The Judges

Awards Bagde2

Every year, the Ontario Culinary Tourism Awards are judged by a nominated panel of esteemed judges.  Candidates are pulled from industry, media and destination organizations. So, without further ado, a big warm round of applause for our 2014 panel of judges!

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Doug O’Neill @DougONeill

Doug O’Neill is Executive Editor & Travel Blogger for Canadian Living magazine.  While Doug has travelled to approximately 50 countries around the world, his roots are firmly planted in rural Ontario.   Doug was raised in a small hamlet of 151 people (Phelpston, Ontario) smack in the middle of farm country. “I love the way Ontario food producers have taken a new direction in the last decade or so. When I was a kid, my family cash-cropped cucumbers for Bics. Thankfully, the local food-to-table scene is so much more robust now. We have a lot in Ontario to brag about when it comes to culinary tourism.”



Steph Mackie & Mark Biernacki  @Stephomac @MPBiernacki

Steph Mackie and Mark Biernacki are co-owners of Mackie Biernacki, an idea company that believes a brand needs fresh thinking in unexpected places to inspire action. They have partnered with both OCTA and Feast ON in creating their respective brand and digital identities. They thrive on creative that breaks new ground; be it film, social, design, or good food, drink, and hospitality!  Visit:


Rod Charles  @RodAlCharles

Photo by Julia Pelish Photography

Rod is an entrepreneur with a passion for travel, adventure and good food. He’s worked for as an online editor and has ghost-written blogs for several elite athletes, including former Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph, and former Toronto Raptors forward Jerome Williams. He’s worked as the travel editor at AOL / Huffington PostCanada and his travel articles have been published in the Toronto Star. Rod is a managing partner of, Canada’s leading online publication focused solely on Canadian culture and destinations. Along with his leadership role in business development, he is also’s Deputy Editor and Director of Communications.


 To learn more, contact Agatha Podgorski at 416-644-3601.

 Nominations are now closed. Please check back in 2015.

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