On the Bay

Raising a Toast to Coffee Milk

A La Rhody, a statewide culinary event series, aims to spotlight Rhode Island's food traditions

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The fact that Rhode Island is one of the country’s culinary darlings shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone at this point. Whether it’s our restaurants earning national acclaim or putting a uniquely Rhody twist on regional trends (they’ve really been into barbecue this year), Rhode Islanders always have something amazing cooking and that’s always been true; our past, particularly in the realm of aquaculture, is quite storied. Everyone knows it, so in what is basically a delicious, year-long humblebrag, groups including the Providence Public Library, the Rhode Island Historical Society, the Providence Department of Art, Culture and Tourism, Discover Newport, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau have teamed up to create A La Rhody, an ongoing event series that puts our state’s past, present and future food culture front and center.

“Rhode Island’s food traditions are a large part of our state’s history and its food expertise will be a large part of our state’s future,” says First Gentleman Andy Moffit. “This collective effort showcases just how the culinary community is woven into the fabric of Rhode Island.”

That collective effort bit is key, as A La Rhody isn’t just about authors or award-winning chefs. Rhode Islanders are encouraged to share their family recipes and traditions, which will be added to a digital cookbook on A La Rhody’s website and preserved for posterity by the Rhode Island Historical Society. Just because your grandma never won a James Beard Foundation Award doesn’t mean her homemade spaghetti and clam sauce isn’t the bomb.