March 5, 2010

A Rhody Food Tour.

     After a few weeks of planning the details of Small Bites, we decided to kick things off with a group visit to the Providence Athenaeum. Doesn't sound like a typical choice for folks looking for a bite to eat, does it? Well, while on a typical evening delights to be found there are of a decidedly more literary bent, last Friday night, they were purely of the culinary variety. The Athenaeum hosted a veritable culinary extravaganza as part of its Friday night salon series and featured Mike Ritz of Rhody Food Tours along with chefs and owners from four different Providence restaurants. 
     As founder of Rhody Food Tours, Mike Ritz plays tour guide, sharing with tour-goers some of the best of what Rhode Island cuisine has to offer, in places where you might least expect to find it.  On Friday night, Mike shared the stories behind his Immigrant Cuisines of Greater Providence Tour, and brought along chefs Sanjiv Dhar from Kabob & Curry and Rasoi restaurants, Maria Meza and her son Joaquin from El Rancho Grande, and Kazu Kondo from Ebisu. Guests were invited to munch on samples while listening to the stories behind the restaurants from the chefs themselves, all of whom bring culinary traditions from across the globe to Providence. 
     As for us, we couldn't have been happier. Delicious food, stories to go along with it, and four restaurants we'll be sure to hit up soon!
{Tamales and Flauta from El Rancho Grande}
{Gyoza from Ebisu}
{Quesadilla's from El Rancho Grande}
{Samosas from Kabob & Curry}

Update: On March 13, March 27, April 3, and April 24, Rhody Food Tours will be hosting Immigrant Cuisines Part II! Email for more information.


Hello, and welcome to Small Bites--a blog about the spices and stories of local restaurants in the smallest state!  Small Bites is a collaborative effort, co-authored by a team of students from Brown's Public Humanities Program. The idea for this project began during research for the exhibit Food on the Movea collaboration between the Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Museum and the Public Humanities Program at Brown University.  In the exhibit, we explore the history of eating while traveling on different modes of transportation. While our exhibit is focused on meals consumed on the move, our research for it started to make us think about the food that we eat locally, right here in Rhode Island's favorite restaurants. Just like in the exhibit, it was the stories behind these meals that most interested us: Who prepares the food we eat? Where do the recipes come from? What do the ingredients mean to the people who use them? What does eating mean in different cultures and how is it adapted to the American context? Where is the food we eat raised and grown? These questions serve as the basis for Small Bites. 
Thanks for reading!