The Block Island Times

Spring Taste of Block Island kicks off the season

Starts May 31
By Lars Trodson | May 20, 2013
Photo by: Kari Curtis Historical Society Executive Director Pam Gasner  shows off an antique quilt and dress that will be on display during the taste of Block Island.

Five dollars gets you a passport.

That’s all it costs for a button that will take you into some of the great places in and around the island for the annual Spring Taste of Block Island event. The button is on sale now for $5 at the Block Island Ferry, the Block Island Express Ferry and at the Block Island Visitor’s Info Center (located at the Ferry dock).

This year, more than 60 Block Island businesses and organizations are participating, each with a unique contribution to island life and culture. When you purchase the button, you will also receive a list of the events and the location of the businesses participating in the Taste.

The Taste of Block Island runs three days, May 31 through June 2. Events range from tours of the Southeast Lighthouse — one of the great manmade attractions on the island — to Bloody Marys at the National Hotel to a cooking tutorial from Ed Moon, co-owner of Eli’s who is also a culinary instructor.

“What we’re doing for the Taste of Block Island is giving more access to the public,” said Lisa Nolan, longtime tour guide of the Southeast Lighthouse. “We’re offering an escorted tour where you’ll see lighthouse, the lens, but also show more of the building — not just the tower. It’s a more in-depth experience.”

Nolan said many islanders haven’t been inside the lighthouse, and she especially encouraged those who live here to take a moment to stop by.

Julie Fuller of the National Hotel also wanted islanders to buy a button — so they can enjoy a free Bloody Mary.

“We’re doing a Bloody Mary bar on all three days from 8 to 11 a.m.,” said Fuller. “It’s a make-your-own, and with a button you get a free Bloody Mary. “ She also said that if a button-wearer buys an entrée at the hotel they’ll get a free cup of chowder.

Speaking of chowder, the Chowder Cook-off is happening at the National on Sunday, June 2. (Last year, Aldo’s won the event.)

“There’s so much stuff going on that doesn’t normally happen,” said Fuller of Taste of Block Island. “This is not meant just for tourists.”

Ed Moon, co-owner of Eli’s and a culinary instructor, is offering a class on how to make vinaigrettes. “We’ll be doing a little demonstration at the Blazing Star Farm,” Moon said. “We’ll be doing a food tasting, a little instruction and a wine tasting.”

That event happens on Saturday, June 1.

“I think it will be great for people to come out and learn about cooking and about the great local farms and ingredients we have at our disposal and to see how they all can come together,” said Moon.

Block Island Historical Society Executive Director Pam Gasner is opening up her building for tours on all three days of the event. Three tours will be given each day at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m.

“We’re calling this ‘Block Island’s Attic’,” said Gasner, a kind of tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that visitor’s will be given a chance to see some of the artifacts in the historical society’s collection “that aren’t regularly on display.” The price of the tour will be cut in half ($5 instead of $10) for anybody with a Taste button.

“Along with the tour, visitors will receive a free postcard set or a Block Island poster,” said Gasner. Each tour will be limited to 20 people.

There are many other events at such places as the Beachead, the Yellow Kittens (a wine pairing during the Clam Shack), kayak tours and more.

“People on Block Island should take advantage of this because it’s fun stuff,” said Julie Fuller of The National.

Additional information can be obtained by calling the Block Island Chamber of Commerce at 800-383-2474, or by visiting This is a Block Island Chamber of Commerce Event.

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