The value of local ingredients, businesses, and producers goes way beyond creating a better tasting meal. The annual Terroir Symposium will bring together leaders in hospitality and tourism to help both explore and strengthen this aspect of the industry.
We know that travelers are hungry for authentic, dynamic, local food experiences.
Meanwhile, destinations, driven by social media and pressures to constantly reframe their offerings, are developing local food-themed travel products and promotions at a rapid rate to attract new visitors. In the midst of all this, it’s no wonder that local food and experiential travel have consistently been at the top of trend lists across both industries.
This all points back to terroir, the intrinsic flavor of a place –– of the land and people who work it. It’s what we look for when exploring a new place. It’s a local, craft pilsner in Prague or a hot bowl of noodle soup, piled high with fresh herbs in Hanoi. It’s also what ties us to home when traveling –– why after a long trip all we want is a taste of wherever we came from.
Using your local terroir can support economic profitability, especially if you’re marketing savvy and smart about how you source your food. Creative storytelling on social media, through traditional media, and on your menu attracts new visitors and those looking for something off the beaten track. Updating your menu to reflect what’s currently available in your region can help keep that story going on the plate.
In the kitchens of small-to-medium sized businesses, responsible sourcing practices help mitigate spoilage and waste to further cut costs. More and more, chefs and restaurateurs are bringing processes like preserving, fermenting, and butchery back into the restaurant to help cut costs as well –– something that seemed counterintuitive a decade ago.
These efforts have all kinds of positive effects beyond the plate. It can support a healthy corporate culture and ensure environmental sustainability. When businesses work together to support a collective terroir, it also builds vibrant communities.
On April 23rd, hospitality and tourism professionals from across the globe will gather in Toronto, Canada for the 12th annual Terroir Symposium to discuss the value of supporting local businesses and producers. Presenters will be speaking about technology and innovation, economically viable, locally-focused business models, and creative marketing and partnerships that can showcase your place, wherever that may be.
Highlights of the dynamic, full-day program include Elena Arzak, chef at Michelin-starred Arzak Restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain; Kat Kinsman, author of “An Awkward Conversation Will Not Kill You”; Lee Jones, farmer at The Chef’s Garden in Ohio; Torunn Tronsvang, founder of Up Norway; and co-founder and general manager of Skift Table, Jason Clampet. There’s also a series of “Master Classes” exploring topics like women in wine, small-scale brewing, and craft spirits on the roster.
The day will bring together innovative people from the field of hospitality and tourism, including chefs, hoteliers, writers, and business leaders with a focus on education, networking, resource sharing, and building a community that helps to strengthen our industry.
That’s something we can get behind.