Sea-Food Differently

A popular series of seafood dinners spends spring in the East Bay


The days of eating for survival have long since expired. Meals are now canvases for the subtle, personal interactions between the diner and the dish. The play of flavors across the tongue, the sounds accompanying each bite, the influence of smells and sights – food consumption has become an activity in which one can tailor the experience to their desired sensual outcome.

Unfortunately, many believe our appetites are outgrowing our ecosystems, and proponents of this belief are pushing for people to purchase foods from sustainable, local sources. And to prove that sustainable eating does not mean sacrificing one’s sensualexperience, chefs across Rhode Island have joined together with founder and local fisherwoman Sarah Schumann to create the Eating with the Ecosystem Dinner Series, described as a “place-based approach to sustainable seafood.”

The first of the spring series takes place on February 25 at the Boat House in Tiverton. The dinner celebrates “the late-winter treasures of our Southern New England waters,” and will be prepared by the restaurant’s Executive Chef Jon Cambra.

“This is what the local food movement is about: eating locally and sourcing our food from the right people for our guests,” says Chef Cambra. “I am very passionate about our local fishing community, and my duties as a chef are to take these amazing foods that are so passionately cared for, and cooking them with the same intensity and love that our local farmers and fisherman have for what they do.” Tickets are $60 per person (includes wine pairings), and the event begins at 6pm with a cocktail reception followed by dinner at 6:30pm.

The next dinner in the series is scheduled for March 27 at Fluke Wine Bar and Kitchen in Newport. Chef Kevin King and proprietors Jeff Callaghan and Geremie Callaghan will introduce guests to “the edible wonders of the cold-water ecosystem to our North,” meaning the Gulf of Maine. Tickets are $50 per person, and the event begins at 6pm with a cocktail reception and then dinner at 6:30pm.

The final installment for spring will be at Bristol's Hourglass Brasserie on April 23 with chef/owner Rizwan Ahmed. Tickets are $48 per person – dinner at 6:30, cocktails at 6.