Crave RI Food Festival Set for June 15 and 16

The CVS Health Charity Classic golf tournament adds a new two-day food festival to the lineup of events.

The organizers for the CVS Health Charity Classic like to say that the annual golf tournament marks the start of the warm weather in Rhode Island. Since its founding, the Classic has raised more than $20 million for nonprofits in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, but this year it’s changing things up by featuring the inaugural Crave RI Food Festival. This year, in addition to the golf tournaments, visitors can also taste the fantastic food Rhode Island has to offer in a weekend of activities designed to raise money for organizations dedicated to helping children and families.

In a press conference today, organizers gave an overview of the event. Crave RI will be held at the Dunkin Donuts Center from June 15–16 from 5:30–10 p.m. The cost of tickets is $20 per person. There will be more than eighty restaurants involved, including press conference presenters Milk Money, Crazy Burger, TwoTen Oyster Bar and Grill and the Capital Grille. Sam Adams, Narragansett Beer, Angry Orchard and Newport Vineyards are among the 100 beer and wine vendors to be featured.

The Capital Grille executive chef Matthew Haist spoke about organizing Crave RI: “When they brought to my attention the idea of having a two-day food festival with 80 local restaurants and up to 100 different beer and wine vendors, as exciting as it sounded, I didn’t put a lot of stock into it. But now we’re thirty or so days away from the event and this idea has come to fruition,” he says. “I’ve been a chef for the Capital Grille for nineteen years, so you can imagine the amount of different charity and promotional events that I’ve done, but I can honestly say that Crave RI is one of the more exciting ones. In a city like [Providence], such a small city with so many great restaurants, it’s exciting to see the array of culinary talent that’s been assembled.”

To back that point up, the presenters were on hand to show off some of their most interesting dishes. The kimchi deviled eggs from Milk Money were a daring combination that worked well together. Crazy Burger offered samples of their bourbon meatballs and veggie burger balls. TwoTen Oyster Bar and Grill featured their heaping lobster sliders, California rolls and spicy tuna sushi, and the Capital Grille prepared peppered tenderloin wrapped with boursin cheese around asparagus, a perfectly balanced finger food.

If today’s inventive and promising samples are any indication, the Crave RI Food Festival will be a welcome addition to the state’s growing food culture.

For tickets to this year’s Crave RI and golf tournament, visit