Grist for the Mill
To answer your question: Yes, they are delicious! The teascented chocolate truffles on our cover are as good as they look, the delicate outer shell giving way to a soft, melt-in-your-mouth ganache center. What’s more, they are each made one by one, with care. It’s hands-on work—and you’re going to find that same passion and attentiveness to food throughout this magazine as you savor the stories of the small food business owners we’ve highlighted in this issue.
The story of Michele De Luca-Verley’s handmade truffles will evoke fond memories for those of you who remember her Newport shop, La Maison de COCO, and I know you’ll be glad to learn about what she’s been up to lately.
Jumping from chocolate to strawberries (not a leap for me), we head down to the farm to meet Alby Brandon, a young farmer in West Kingston who is growing organic strawberries in low tunnels and producing some of the earliest-ripening berries around. He doesn’t come from a farming family but Mom and Dad are both helping out while he grows his business on 10 acres of fertile soil.
We’ll venture to another growing business, one that just expanded to a great big new facility in Warwick, in large part due to a change in Rhode Island law. We sip the suds with the owners of Proclamation Ale and learn how they have, through hard work, diligence and the help of a growing craft beer fan base, built their new brewery.
Creating a product, devising a business plan and getting that product to market is a demanding process. You’ll get to learn about the challenges of food business start-ups and follow the journey of two individuals who enrolled in the Social Enterprise Greenhouse Food Accelerator Program and find out what the course meant for their growing enterprises.
You’ll get a behind-the-scenes peek on page 22 into one of the year’s best multi-chef benefit dinners, Dinner by Dames (for AIDS Care Ocean State). Now in its seventh year, a team of some of Rhode Island’s most talented women in food (and drink) gather together to create a memorable evening for all involved. The dinner is also part of the seventh annual Eat Drink RI Festival. (Hint: Get your tickets soon!)
Another event coming up this spring will give you an opportunity to glean cooking tips from Chef Richard Allaire of Metacom Kitchen in Warren, whose story is profiled in this issue. The chef is teaming up with Edible Rhody to provide a hands-on cooking class at the brand new demonstration kitchen at Gil’s Appliances in Bristol. I’ll be there too, eager to learn insider tricks, tips and recipes highlighting fresh spring ingredients. Flip to page 37 or visit EdibleRhody.com for more information about signing up.
I hope you enjoy this marvelous season of reawakening, the sprouting shoots of green leaves and the optimism evidenced by the return of another outdoor growing season here in Li’l Rhody.