for a larger version.

Panorama of the Schartner Farms site. Please click the image for a larger version.

Gracie's Executive Chef Matthew Varga at his barbecue pit

Gracie’s Executive Chef Matthew Varga at his barbecue pit

A full Steamship Round (leg of beef) from Blackbird Farm on the Gracie's grill

A full Steamship Round (leg of beef) from Blackbird Farm on the Gracie’s grill

The Beehive's grilled pizza

The Beehive’s grilled pizza

Leave a Reply