Blackstone Valley · Dynamites · making Dynamites · Woonsocket


The beauty of having a radio show all about Food is, the food! Sometimes it’s guests bringing breakfast, like Maria from El Rancho Grande in Providence. Last Wednesday she brought me the most amazing Tamales! Perfect with my morning cup of coffee. Other perks of the job? Getting to judge, emcee and attend Cook-Offs & Galas! This Fall has proven to be especially busy! I used to think I couldn’t wait to start judging cook-offs, but it is so hard!

At the Dynamite (a spicy Sloppy Joe) Cook-Off held recently in Woonsocket, RI, there were 50 competitors vying for the top prize of King or Queen of the Dynamite. Luckily, I was an emcee and didn’t have to try and judge 50 different Dynamite Sandwiches. It was great fun getting to know the contestants and hearing their stories about the origins of their secret Dynamite recipes that have been passed down through the generations. The youngest competitor was just 4 years old. The oldest was 83!
Third place winners were Lynne Leroux And Michelle Marcotte of The Friendly Home, Second Place was GiGi Therien. Michelle Shiavo took top honors, winning Queen of the Dynamite! She got to ride in the coolest car in the Autumnfest Parade held this past Columbus Day. Her winning recipe will be mass-produced and sold on supermarket shelves, with Michelle being credited by name on every label! The proceeds from the sale of what will be called “Dynamite Sauce” will serve as a permanent fundraiser for the nonprofit Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. For more pictures and information about the cook-off and the history of Dynamites, go to and click on Dynamite Highlights.

Judging the event were: State Sen. Marc Cote of Woonsocket; GianCarlo Iannuccilli, of GianCarlo’s Ristorante in Woonsocket; Larry Lovejoy, of Vintage restaurant in Woonsocket; local entertainer Noel Pincince; Ron St. Pierre, host of WPRO radio talk show; Sue Tessier-McKenzie, of The Call in Woonsocket; and Tom Ward, publisher of The Valley Breeze.

Sponsors besides the tourism council were: Narragansett Beer, Northern Rhode Island Council for the Arts, Jen’s Dish, Calise Bakery, Li’l General Stores, The Woonsocket Call, City of Woonsocket, Lions Club of Woonsocket, Government of Canada, Blackstone River Valley National Corridor Commission.

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