On Tuesday, February 5th, the fifth annual I HEART PROVIDENCE was held at Providence City Hall. This year’s event included a culinary competition with the theme East Side vs. West Side. East Side chefs Nemo Bolin of Cook & Brown Public House, Brandy Schwalbe of The Duck & Bunny, and Paul Jalaf of Vanity “battled” against West Side chefs Mike McHugh of Julians, James Mark of North, and Jonathan Dille of The Grange, a plant-based restaurant from the owner of Garden Grille opening in March.
The judges, David Dadekian of Eat Drink RI, Chef Branden Lewis of Johnson & Wales University and Chef Matthew Varga of Gracie’s, blind tasted the dishes from the six contenders and unanimously decided that The Duck & Bunny’s Chef Brandy Schwalbe’s bacon bread pudding was the winner for best dish. The judges also unanimously named the East Side as the side of Providence with the best food that evening. The People’s Choice vote went to the West Side.
Congratulations to The Duck & Bunny and Chef Schwalbe, as well as to all the participating restaurants who greatly impressed the judges and attendees.
I HEART PROVIDENCE founder Mike Ritz has declared 2014’s event will be themed “Will you marry me?” Ritz posted to Facebook, “Get ready to formalize your love with the city and that special someone. Take the big leap . . . renew your vows . . .dedicate yourself to a principle/idea . . .take an oath to your great city . . .make a lasting commitment in 2014 at I HEART PROVIDENCE.”