In Our Summer 2016 Edition

Last Updated June 13, 2016
Share to printerest Share to fb Share to twitter Share to mail Share to print
Our Summer 2016 Edition

Grist for the Mill

Dear Reader,

By now you know that I spend a lot of time thinking about what I eat. The micro, as in “What should I do with all this eggplant I bought at the farmers’ market?” Or “Where am I stopping for lunch today?” And the macro, as in “How does the food I cook or order impact the local economy, the regional foodshed, the environment and the health of farm workers here and abroad?” And the list goes on.

Lately, I’ve been thinking more about food and accountability, especially after reading Laura Reidel’s April 13 expose in the Tampa Bay Times titled “Farm to Fable,” in which the restaurant critic and columnist called out restaurateurs in her area who were posting deceptive claims about the provenance of the food on their menus.

After researching food sources and interviewing farmers and fishers, Reidel called foul on the menus and chalkboards at many of her favorite restaurants. “Farm to Fable” had a ripple effect across social media platforms and, in the time it takes to send a text, her article was sparking reactions with farmers, chefs and eaters across the country.

This so-called greenwashing was raised at the “Dark Side of Local Food” event in May hosted by ecoRI, a panel discussion that included Ken Ayars, chief of the Division of Agriculture at the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management; Lisa Raiola, founder and president of Hope & Main; and Jesse Rye, co-executive director of Farm Fresh Rhode Island. The discussion explored the principles behind, for lack of a better term, what we call farm-to-table foods. Though we have much of which to be proud, like elsewhere across the country, our state is not immune to false claims of local provenance.

Here in Rhode Island we have a tight-knit food community, known to outsiders for its supportive and inclusive practices. It has experienced growth in truly remarkable ways, especially in the last 10 years as the number of farms has increased along with food production and consumer demand. Our food community—consisting of farmers, chefs, fishers, purveyors, advocates and eaters—is all part of this magnificent growth. As such, the need for trust in all aspects of our transactions with one another is so important. Otherwise, the success of its achievements will be undermined.

Do I expect that every ingredient we eat hails from Rhode Island? Of course not. That would be immensely challenging, given the limits on what is feasible for local production. But I would like to know, in restaurants and when shopping at farmers’ markets or the grocery store, that when food is being advertised as “local,” it has, in fact, been harvested, raised, landed or produced in our state or tri-state region—it’s that simple. In a state so often associated with corruption, our local food community should shun deception and continue to be a beacon, true to itself for all of its nourishing potential.

Dig in!

Genie McPherson Trevor, Editor

You Can Gamble on this Chicken

This new eatery’s three-piece chicken dinner, with a scrumptious biscuit and your choice of a seasonal side is, indeed, a winner.

An Apron for all Seasons

Many long hours in a kitchen drove Matt in search of an apron that wasn’t “a pain in the neck.”

Leaves for your Tea Leaves

The leaf-shaped pottery pieces made by a mother-son team vary in size and design, but they are all a similar soothing shade of green.

Chi for Your Chi

Not long ago, the fermented cabbage condiment kimchi was mainly found in Korean restaurants.


The rise of PVDonuts has been meteoric.

Chilled Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad

This is an easy, flavorful salad that is incredibly versatile. It’s been a favorite among my friends at summer cookouts when the weather is hot, the grill is going and the produce is abundant. I...

Grilled Point Judith Sea Scallops and Boston Bibb Salad with Corn and Bacon

The quality of the ingredients really makes this summer salad sing. We use fresh Rhode Island sweet corn (always picked the same day) from Manfredi Farms in Westerly; house-made bacon from heritage...

Italian Plum-Topped Ricotta Tart

This recipe is inspired by both my Italian heritage and my childhood growing up in Boston’s historic Italian North End—where ricotta pies and cannoli could be had at every corner bakery—and...

Grilled Eggplant Rollatini with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Taking to the Grill with Summer Veggies 'Tis the season for grilling. Virtually every summertime vegetable benefits from some time on the...

What We're Savoring on the Streets this Season

Meet two of Rhody's newest food trucks: Portu-Galo and FanCheezical.

Island Community Farms

Nestled amongst the cookie-cutter homes and manicured lawns of suburban Middletown lies a plot of land unlike any other on Aquidneck Island.

bywater in Warren

Eschewing the traditional chef-driven restaurant model, Brian & Katie O’Donnell chart their own course with their neighborhood eatery.

Warm Corn and Tomato Salad

warm corn and tomator salad
This recipe is our rendition of traditional Mexican street corn (one of our favorite snacks). Grilling the corn gives the dish a wonderful flavor. In the height of summer, we can’t get enough of it...

Watch Hill: An Edible Itinerary

When the sun catches the spray on the breakers or the ripples in a lagoon or the still surface of a pond, you feel soothed in your soul.

The Local Catch

The lineup of the different kinds of fish and shellfish that The Local Catch carries is impressive for any fish market, big or small.

The Baoist

Chinese Entrepreneur Tom Tong brings an ancient culinary tradition to Providence.

Classic Redux

Mezcal Props Up the Old-Fashioned With a Whisper of Smoke For a panoramic view of the Newport waterfront in all its summertime glory, take...

Sampling Rhode Island’s Food Tours

In Rhode Island, food-loving adventurers can explore diverse locales filled with outstanding restaurants and irresistible food, wine, beer, cafés and, yes, history, all within relatively short...

Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet

If you’re a health-conscious epicure with a sweet tooth, there is a way to enjoy the best of both worlds.

What’s happening near you

February 22 | 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Winter Wine Pairing Dinner

Jo's American Bistro
February 27 | 6:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Monthly Wine Dinner at Chair 5

Chair 5
Build your own subscription bundle.
Pick 3 regions for $60