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Looking Back into the Terroir Symposium 2018


Terroir Symposium 2018 once again brought together hospitality and tourism professionals for a day-long event packed with leading industry speakers and exquisite food.

For this twelfth edition, the day revolved around the theme Terroirnomics: the powerful economy of local. Seminars provided insight and a better understanding of the richness of our land and why we need to support local talent and businesses.

Chefs, hoteliers, drink experts, writers and business leaders were inspired by over 60 speakers; as well as taking part in opportunities to learn through Master Classes and Taste the Terroir of Ontario workshops.

The Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA) joined efforts again this year with Terroir to curate and run this one-of-a-kind celebration in Canada.

The day was organized around key discussions including:

  • Growing a successful beverage destination
  • Hungry? There is an app for that
  • Wellness in the workplace
  • Recipe for a delicious destination
  • Farms of our future: Innovation in agriculture tech
  • Economics of local
  • Food is worth a thousand words
  • Festival + events: Let’s celebrate terroir

From marketing to technology and from economics to corporate health; game-changing thoughts were shared, and meaningful conversations started. All this all happened in a place of art and harmony at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

To dig deeper into these topics, please read the Restaurants Canada blog post: The Importance of Terroir, an Economic and Cultural Value.

The Terroir Symposium brought together keynote speakers highlighting crucial solutions for the issues our industry is facing while showcasing local restaurants and drinks.



Looking Back into the Terroir Symposium 2018

Memorable service is the key to everything

Carolina Avaria president of Les clef D’Or Canada and chef concierge at the Four Seasons Hotel shared about the importance of making a difference by providing a personalized and caring service to your customer.

Putting your money where your mouth is

Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, also known as “the food professor,” discussed the importance of supporting a local and sustainable food system. He reminded us that we are not only eating calories and we should also consider what our food means to us.

Looking Back into the Terroir Symposium 2018

Collaboration is key

Elena Arzak, chef and co-owner of a three Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain, revealed one of the reasons for her success: Collaborations. Collaborations with farmers, artists, architects or historians allow her to elevate her dishes and complete them.

Experiences: that’s how you get consumers through your doors

Jason Clampet, co-founder of Skift, provided some insights on key trends we will be observing in 2018. He recommended focusing on experiences to fight the delivery trend and think about designing your restaurant and menu offerings around social media appeal to enhance and promote the guest experience.

Looking Back into the Terroir Symposium 2018

Get out and explore your suburbs

Suresh Doss print editor for Foodism curated a local feast with international flavours for Terroir Symposium guests. Lebanese, Peranakan, African, Middle Eastern, Ojibway, Syrian, Sri Lankan, Hakka, Trinidadian and Indian delicious dishes were featured; all from the Toronto area! Suresh proved that local could be international too.

An awkward conversation will not kill you, but the lack of it might

Kat Kinsman—the senior food and drinks editor and author—brought our attention to one of the hardest issues our industry is facing, mental health. Whether due to stress or a highly competitive environment, mental health is often a concern in foodservice and we cannot let this go unnoticed. Isolation makes things worse—we need to take time to have the awkward conversations that could save lives.

Looking Back into the Terroir Symposium 2018

Chocolate is still the sweetest, and that’s not gonna change

With the help of Cacao Barry, some of the best chocolate and pastry makers of Ontario gave us a taste of their most original creations during both the morning and afternoon break. Sweet tooths, like us, were impressed and as happy as can be!


The following day, the Culinary Tourism Alliance, in partnership with the Terroir Symposium, took us on a unique foodie field trip. 20 Feast On chefs cooked over open fires and showcased some of the best flavours the bounty of Norfolk County had to offer. You can read more about it here.

The next Terroir international hospitality forum will be hosted in Warsaw, and the next Terroir retreat will bring you to Tuscany in November.