A Culinary Celebration
PROVIDENCE, RI – The CVS Health Charity Classic took place over the weekend starting with its inaugural event, Crave RI.
Crave, RI serves as the prelude kick-off to the 19th annual CVS Health Charity Classic Golf Tournament which brings the best names in golf to Rhode Island. Golf fans and foodies alike can see the nation’s top golfers tee up for charity at the picturesque Rhode Island Country Club on Sunday, June 18 and Monday June 19.
The two day food festival was held at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center on Thursday, June 15th and Friday, June 16th, showcasing popular Rhode Island restaurants, breweries and vineyards. With a list of vendors that included Matunuck Oyster Bar, Newport Vineyards, Milk Money, Duck & Bunny, Pane e Vino, and dozens of others you could see why people packed into The Dunkin Donuts Center ready to experience food and fun!
Guest were given a small Crave RI glass upon entry and were able to sample signature dishes and drinks from participating eateries. Serving up something to tantalize everyone’s palates, guests experienced the delicious cuisine, tasty beverages, demonstrations and tips from talented Chefs in the area.
We at New England Media had to see what this event was all about. After walking around tasting, sampling, and experiencing all Crave RI had to offer, we compiled a list of our top 10 highlights.
10 Highlights From Crave RI’s Inaugural Event
1. Plenty of Choices!
There truly was something for everyone. Even though the crowd was large, lines moved quickly. Food was fresh, mixed drinks were not watered down and beers were cold and ready to go!
The look of the wooden floors, the “on the porch in your backyard” feel, and plenty of tables made sampling a little more enjoyable. The music was just loud enough and played a mix that all ages could enjoy. Good food, good music, and a place to put your plate helped make everything more enjoyable.
3. Capital Grill’s Peppercorn Steak
Tender New York strip with black peppercorn for a spicy flavor with Courvoisier cream sauce. If you are a steak person this was definitely a booth to sample from… a few times. The mix of the heat from the steak and the sweet form the Demi glaze made this one of my top booths to sample.
4. Pane e Vino
The size and flavor of their pasta with the ricotta cheese was a mini appetizer in itself. The pasta was fresh, the service was quick and knowledgeable, explains the dish to guest with each one they served, explains how the floats went together, creating a tasty experience
5. Dinner & A Show!
Not only did guests eat and drink, we got to learn and be entertained from top chefs in the state!
Thursday night Food Network star, celebrity chef and Top Chef participant Marcus Samuelsson hosted an interactive cooking demonstration bringing to life the farm, sea and city theme with vignettes showcasing the participants and the vast array of culinary offerings.
On Friday, June 16, MasterChef winner and local restaurateur Jennifer Behm-Lazzarini headlined the demonstration stage and shared cooking tips and tricks. Behm-Lazzarini is the owner of RED FIN Crudo + Kitchen in Providence, Rhode Island, who was also sampling at Crave RI.
6. The Beverages
Samples included CIROC Mango, Amaretto Baileys, Absolute Lime and tasty concoctions by SVEDKA and Altos Tequila created by the area’s best mixologist. And they did not disappoint. Samples were not watered down, poured cold and always refreshing. Beverages and food intertwine effortlessly. Beers were no exception! Master brewers crafted them with care and served them cold to the a ready and waiting crowd. The wine selection did not disappoint! Local vineyards and vendors served knowledge along with smooth flavorful wines. They even offered the perfect pairing with the food that was being sampled at the time.
7. Bring the Whole Family
It was a nice that this was something the whole family could do together, and encouraged picky eaters to try new and different things. There was plenty of variety so even the toughest eater found things they liked. The demonstrations entertained while teaching them a little bit about cooking at the same time.
8. Sydney PVD and their desserts!
Desserts with colorful frosting to fresh chocolate brownies. Sydney PVD satisfied the sweet tooth. Even when the night began to wind down Sydney still was serving up treats to a very appreciative crowd.
9. Snacks for later!
Health foods and snacked were also in attendance. ShriBark handed out oat, seed and fruit cookies that were a karma packed snack. The cookies are baked locally in Pawtucket, RI and packaged fresh and full of flavor.
10. The Proceeds Support Food Charity’s in RI
All proceeds from the inaugural event will support charitable organizations across Southern New England. Now that is something we all can support!
(Photos by Kristen Brault)