News Bites: birch, Wintertime Farmers Market, Meatless Holidays e-book, Southside Community Land Trust, Judd Brown Designs with Siena

by David Dadekian
Time Magazine's "Coming To You From A Restaurant Far Away" by Aaron Arizpe, Graphic by Heather Jones for TIME

Time Magazine’s “Coming To You From A Restaurant Far Away” by Aaron Arizpe, Graphic by Heather Jones for TIME

Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.


This week, as part of their Time 100, Time Magazine International and iPad editions published a family tree (of sorts) by Aaron Arizpe, showing the connection many chefs around the world have back to a few superstars such as Thomas Keller, Alain Passard and Ferran and Albert Adrià. One of the chefs mentioned as “from the kitchen of” famed Copenhagen Chef Rene Redzepi is Providence’s own Benjamin Sukle of birch.

Sukle is listed under Redzepi’s “branch” along with a specialty dish, Block Island swordfish belly. Take a look at the full graphic at

Wintertime Farmers Market

Farmers Market Offers Community Events November Through January

Farm Fresh Rhode Island is hosting a series of community events during the Wednesday evening Wintertime Farmers Market at Hope Artiste Village – 1005 Main St, Pawtucket, RI. The Wednesday Market will be open from 4-7pm, November through January this season, and each week will feature a different workshop or event facilitated by various community partners. There will also be several cooking demos by chef educators. All events are free and open to the public. Shop for your mid-week fruits and veggies every week through January and bring the whole family!

Here is a preview of market workshops for the 2013-2014 season:

  • November 6 – On opening night of the market Whole Foods Market University Heights and Jamie Oliver at Home will host a cooking demo and free screening of the documentary Orchards in the Ocean State. The documentary screening will start at 7:30pm, directly following the market, and will be located adjacent to the market hallway in Suite 8224.
  • December 11 – Chickens in the City….say what?!? 5pm. Come join Leo and Nicole Pollock for a comprehensive primer on urban chicken-keeping. Expect to learn about how to choose the right coop, pick your ladies, manage chicken waste, and how to ensure your chicken operation is legal. Leo and Nicole Pollock live in Providence, where they garden, raise chickens, and tend numerous home compost piles. They helped pass Providence’s chicken ordinance in 2010 and continue to work with other RI communities to encourage urban chicken keeping state-wide.
  • December 18 – Visit the market for your holiday fruits and veggies, and be treated to a Holiday Local Wine and Beer Tasting! More than 7 breweries and vineyards will sample their best. Plus, a cooking demo and live music.
  • January 22 – Bring the whole family for an evening of art activities at the Youth Art Show! Hosted by Mike Bryce Studios. The theme for submissions is “Farms and Food”, and artists should be under 18 years old. Submit youth artwork at the Wintertime Farmers Market, any Saturday or Wednesday in December or January (before January 23). Prizes will be awarded. Please include with the submission: Name of artist, Age, Name of work, Type of work (e.g. watercolors, acrylic, sculpture). Questions? Contact
  • January 29 – 2012 Farms and Food Job Fair – Learn about internship and job opportunities on the farm, garden, or at the market. Speak with employers directly and apply on the spot.

For a full schedule of workshops visit No markets on December 25th and 31st.

Community Market Tours are also available during the Wednesday Market. Bring your business, school, or neighborhood for a behind-the-scenes look at the winter market season. Speak with farmers, taste local samples, learn price comparisons, and ask questions. To schedule a tour please contact

Farm Fresh Rhode Island is growing a local food system that values environment, health, and quality of life of Rhode Island farmers and eaters. With this mission in mind, we seek to preserve Rhode Island farmland, build healthier communities, support and strengthen community-based businesses in Rhode Island, increase access to fresh food, and improve the impact of food production and distribution on the environment.

Meatless Holidays by Lydia Walshin

Meatless Holidays by Lydia Walshin

Meatless Holidays e-book

Around the holiday table here at the log house, you’ll find a giant stew pot of turkey lovers, vegetarians, diabetics, picky kids, picky adults, at least one vegan, and occasional guests who are gluten-free, dairy-free, or both. Getting a meal on the table for all of them reminds me of a scene from a Steve Martin movie. (You know the one I mean.)

If this sounds like your house, you’re probably wondering how to please everyone without making seventeen different meals, without serving the vegetarians and vegans only the side dishes cast aside by the omnivores, and with your sanity intact at the end of the feast.

Meatless Holidays, my new e-book, gives you ideas and more ideas for appetizers, side dishes, and meatless main dishes that will delighteveryone at your table. If you’re an omnivore cooking for vegetarians or vegans, don’t panic! This book will help you select easy, satisfying, interesting recipes, with lots of mix-and-match possibilities.

The 35 featured recipes (full-color photos of each one) include many that have not been published here, as well as old favorites I’ve veggified, veganized, and simplified. In addition, I’ve included links to 125 vegetarian and vegan recipes — festive, not fussy — that would be great on any holiday menu.

Remember, you can read my books on ANY computer, tablet or smart phone, with the FREE Kindle Reading app. So, grab the app here.

Then, click here to download Meatless Holidays. (If you have an actual Kindle and Amazon Prime, you can borrow the book free of charge. And if you want to get a free sample, you can read it on any device.)

Click to read this entire post with Lydia Walshin’s recipe for Herb dressing with figs and pine nuts.

Southside Community Land Trust

New Federal Funds to Help Grow Urban Agriculture in Providence

U.S. Senators & SCLT to announce over a quarter million dollars to help refugee gardeners plant roots in the community and cultivate food security

Friday, November 8 at 12:45 p.m., U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse will join with Margaret DeVos, Executive Director of the Southside Community Land Trust (SCLT), non-profit leaders, community gardeners, and volunteers to announce over $250,000 in federal funds to support urban agriculture and refugee resettlement in Providence.

SCLT has been selected as one of 11 organizations nationwide to receive a federal grant from the Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP). Other sites selected include New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Tampa, FL; Cleveland, OH; and Nashville, TN. Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island will also be working under the grant to support the initiative.

This funding will allow new refugees to grow food for their families and neighbors and accelerate their transition to becoming self-sufficient and active members of the community. In addition to providing fresh, affordable, and locally grown food, SCLT’s initiative will turn underutilized land into plots of verdant, sustainable, community assets.

After leading the senators on a tour, Ms. DeVos, Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, and the community gardeners and volunteers will help clean up the garden and prepare it for winter.

WHO: U.S. Senator Jack Reed
U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Southside Community Land Trust Executive Director Margaret DeVos
Community gardeners
Refugees who have come to Rhode Island from places like Bhutan, Burundi, Iran, Liberia, and other nations
SCLT Board of Directors and volunteers

WHEN: Friday, November 8 at 12:45 p.m.

WHERE: Brattle Community Garden
52 Brattle Street

Judd Brown Designs with Siena

Judd Brown Designs Completes Highly Anticipated Third Location for Siena Restaurant Group
New Siena Location in Smithfield Embodies True Italian Influence

Judd Brown Designs (JBD), together with their sister architectural firm, Jefferson Group Architects (JGA), located at 700 School Street in Pawtucket, RI, has completed the third location for the iconic eatery. Siena’s new location at 400 Putnam Pike in Smithfield, brings coveted Italian cuisine closer to residents in northern Rhode Island.

JBD and JGA who specializes in hospitality projects, worked very closely with the owners of Siena to create an authentic and comfortable home for their new location. “We were very excited to work with Siena again on this project,” said Judd Brown, President of Judd Brown Designs. “They are a staple in the Rhode Island community, and their restaurants really strive to bring authentic Italian culture and cuisine to the area.” Judd Brown Designs was charged with designing the entire space that consists of a 220-seat main dining room, private dining room, bar area, and state-of-art kitchen. After 12 months of construction lead by DCI Construction Inc., Siena in Smithfield officially opened its doors in June 2013.

It was important that the new eatery convey a strong Siena brand heritage of rustic Tuscan influence. Therefore, JBD and JGA paid much attention to all elements, from the overall vision to the small details, brining authenticity to all the spaces.

The design team was very intentional in every element selected, from the sourcing of materials by Rhode Island vendors to custom fixtures that truly gave a Tuscan feel. The Italian heritage came to life in many ways including: porcelain plank flooring, rustic beam wood in the ceilings to look like an Italian farmhouse, custom wall murals celebrating the town of Siena, and a rough stone fireplace.

In addition to a traditional old-world Italian feel, the designers also incorporated an updated and modern aesthetic. Contemporary touches are seen throughout, most noticeable is the open kitchen which is visible from the dining room, “so that diners are able to experience the theater of the cooking experience from a celebrated chef,” said Brown.

“JBD brought our vision to life with this new location,” said Christopher Tarro, co-owner of Siena Restaurant Group. “They understood the aesthetic and importance developing a rustic Tuscan atmosphere, and brought that to life. We are so excited to welcome patrons to this new beautiful location.”

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