Eat Drink RI Festival Rhode Island’s First-Ever Three-Day Local Food Celebration Comes to Providence

by David Dadekian

Eat Drink RI Festival

Friday, April 19 through Sunday, April 21

PROVIDENCE, RI (March 1, 2013) – Celebrating the best of the culinary world in Rhode Island, the 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, the city ranked #1 for Food / Drink / Restaurants in Travel + Leisure‘s “America’s Favorite Cities 2012.”

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 Persimmon, Blackbird Farm, Jonathan Edwards Winery, James Beard Foundation Rising Star semifinalist Benjamin Sukle of The Dorrance, United States Bartenders’ Guild RI, Revival Brewing, Allen Farms, Dave’s Coffee, among others.

“Rhode Island’s culinary roots run very deep and have helped play a major role in the state’s unique identity and culture,” says Martha Sheridan, President & CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The Eat Drink RI Festival will celebrate our local food community and embrace a very important component of our heritage.”

The Eat Drink RI Festival is sponsored in part by Johnson & Wales University, world-renowned for its College of Culinary Arts and a driving force behind the rise of Providence as a top culinary destination on the world stage; and family-owned charcuterie maker Daniele, Inc., a proud member of the RI culinary community since 1976.

Festival highlights include:


Truck Stop to Benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank – Bank of America Center, Kennedy Plaza
The Festival will kick-off with tastings from 10 of Rhode Island’s best mobile restaurants, and pairings by Jonathan Edwards Winery and Narragansett Brewery.  Benefiting Rhode Island Community Food Bank, the Stop’s participating trucks include Championship Melt, Clam Jammers, Flour Girls Baking Co., Hewtin’s Dogs Mobile, Joedega, Like No Udder, Mijos Tacos, Rocket Fine Street Food, and Tallulah. “Truck Stop showcases the best of Rhode Island—our culinary talents as well as our compassion for those who are struggling to feed their families,” says Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

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 Abernethy, Jonathan 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 Farms, Aquidneck 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 Denmark, Food & 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.

For more information about the Eat Drink RI Festival or to purchase tickets, please visit online, on Facebook at

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