News Bites: Roger Williams University Eat Local Challenge / “Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day” Author Leanne Brown at RI Farmers Markets / Sage Cellars Brings Rebel Coast Wine to RI

by David Dadekian

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

RWU Celebrates Local Food Community with Annual Eat Local Challenge

Chef Cambra prepares tasty and nutritious meals today featuring fresh produce, fish and meat exclusively sourced from New England farms and vendors

RWU staff, including Chef de Cuisine Jon Cambra at right, prepare food for the Eat Local Challenge

RWU staff, including Chef de Cuisine Jon Cambra at right, prepare food for the Eat Local Challenge

Today, the University joins together to celebrate the Annual Eat Local Challenge – a day on which the campus community comes together to sample farm-fresh foods at the outdoor farmer’s market and feast on regionally authentic dishes in the dining commons, all to celebrate the importance of environmentally responsible food sourcing.

For this year’s Eat Local Challenge, Chef de Cuisine Jon Cambra will highlight Rhode Island’s best with dishes – grilled swordfish kabobs, lobster sliders, braised beef pot roast and scallop ceviche, among other menu items. The dining commons will also feature a chilled raw bar featuring littleneck clams, onset oysters and east beach blond oysters. Other specialty dishes will include seaweed salad, potato leek soup and eggplant roulades with autumn squash and goat cheese. All of the ingredients are harvesting within 150 miles of the campus.

The Eat Local Challenge is in its 11th year and was created in 1999 when Bon Appétit launched its Farm to Fork program, in which all Bon Appétit chefs have been required to source at least 20 percent of their ingredients from small, owner-operated farms within that radius.

RWU is committed to sourcing a majority of its fresh ingredients from local farms, fisherman and artisans throughout the year. From eggs to potatoes to dairy, many food items come directly from farms in Rhode Island or Southern New England including Little Rhody Farms in Foster and Rhody Fresh in Hope. Approximately 80 percent of the fresh seafood served on campus is exclusively sourced from New England waters and purchased fresh daily from The Foley Fish company in New Bedford; 90 percent of the bread on campus is made locally at Homestead Bakery in East Providence or Calise Bakery in Lincoln, among other local bakeries.

“I’ve participated in nine Eat Local Challenges, yet each menu always ends up being very different as we get inspired to raise the bar on just how local we can go,” says General Manager, James Gubata. “I’m very excited to host our farmer’s market today too.  A few of our farm-to-fork partners join us for the day and get to chat about what they harvest and create with our guests.”

Last year, in honor of the Farm to Fork program’s 15th anniversary, Bon Appétit decided to give something back, from “Fork to Farm.” The company gave away $50,000 worth of grants to local farmers, fishermen, and foodcrafters across the country to help them grow their businesses. The 10 “Fork to Farm” grant recipients were selected from 25 finalists by RWU and other guests and Bon Appétit teams on Eat Local Challenge Day 2014, with more than 26,000 people casting votes. A year later, those small grants have had a big impact for these small farms and food businesses.

On Eat Local Challenge Day, in addition to the all-local meal, the campus community will also get short updates on the projects of their two regional grant winners; they can follow links to read more on the Bon Appétit blog. Local farmers Matt Couzens of Horse Listeners Orchard will be on hand to offer samples and talk to guests about where their food comes from.


Cookbook Author to Visit RI Farmers Markets

Farm Fresh Rhode Island is excited to host Leanne Brown author of GOOD AND CHEAP: EAT WELL ON $4/DAY at two RI farmers markets on Thursday, October 8th.  Brown, recently named one of Forbes 30 under 30 for 2015, will be visiting the West Warwick Farmers Market and the Armory Farmers Market as part of her 2015 tour.

GOOD AND CHEAP: EAT WELL ON $4/DAY (Workman; July 14, 2015; $16.95) is a cookbook like no other, demonstrating why kitchen skill, not budget, is the key to great food. GOOD AND CHEAP is not a challenge to live on so little—it’s a resource for those who face this reality, or anyone in need of stretching a tight budget. It teaches a general strategy, and shares flexible, approachable recipes—from mains like Vegetable Jambalaya, Broiled Tilapia with Lime, and Spicy Pulled Pork, to sides and snacks like Green Chile and Cheddar Quesadillas and Broiled Eggplant Salad—even drinks and desserts, like Watermelon Smoothies and Peach Coffee Cake.

In addition to sharing tasty, nutritious recipes that maximize every ingredient and use economical cooking methods, Brown gives tips on shopping, setting up a basic pantry, mastering staples, and even repurposing last night’s dinner. One page, titled “Leftovers,” offers tips on the myriad ways to make good use of old meals, like turning almost anything into a sandwich, or putting the fixings from last night on top of toast, in a wrap, or on a pizza. Eating well on $4 a day also requires a stocked pantry reserves like garlic, canned vegetables, and dried beans can go a long way towards flavor.  GOOD AND CHEAP is more than a book of recipes. It is a book of ideas, made to prove that cooking has a powerfully positive effect.

Leanne will be at the West Warwick Farmers Market, located in the parking lot of Thundermist Health Center at 180 Providence Street, from 3:00-4:15pm.  Her visit to the West Warwick market will include a live cooking demonstration, free book giveaways and book signings.  Following her stop in West Warwick, Leanne will visit the Armory Farmers Market, located at Dexter Park in Providence, from 5-6pm.  Leanne will be joining Farm Fresh RI’s nutrition education program Healthy Foods, Healthy Families which will be featuring free samples of recipes from GOOD AND CHEAP.

These two special events are made possible by the partnership between Farm Fresh RI, Thundermist Health Center, and Neighborhood Health Plan of RI.  For more information on Leanne Brown’s tour visit


Sage Cellars Brings Rebel Coast Wine to RI

A new brand with an ultra-cool west coast vibe is introduced to the wine market in RI

Rebel Coast Sunday Sunday wine

Rebel Coast Sunday Sunday wine

Sage Cellars is proud to introduce the latest edition to their portfolio of wineries, Rebel Coast Winery. With the tagline D​istractingly Sexy, ​it’s clear that this new brand is all about having fun, but don’t be fooled, this high quality wine is uniquely crafted from different regions of California and is “made by real people, for real people”. Each bottle of Rebel Coast wine embraces the passionate, rebellious and fun feeling vibes of the west coast.

Their smooth and velvety red wine, R​eckless Love i​s a 2013 Red Blend made up of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Alexander Valley in Sonoma, CA and 50% Syrah from Paso Robles, CA. Even their bottles reflect the wineries belief of a rebelicious high quality, the label is printed directly into the American made glass bottle with glow in the dark ink because, as they put it “how else can you find a bottle when the lights are off? And no one had ever done that before.”

The white blend is lovingly called Sunday Funday. Just the name makes it obvious this is a wine for everyone; this perfectly balanced blend is 90% Steel Barrel Chardonnay, 8% Sauvignon Blanc, and 2% Viognier. Every bottle has a peel off label with a ‘Sunday Funday’ to do list that will keep you laughing all day long.

Sage Cellars is thrilled that this vibrant new brand, along with its wildly entertaining, passionate and down to earth winemakers, is being brought to the Rhode Island market.

Sage Cellars is a Rhode Island based company owned and operated by trained professionals in wine and beer. Owners Anne Sage and Jesse Sgro explain: “Our passion for great craftsmanship runs deep and is born out of a life of dedicated study. Our business model is based on a simple premise: We choose to work with companies with whom we feel an equal excitement for their wines or beers and believe pairs well with the Rhode Island consumer. Our focus has been with family run vineyards, we are also a family business and understand the value in our industry. We listen closely, provide genuine and valuable support both for our quality products in our portfolio and our customers who sustain us.”

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