Category Archives: Featured Stories

Eat Drink RI launches Kickstarter campaign

RHODE ISLAND (October 16, 2017) – Eat Drink RI is excited to launch their Kickstarter campaign today to support the development of the West Park Food Hall in Providence. The Kickstarter campaign can be found at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dadekian/west-park-food-hall and runs until Wednesday, November 15 at 12 p.m.

 

Located at 235 West Park Street in the Smith Hill neighborhood, right at the end of the Valley corridor, the West Park Food Hall will be the first of its kind in Rhode Island. Made up of multiple small restaurants, community seating, an expansive bar, and a rooftop deck, the Food Hall building’s ground floor industrial area will also house a brewery, coffee roastery and other food & beverage production. The West Park Food Hall has a large parking lot that can be accessed via Jewett Street, the street above the building.

 

Having a hard time deciding on a restaurant that suits everyone’s tastes and budgets? The West Park Food Hall will be a place to meet, greet and eat. It’ll be a place to enjoy great food with your pals and your family. It’ll be a place where you can feel good about what you’re eating, knowing that you’re supporting local farms & producers, and helping local businesses thrive right here in Rhode Island. The Food Hall will be an experience of sights and sounds; a destination beyond your typical grab-and-go. Eat Drink RI anticipates a mix of familiar faces serving up some Rhode Island favorites with some newcomers to our food community.

 

Eat Drink RI has decided to crowdfund this first stage of the West Park Food Hall because of the enthusiasm from the public to see projects like this come to life in Rhode Island and an immediate need for pre-development funding. Creative projects all over the world have come to life through the use of crowdfunding: the use of various amounts of capital from a large number of individuals to finance a new business venture. Kickstarter is an online platform that showcases these projects, allowing backers to pledge their desired amount of money in exchange for certain rewards. However, funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. If the West Park Food Hall project is not fully funded, Eat Drink RI will not receive any of the pledges as backers will not be charged.

 

Eat Drink RI has curated an incredible list of one-of-a-kind reward packages that can only be experienced through this Kickstarter campaign, with something for every budget. Highlights include private tours and tastings at places like Narragansett Creamery, Sons of Liberty Beer & Spirits Co. and America’s Test Kitchen, a backyard barbecue for 100 guests by GottaQ Smokehouse BBQ, a multi-course dinner for eight prepared in your home by Rhode Island’s only James Beard Best Chef: Northeast nominee, Chef Benjamin Sukle, co-owner of birch and Oberlin in Providence, and many more.

 

The question on everyone’s mind will be, is this the Eat Drink RI Central Market project which has been in development for over three years? Eat Drink RI is still working on this project on state-owned property managed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management at 25 India St., the address formerly known as “Shooters.” The Central Market plan includes shopping, a private event space, waterfront dining, and more, and is a much more expansive project than the West Park Food Hall. Eat Drink RI continues to work with Rhode Island state entities to move the India St. site toward development, and in the meantime is finding more rapid progress with this privately owned building for the Food Hall.

 

This first round of funding being sought through Kickstarter will be used for refining the pro forma, architectural design, site improvements specific to the Food Hall and production floor, branding and logo design, and legal requirements, such as lease structure, permits and licensing. Eat Drink RI is proud to be working with Providence-based Union Studio for design and architecture and plans to engage as many Rhode Island-based companies as possible to bring this project to life.

 

The West Park Food Hall Kickstarter will run from today, Monday, October 16th, 12 p.m. through Wednesday, November 15th, 12 p.m. Please support Rhode Island’s local food economy, a robust and diverse community that creates jobs and helps small businesses grow, with a pledge to Eat Drink RI’s Kickstarter campaign.

 

Check out the details, including a video and all the rewards here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dadekian/west-park-food-hall

 

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Celebrate the harvest with a special Maine meal

KINGFIELD, ME – A nonprofit group that offers outdoor adventures in the woods of western Maine plus comfortable accommodations in its backcountry lodges, or “huts,” interconnected by trails, will celebrate the harvest September 9th with a farm-to-harvest dinner, complete with wine pairings offered by Maine Huts & Trails.

The culinary experience includes overnight lodging at the Stratton Brook hut, the harvest dinner complete with Cellardoor wines, and breakfast plus a trail lunch the next day.

The cost is $140 per person for members and $150 each for non-members. Gather around a table and share an autumnal meal with friends, the group says.

A peak at the menu shows:

  • First Course
    • Rosemary ginger pork meatball with butternut squash puree
    • Antipasto of local salami, smoked mozzarella, and marinated green olives with a balsamic reduction
    • Brushetta topped with fresh chevre and a tangy blueberry compote
  • Second Course 
    • Hand-tossed flatbread with beet pesto, ricotta and mozzarella, topped with locally foraged wild mushrooms, kale and basil
  • Third Course 
    • Gold curry soup with shaved fennel and seared scallop
  • Fourth Course 
    • Shaved cauliflower and mixed green salad with spicy soy-lime sesame vinaigrette
  • Entree
    • Gyro plate with hut made pita or naan, locally raised lamb, shaved red onion, heirloom tomato hash, ricotta tzatziki and Snow Pond goat feta
  • Dessert 
    • Thinly sliced apples baked in layers of hand-made crepes, topped with creme fraiche
  • Featured Wine

Each course will be paired with a Cellardoor wine, including their signature bottle, Double Gold Medal Monti al Mare

The accommodations are in the woods in Western Maine in backcountry lodges or “huts” interconnected by trails.

Maine Huts & Trails is committed to land preservation, protecting our natural forest resources and leaving a minimal environmental footprint.

Four “off-grid” huts and an 80-mile trail system are two hours north of Portland near Sugarloaf ski resort. Each hut has home-cooked meals, hot showers, solar lighting, composting toilets and radiant wood heat throughout. Learn more at www.mainehuts.org. To make reservations for the farm-to-harvest dinner, call 207-265-2400.

Toast the harvest Sept. 9th in the woods of Maine

KINGFIELD, ME – A nonprofit group that offers outdoor adventures in the woods of western Maine plus comfortable accommodations in its backcountry lodges, or “huts,” interconnected by trails, will celebrate the harvest September 9th with a farm-to-harvest dinner, complete with wine pairings.

The culinary experience includes overnight lodging at the Stratton Brook hut, the harvest dinner complete with Cellardoor wines, and breakfast plus a trail lunch the next day.

The cost is $140 per person for members and $150 each for non-members. Gather around a table and share an autumnal meal with friends, the group says.

The accommodations are in the woods in Western Maine in backcountry lodges or “huts” interconnected by trails.

Maine Huts & Trails is committed to land preservation, protecting our natural forest resources and leaving a minimal environmental footprint.

Four “off-grid” huts and an 80-mile trail system are two hours north of Portland near Sugarloaf ski resort. Each hut has home-cooked meals, hot showers, solar lighting, composting toilets and radiant wood heat throughout. Learn more at www.mainehuts.org. To make reservations for the farm-to-harvest dinner, call 207-265-2400.

Bee’s Box Wines help save the bees

GEYSERVILLE, CA – “Buy a Bottle, Save A Bee” is the slogan for new wines from The Family Coppola here. The Family includes the Francis Ford Coppola Winery and the Virginia Dare Winery. The new wines will be released on August 19th at the Virginia Dare Winery here with festivities, tastings and informative sessions continuing through August 20th. Bee’s Box is part of the long-term sustainability aims of the Family Coppola wines, and grew to become an employee-driven program of beekeeping, fueled by grave concerns for diminishing bee populations, along with the wineries’ natural capacity to take action. Behind the project, Courtney Prose became responsible for maintaining the hives and providing direction to other employees tending the bees each week, while Lisa Asimont tabulates the overall impact on the estate. “The bees on our property are more than just hives,” says Asimont. “They’re our effort to promote biodiversity in our vineyards. When agriculture has greater biodiversity, the entire ecosystem benefits. It’s a cornerstone of being sustainable.” Ten percent of the proceeds from the sale of Bee’s Box Wines will be donated to organizations whose mission is to promote pollinator health through conservation, education, and research. One is the San Francisco-based Pollinator Partnership and their Bee Friendly Farming Center through which farmers and growers can certify themselves by following prescribed guidelines, and subsequently identify themselves with the BFF logo of a black bee on a green background.

About the Wines

2016 Bee’s Box Chardonnay (Monterey, Mendocino and Lodi) Nose: ripe tropical fruits, including pineapple, pears, and melon layered between tones of vanilla, roasted nuts, and mocha Palate: rich crème brulée texture with flavor of a fruit compote finish and blend of baking spices

2016 Bee’s Box Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara, Monterey, and Clarksburg) Nose: vibrant fragrance of cranberries, black cherries, nutmeg, vanilla, and oak

Hard Rock Cafe founder celebrates 46 years

BOSTON – Isaac Tigrett, founder of two’s Boston favorite entertainment venues, Hard Rock Cafe and House of Blues, visited the city recently, celebrating Hard Rock’s 46th birthday and reminiscing about the early years when he was inspired to take American music and culture worldwide.

It’s a remarkable tale of a young man from Tennessee who was living in London where he yearned for a hamburger, opening the first of what became an almost 200-unit chain of Hard Rock Cafes worldwide.

He’d grown up with Bluegrass music and found himself, as he puts it, “dedicated to educating and celebrating the history of Southern culture.”

The mission, as he viewed it, was to create profitable, principled global entertainment celebrating, as he describes it, “the diversity and brotherhood of world culture.”

“I wanted to introduce the world to Southern Blues, Rock and Roll, R&B, gospel jazz, and more,” he explains, and after the first one in London, considered doing maybe two or three more.

Today, Hard Rock has close to 200 units in 70 countries around the globe. The company began to expand when Tigrett and partner, Peter Morton, began opening new units in New York, Boston, Dallas, Washington, DC, Orlando, Paris and Berlin.

The search for a good burger was enough at the beginning, but musical entertainment quickly became a key element. Musician Eric Clapton, an early fan of the first Hard Rock, wanted his own favorite bar stool to assure it would always be there for him. He hung his guide above his favorite one! The rest, as they say, was history. One week after hanging his guitar in the cafe, Pete Townshend of The Who’s sent a package with a guitar and a note with the message, “Mine’s as good as his! Love, Pete.”

Today, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hard Rock International has venues in 75 countries including 176 cafes, 24 hotels and 11 casinos.

Tigrett went on to launch the International House of Blues Entertainment Company in 1991 with partners that included The Disney Company, Harvard University’s Endowment Fund, and Chase Manhattan Bank’s Venture Capital Group.

Having succeeded in the mission of bringing American music and culture to a global audience, he went on to, through the non-profit Rama Foundation of Zurich, Switzerland, fund the SSSIHM, a free 500-bed high-end super specialty surgical hospital in Andra Pradesh, India.

Tigrett is also the benefactor of the Freedom Award at the National Civil Rights Museum USA, presenting them to civil rights activist Bishop Desmond Tutu and President Jimmy Carter.

He’s been commended publicly on the floor of the U.S. Senate for his contributions to American culture worldwide; awarded two PhD honorariums for his work in promoting racial harmony and African American culture.

Today, he serves as CEO of the Prakashan Book Society and oversees publication of spiritual books in 15 countries globally.

A highly knowledgeable student of religion, he’s been honored at Harvard University. Today, he lives in his early home in Tennessee.

Scampo jazzes it up at Boston’s Liberty Hotel

 

BOSTON – Jazzy Cocktail Night at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel debuted recently, providing a new way for guests and others to enjoy some of the area’s top musicians whose genres include jazz, vocals, Latin rhythms, funk and blues. Coming up will be:

April 20: Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, a traditional New Orleans jazz ensemble who also perform interesting covers and original music

April 27: The Sam Lee Trio, headlined by Mr. Lee, a top bassist in New England covering jazz, funk, R&B and rock

May 4: Paul Gaulin, a percussionist whose jazz trio spans genres including Latin, funk and blues

May 11: Mark van Bork, leader of VB & the Buzz, who transitions effortlessly through blues, soul, jazz and rock

With the new series comes a dedicated list of cocktails and bar bites available exclusively during the Thursday performances from 10pm-1am. For single-serve cocktails ($16 each), highlights include the Boulevardier made with rye, Campari and sweet vermouth finished with an orange twist; Classy Champagne Cocktail served in a water glass with sugar cubes and a lemon twist; and, Roaring Violette with lychee, Violette, lavender, white wine and bubbles. For those looking to take their imbibing game to the next level, there are sharable Punch Bowl Cocktails ($36) – that come shaken for two, served in festive brass pineapple-shaped vessels – like the Sparkling Jazz with Absolut, lime, Aperol and a prosecco float with floating orange pin wheels and Dubonnet Sangria with wine, fruit, anejo tequila and hibiscus with a ginger beer float and fresh fruit. Other beverages include the Prohibition Milkshake ($36), a large format liquid treat of vodka, chocolate ice cream, crème de cacao, Kahlua and bubbles served with freshly made mini bacon doughnuts.

On the culinary side, items in addition to Scampo’s seasonal pizza offerings include: Veal & Pork Meatballs in a 17-minute candeli sauce with shaved pecorino gremolata ($12); Fried Arancini with Pomodoro and parmesan ($10); Calamari a la Plancha with fennel salad and chipotle aioli ($10); Bruschetta with homemade ricotta, candied pistachios and warm guanciale ($11); and Lydia’s Stuffed Dates ($11).

At Destilería Serrallés, Philippe Brechot succeeds Félix Serralles, Jr.

PONCE, PUERTO RICO – At Destileria Serrallés, a premium rum purveyor here, longtime President and CEO, Félix J. Serrallés, Jr., retired after 36 years at the helm of one of America’s oldest family-owned businesses. A member of his family’s fifth generation, . Serrallés  led the company’s development and growth since 1981, accomplishing a leadership position in the production and sale of rums in Puerto Rico, along with reaching unprecedented business milestones in export markets in the U.S. and across the globe. The Serrallés family has been crafting exceptional rums since 1865 and today, its flagship brand Don Q, is the leading rum in Puerto Rico, experiencing sustained growth in the American market. He will continue as chairman of the Board of Directors.

Succeding him, Philippe Brechot becomes president and CEO of Destilería Serrallés, Inc. He brings more than 25 years of industry experience in international management, distribution and marketing witha proven track record working in leading companies like Moët Hennessy, Diageo and most recent William Grant and Sons, where he was managing director for Latin America.

“We are fortunate to have found Philippe, a proven executive with ample experience growing premium brands in global markets. He will be an asset to lead our team as we continue to expand our brand’s footprint throughout the global spirits market”, says Serrallés.

Meanwhile, Roberto J. Serrallés will continue in his current position as president of Serrallés USA, the USA distribution company of Destilería Serrallés, and as a member of the Board of Directors of Destilería Serrallés. In addition, John Eason will continue in his role as COO and executive vice president of Serrallés USA in charge of overseeing the operations, including distribution, sales and marketing in the USA market for the company.

“We have developed a solid team in the USA and we will continue to focus on growing Don Q in this important market. I am confident that Philippe’s experience in developing premium brands will create a unique synergy that will strengthen our ongoing efforts in the USA and beyond,” Félix Serrallés declares.