In Our Fall 2017 Issue

Last Updated September 15, 2017
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Dear Reader,

As we swing back into that rhythm that comes with the start of autumn and the sounds of school buses as students head back to the classroom, it’s a good time to reflect.

Good points to ponder include what we all can learn from how our attitudes about food impact the livelihoods of the people who bring us our food; how we can learn from the past and present to create a stronger food system; and how food has the potential to change lives for the better.

Where to begin? Begin by reading Edible Rhody, of course! Our cover story profiles a third-generation trap fishing family that is maintaining a challenging livelihood and veritable fishing art form, one of just a few families left that fish in this traditional manner. We have both a print story and video on our website that will take you into their world and show you what it really takes to be a trap fisher.

I hope that our story of New England farms, immigrant labor and the difficulties both laborers and farmers face with the seasonal H-2A visa program will galvanize you to contact your congressional representatives in support of meaningful immigration reform. The article should prompt you to think about the many factors involved in the simple act of eating, especially when you bite into a crunchy New England apple this fall.

We profile the new sustainable agriculture and food systems (SAFS) program at the University of Rhode Island, where students are studying topics ranging from food insecurity to the environmental factors in farming, both small-scale and multinational. In the words of one student, food is a topic that goes beyond borders.

A history profile on African Americans in Rhode Island who gained freedom through their culinary skills is a fascinating look at our own state’s past and the power that food has to change lives. The Rhode Island Historical Society’s RelishingRI program on African American culinary artistry in the 18th and 19th centuries inspired the article; RIHS is sponsoring programs throughout the year that will whet your appetite for culinary history.

On page 18 you’ll meet a young farmer from a seventh-generation family farm in Chepachet who is working diligently to restore the farm while introducing livestock as a means to support it. The bond of family runs throughout this issue of Edible Rhody, including our conversation with chef/co-owner of New Rivers, Beau Vestal. We last profiled New Rivers in our very first issue 10 years ago with then-owner Bruce Tillinghast. This time, Beau reflects on the changing local restaurant scene and life in the business he runs with his wife, Elizabeth, while they raise three young children.

You’ll find plenty of tempting recipes and great cocktails to toast the season that’s upon us, plus a visit from an old friend with a new cookbook. As with every issue of Edible Rhody, I hope we give you food for thought.

Deep Roots Farm

How Katie Steere is Bringing Her Family’s Seventh-Generation Farm Back to Life Just a few short years ago Katie Steere’s life looked very...

Beau Vestal of New Rivers

It’s About Good Food and Family at Providence’s Acclaimed Locavore Restaurant “Love People, Cook Them Tasty Food” reads the sign above one...

Pulling Twine with the Wheelers

A Rhode Island Family Remains Dedicated to the Art of Trap Fishing Corey Wheeler Forrest is a third-generation Sakonnet Point fish trapper...

Foodways to Freedom Through the Kitchen

African Americans in Rhode Island Who Used Food to Achieve Independence A mong the gifts that immigrants have brought to the United States...

Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems at the University of Rhode Island

A New Concentration Offers Study in Sustainable Agriculture, Nutrition and Food “Do you want to be a farmer?” More than one student...

Immigrant Workers and the Seasonal Farms of New England

The Challenge of Labor and Reform and the Realities of the Local Food Economy At Carlson Orchards in Harvard, Massachusetts, workers...

A Delightful Deli, New York Style

Michael Gabriel, Long Island native and recent Johnson & Wales grad, looked around Rhode Island and didn’t see the kind of deli he’d...

New Gig for an Old Salt

Matt Mullins may not be that old but he’s definitely sailed the seven seas as a career Navy man, with a strong interest in food and cooking...

A Rebellious Spirit Becomes a Bagel Baker

Like your bagels crunchy with soft insides? Lots of seeds? A hint of malt in the crust? So does chemical-engineer-turned-bagel-baker Milena...

Spice Up Your Life with This Chai Mix!

After earning her BA at Colorado College and a year at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Block Islander Jessica Filkins was...


Food4Good is the only nonprofit food truck in Rhode Island. Julius Searight, a Providence native and Johnson & Wales University...

Brunch Belly

Brunch Belly has beaten the odds for a Newport food truck—it was granted special permission, with the help from a member of the City...

Potato Pancakes No Matter How You Slice Them, Spuds Make the Meal

Consider the potato and its incredible versatility. Potatoes can be prepared in myriad ways: scalloped, mashed, puréed, grated, grilled, as...

Stoneacre Brasserie in Newport

The Next Chapter When David Crowell, David Sturgeon and Christopher Bender first set out to create a neighborhood brasserie in Newport,...

Homegrown Cooking From My New England Roots

I’m a New Englander. Maybe the deep-rooted love I have for this place took hold when I first walked down Yawkey Way to see Carl Yastrzemski...

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