Experience an intimate culinary experience prepared by Rhode Island's top young talent at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol. Each meal will be crafted as an expression of the featured chef's unique style and will artfully showcase local, seasonal ingredients. $75 per person. Seating is limited, so be sure to make reservations early.
Chef Eli Dunn of Eli's Kitchen, Warren February 21, 6-8 pm
My lifelong dream has always been to open my own restaurant and carry on the tradition started by my mother's beloved Seekonk eatery, Phoebe's Fish and Chips. With over twenty years of kitchen experience under my belt and a serendipitous engagement to the lovely Pamela Girard (owner of Ananda Hair Lounge right here in Warren!) the stage was set for me to fulfill my hearts longing. My hope for Eli's Kitchen is for it to be the community choice for locals in search of a humble yet delicious meal in a welcoming atmosphere. Drawing inspiration from an eclectic range of culinary influences, I wish for nothing more than to make folks happy by serving them interpretations of my favorite meals. Eli's Kitchen also caters to folks with food sensitivities and preferences. From vegan, to locally sourced beef, to craft beer and everything in between, Eli's Kitchen truly has something for everybody!
Chef Matthew Varga of Gracie's, Providence March 6, 6-8 pm
Chef Varga is from Connecticut, where he would spend his childhood days crabbing, fishing, and soaking in the aromas of his family's busy kitchen. He began his culinary training by taking food and baking classes in high school, and started his first job in a restaurant at the age of 16. Chef Varga attended Johnson & Wales University, where he received his associate degree in culinary arts in 2003, and his bachelors degree in food service management in 2005. Chef Varga began working at Gracies in 2007, and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2010. Since then, Gracies has won the AAA four-diamond award four years straight, and received three Diners Choice awards from Open Table. Chef Varga has been featured in Art Culinaire and as a guest chef for the Democratic Governors Association Taste of America gala
Chef Brian O'Donnell of Bywater, Warren March 13, 6-8 pm
Brian O'Donnell is the chef & owner of Bywater, a new restaurant in the historic working waterfront of Warren, Rhode Island. He started his culinary career in Pittsburgh but in the unlikeliest turn of events found himself head chef at Cafe Nuovo in Providence where he developed his passion for sustainable seafood and local food culture. Now the owner of his own joint with his wife Katie, he can forage, fish, and cook whatever the coastal community has to offer. Bywater is a new world interpretation of old world ingredients and techniques, drawing on the traditions of Rhode Island's seafaring folk as well Brian's food history: from Clonbur in Galway, Ireland (he's the youngest of 13 children), to the Pennsylvania Dutch influence of Pittsburgh, to his current home on the New England shore.
Chef Matt Genuso of Chez Pascal, Providence April 3, 6-8 pm
Rhode Island native Matt Gennuso traveled far and wide to learn all he could about food, so that in the end he could return home to share his cuisine with Providence. Gennusos journey began at the Culinary Institute of America. He spent one year in Holland honing his skills and then worked under notable chefs such as Chef Paul Bertolli of Oliveto in Oakland, California, and Tom Colicchio during his time at Gramercy Tavern in New York. In Boston, Gennuso worked at Hamersleys Bistro where he mastered his butchery skillsa first step toward charcuterie. In 2003, back in his home state, Gennuso opened Chez Pascal, where he features Rhody produce on his French-inspired seasonal menu. In 2009, he started selling his sausages from a truck, which eventually turned into walk-up window and casual eatery called Wurst Kitchen that specializes in outstanding Rhode Island saugies.