News Bites: RI James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist, Farm Fresh RI March Madness, Haven Brothers Documentary on RIPBS, Green with Bleu Workshop Series at Hope & Main, The Mooring’s Weekly Specials

by David Dadekian
Chef Champe Speidel at Persimmon Provisions

Chef Champe Speidel at Persimmon Provisions

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

Another James Beard Foundation Nod for Persimmon’s Champe Speidel

The 2015  James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards Semifinalists were recently announced and Rhode Island’s own Chef Champe Speidel, co-owner of Persimmon in Bristol and Persimmon Provisions in Barrington, was named in the Best Chef: Northeast category.

The Semifinalists will be narrowed down to a list of finalists on Tuesday, March 24 and then winners will be announced at the Awards Gala in New York City on May 4 at what is essentially the Oscars® ceremony of the food world. View the complete list of semifinalists here.


March Madness at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market

Seasonal Sales, Cooking Demos, Games, Events and Prizes!

March is a challenging month for local farmers. It signals the start of a long thaw from a harsh winter and the beginning of work for planning next year’s harvest. It is also typically a slow time for retail sales at the market. Given the seasonality of farming, March is the time of year when farmers and producers need your business and support the most.

To celebrate these local heroes, Farm Fresh Rhode Island is hosting March Madness at the Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market. Shop at the market every Saturday in March to take advantage of seasonal sales and participate in a series of events, cooking demos, and a one-of-a-kind scavenger hunt and raffle with a chance to win over $250 in prizes.

March Madness Events include:

  • March 7th – Cooking Demos by Chef Scott of Melville Grille and Chef Fab of Nosh Eatery
  • March 14th – Humble Pie’s Second Annual Pi(e) Day Pie Eating Contest
  • March 21st – Hope & Main and Bucket Brewery Sample Showcase
  • March 28th – Cooking Demo by the African Alliance of Rhode Island

What to expect:

  • Baskets . . . of delicious produce to feature on your dinner table!
  • Dunks . . . of fresh baked-goods into steamy, locally roasted coffee!
  • Hoops . . . used to support greenhouses that make winter harvests possible!
  • Nets . . . that harvest fresh-caught seafood!

Participating in March Madness is a great way to support local agriculture, empower small businesses and create a vibrant community with local food at the center of every table. To find out more about March Madness, visit

The Pawtucket Wintertime Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 9am – 1pm at the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket. Take advantage of RIPTA’s R-Line to be dropped off at the door of 1005 Main Street in Pawtucket!


Original Food Truck Movie TV Premiere on RI PBS!
Thursday, March 5, 9:30 p.m.

The Original Food Truck,” Haven Brothers: Legacy of the American Diner tells the story of Haven Brothers Diner, the oldest operating diner on wheels. The original fast food – and the first food truck owned by woman – this late night lunch cart has served patrons for more than 120 years.

“The Original Food Truck,” Haven Brothers: Legacy of the American Diner premieres on Rhode Island PBS on Thursday, March 5 at 9:30 p.m. David Piccerelli, Rhode Island PBS president, and Margie O’Brien, television producer, present the documentary in segments taped in a full-size replica of a diner exhibited inside the Culinary Arts Museum on the Johnson & Wales University Bayside Campus. Museum Curator and diner expert Richard Gutman provides entertaining and informative information about the original “fast food joints.”

Located in the birthplace of the American diner, Providence, RI, the Haven Brothers diner was almost lost to the modernizing of Providence. The political decision to move the diner from its reserved parking spot next to Providence City Hall was considered blasphemous by its loyal followers, and the ensuing public outrage successfully reversed the ill-conceived notion.

The documentary recounts that story, as well as traces the history of Haven Brothers truck and its owners over the years. The story is told by dozens of fans, in what quickly becomes an endearing, humorous cavalcade of Rhode Island’s famous and infamous personalities. Only in Rhode Island!

The story of Haven Brothers is a rich commentary on the American Dream, the American diet, and what it is to be a success.


Hope & Main's 'Green with Bleu' series

Hope & Main’s ‘Green with Bleu’ series

‘Green with Bleu’ Series to Offer Classes on Bone Broth, Fermentation, Seeding and more

New Englanders can forget this winter’s weather and start focusing on spring in the upcoming ‘Green with Bleu’ workshop series at Hope & Main.

Led by the Bleu Grijalva of New Urban Farmers, the nine-class series will run March through May and include Basics of Bone Broth, Fermentation Basics, B is for Brassicas, Easy Seed Starting, The Succession Garden and more. Cost ranges from $25-$33, with supplies included in the registration fee.

Classes are offered on Wednesday evenings from 6-8 p.m., and will take place at Hope & Main, 691 Main Street in Warren. Registration is required. Complete class list:

March 11: Easy Seed Starting in the Garden and Indoors
Starting seeds early is essential for planning out quality succession planting in your garden. From soil and substrates and indoor lighting to basic care needs, this class will explore the simple and easy steps to seed starting directly in the garden and indoors. The workshop will also include demonstrations on cloning, soil blocking and more. Participants who are fans of heirloom and special varieties of garden favorites like tomatoes, peppers, flowers and herbs, will learn how to improve garden growth and increase harvest. Students will leave class with seeds galore! Cost: $29. Register:

March 18: Necessary Nourishment: Feeding Plants for Healthy Harvest
What is an organic fertilizer? Can you compost at home? Get answers to all of your organic gardening questions and learn the basic principles and techniques of foliar feeding, soil amendments and simple observation skills. We will discuss various nutrient techniques and forms of growing, including biodynamics and soil mineralization, and practices to help you provide plants with the extra nutrients to ensure plant health and a bountiful organic fruit and vegetable harvest. Cost: $29. Register:

March 25: The Succession Garden
This class will focus on how to cultivate a perfect succession garden at home. Participants will learn how to plant one crop after another and to interplant gardens to maximize seasonal harvest. When you grow within a short and intense planting season it is important to plan on proper soil amendments throughout your season. This workshop will walk you from spring through fall on crop planning and soil-fertilizer plans to make your garden grow to your desired needs, as well as how food crops, herb plants and flowers all can be grown together to benefit each other when planted with good planning. This class is great for folks who like to grow a variety of plants and for those who want to maximize garden yields during the growing season. Cost: $25. Register:

April 1: Living Soils
Soil is a living system and the heartbeat of your garden. When we begin to understand what soil health means we can then determine how best to support the life in the soil, eliminating dependence on synthetic pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. By encouraging organisms in the soil, we get healthy soil and clean water, sequester carbon, and grow beautiful landscapes and food crops that truly nurture us from the inside out. This class will touch on how to create and maintain a healthy soil. Learn how to nourish your soil that will ultimately nourish you! Cost: $25. Register:

April 8: Basics of Bone Broth
Referred to as a great gut soother and beauty elixir, bone broth is a super healing food that is said to help to ease food intolerance and allergies, heal a leaky gut, strengthen joints, ease depression and anxiety, strengthen hair, skin and nails, and boost the immune system. This class will discuss the benefits of homemade broth and the importance of properly sourcing your ingredients. Drawing inspiration from “Nourishing Traditions” and “The Heal Your Gut Cookbook,” participants will learn various preparation techniques for busy cooks and will walk away with a week’s worth of nutrient-dense recipes based on variations of this wonderful traditional food. The workshop will also include a general discussion about gelatin, collagen, broth, and healing the gut for optimal health. We will also have samples of broth to share and enjoy. Cost: $33 (includes materials). Register:

April 15: Fermentation Basics
An introduction to the ancient practice of fermentation, this workshop will demonstrate three do-it-yourself recipes in fermenting vegetables, Kombucha (fermented tea) and Tsukemono (Japanese pickles). Using lactic acid fermentation, or lacto-fermentation, this process is among the most common preservation methods and one of the easiest to experiment with at home. An anaerobic process in which bacteria convert sugar into lactic acid, the process acts as a preservative and creates beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and various strains of probiotics. Whether you’re an enthusiast of culinary tradition, interested in potential health benefits or simply enjoy trying new food preparation techniques, this class will be your how-to guide in creating ferments at home. Cost: $33 (includes canning jars, materials). Register:

April 22: B is for Brassica
Dive deep into the delicious and bountiful world of Brassicas! Impress your friends and neighbors with year-round kale, broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens and more, grown right on your balcony, along driveway or in your backyard. In this class we will learn how to cultivate these well-adapted and nutritious vegetables in coastal New England gardens. We will learn the history of these delectable vegetables along with how to plant, grow, harvest and, of course, how to cook and eat them too. Cost: $25. Register:

April 29: Organic Lawn and Garden Care at Home
Planning, creativity and sustainable products are essential for flourishing organic gardening systems and low-maintenance organic lawns. Learn more about effective and natural maintenance practices that will keep your lawn beautiful while keeping your labor to a minimum. Topics covered will include weed control, watering techniques, food & fertilizers, pest management, mulch and other organic cultivation tips to keep both your lawn and garden on track. This class will save you time and money on your lawn and garden care at home – no need to pay expensive lawn care fees when you can do it all at home chemical-free! Cost: $25. Register:

May 6: Greens with Bleu
Fresh salad greens are one of the most exciting and rewarding crops to grow year-round in the Rhode Island coastal climate. A salad from your garden can be so much more than a bowl of plain chopped lettuce. From common greens like arugula and spinach, to under-appreciated wild edibles like purslane and amaranth, salad consists of diverse shapes, colors, textures, flavors and nutrients. In this hands-on class, participants will discuss potential plants as well review tips you need to know about producing and collecting your own salad greens from seed to the dinner table. Participants will prepare salads to taste and walk away with seeds to get your salad garden. Cost: $33 (Includes seeds!). Register:

About Hope & Main: As Rhode Island’s first culinary business incubator, Hope & Main’s nonprofit incubator program helps local entrepreneurs jump-start early-stage food companies and food related businesses by providing low cost, low risk access to shared-use commercial kitchens and other industry-specific technical resources. Members benefit from extensive mentoring, access to fully-equipped and affordable work space, and immersion in an entrepreneurial environment where they can collaborate with industry experts and peers. Hope & Main’s aim is to create a community of support for food entrepreneurs and to serve as a springboard for the launch and growth of new culinary enterprises. Applications are open.


Step into The Mooring and Enhance the Week with Delicious Seafood Experiences on Newport’s Historic Waterfront

Newport’s Award-Winning Dining Destination Introduces Unique Weekly Specials

WHO: The Mooring, an award-winning Seafood Kitchen & Bar offering the freshest local seafood, al fresco seating, expansive harbor views, and warm hospitality, has created weekly specials worthy of celebration.

WHAT: The Mooring invites diners to stray away from weekly routines and experience a taste of New England life. Elevating the Newport seafood tradition to a new level since 1981, The Mooring provides casual elegance while maintaining the relaxed Newport charm.

Beat the Monday blues with Build Your Own Prix-Fixe Mondays – where guests are invited to build a unique prix-fixe from the seasonal menu. First, choose from any soup or salad, then complement it with a choice of any entrée, and finally end with a delicious seasonal dessert. This customized 3-course offering is available every Monday for only $30.

Celebrate the best of New England with Half-Price Raw Bar Wednesdays. Sample the freshest local seafood every Wednesday with half-off the ever-changing assortment of raw bar offerings, including “top-of-catch” oysters, littlenecks, shrimp, lobster, and more.

Bring a friend, family member or loved one and enjoy a dinner for two with Paella Thursdays. This seafood comfort dish of paella for two is served with a pitcher of sangria for only $55. The old world-style paella is prepared with whole lobster, clams, mussels, chicken, shrimp, calamari, rice, sausage, and saffron-garlic sofrito paried with house-made sangria.

WHEN: Build Your Own Prix Fixe Mondays
Every Monday
11:30AM – 9:00PM

Half-Price Raw Bar
Every Wednesday
11:30AM – 9:00PM

Paella for Two Thursdays
Every Thursday
11:30AM – 9:00PM

WHERE: The Mooring
1 Sayers Wharf
Newport, RI 02840

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