The Terroir Symposium did their tenth anniversary right – expanding to the Art Gallery of Ontario on April 25th for a glorious full day (and night) of industry education, networking, sharing and community building. We’re so proud to be involved in an event that showcases our homegrown talent and puts them alongside some of the most innovative culinary and hospitality masterminds across the globe.
In honour of the symposium’s tenth anniversary, here are our top ten moments of Terroir 2016:
1. Arts, Culture and Technology intersect at the AGO
Moving this year’s installment to the AGO was an inspired choice, and a perfect venue to reflect the theme of this year’s symposium. The Frank Gehry-designed space, with its sculptural staircases and use of warm Douglas fir, lets plenty of natural light in. A perfect backdrop to illuminate the best and brightest of our hospitality industry.
2. The Feast On Wheel of Fortune
Our Feast On booth proved a big draw for delegates (it helps to be stationed right near the elevators taking people to lunch!). We set up a Feast On Wheel of Fortune, which delegates spun to win awesome Feast On swag from our designees and Preferred Purveyors. Hand mixed samples of Pluck Teas, Sapsucker maple tree filtered water, cold pressed oils from Pristine Gourmet, locker rods from Sanagan’s, boat float key chains from Rhubarb Restaurant & Boshkung Brewing Co., aprons from Ontario Pork…no surprise we were a popular spot!
Before stepping right up to the wheel, we asked delegates to sign our petition asking for a tax break for our Feast On designees who are taking the time to track their procurement. We know that process can be time-consuming but it’s also the only way we can measure demand for local food and collectively report the need for increased support of the agri-food sectors to the government. We collected pages and pages of signatures – and we’re just getting started!
3. The wine workshops – curated by Wine Country Ontario
The bright and airy Gallery Italia was the setting for these sold out workshops. Lucky delegates who attended the workshops were treated to insightful meditations on the wine industry by a panel of experts. We were lucky enough to snag seats for Poised for Pinot, which included a blind tasting of nine pinot noirs from around the world. One of the highlights was trying the newest Tawse pinot – Tintern Road – a bright, clean number with sour cherry notes. Sidebar: Norm Hardie, we picked your County Pinot out of the line up!
4. The Cheese Cave – presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada
When we weren’t spinning the wheel to win, we were sneaking over to the Cheese Cave, to sample some of our favourite Ontario cheesemakers. What a line up – St. Albert, Upper Canada Cheese Company, Mountainoak Cheese, Thornloe Cheese, Quality Cheese and the newest dairy on the block – Stonetown Artisan Cheese in St. Mary’s.
5. Go ahead, play with your food!
One of our favourite installations during the day came out of the hands on workshop – A Palate-to-Plate Happening, which brought together chefs Charlotte Langley, Christine Flynn and Marc Lepine for an edible art demonstration. Check out Charlotte and Marc piping icing to create a tasty new take on Van Gogh’s iconic Starry Night.
A photo posted by Ontario Culinary Tourism (@octa_licious) on
6. A deep dive with Ocean Wise
Our friends (and Feast On program partners) at Ocean Wise put together a thoughtful discussion on new technologies that are advancing sustainability for seafood across the world. The panel included Ned Bell (founder of Chefs for Ocean), Pablo Alvarez and Craig Petten, owners of one of Canada’s largest vertical indoor aquaponic farms and Robert Hanner, who holds the baller title of Chief Technology Officer at Tru-ID, a company that is elevating traceability along the food chain.
7. Seeing our Feast On friends!
We swelled with pride watching Miriam Streiman from Mad Maple take the stage. Ditto with Paul and Grace from 100km Foods, who spoke passionately about building a culture founded on authenticity. Over in Walker Court, delegates were treated to dessert Langdon-style with a unique Terroir Noir chocolate paired with greenhouse garnishes and a few surprises from Langdon Hall.
8. These hot dogs for the afternoon break. Merci Chez Tousignant!
9. Creativity & The Idea of North: Dinner is served.
Some smart delegates took their Terroir experience from day to night, sticking around for a breathtaking collaborative dinner created by 16 superstar chefs from across Canada and beyond. The meal showcases some of our favourite Ontario producers – Pristine Gourmet, King Cole Ducks and products from 100km Foods.
10. The Rural Retreat
A whirlwind post-Terroir day at Ocala Orchards – curated by OCTA and featuring our “never say die” Feast On chefs. Weather conditions were less than ideal, but our chefs put together a ‘gram worthy spread of fire roasted Ontario food. Read the recap here.
Terroir Hospitality brings together innovative and creative influencers from the field of hospitality, including chefs, food and beverage experts, writers and business leaders.