World’s foremost food trendsetters gather in Toronto for annual Terroir Symposium

Annual Terroir Symposium will showcase the best of global hospitality, tourism and cuisine

Press release

On April 23, Toronto will host more than 60 of the most visionary, knowledgeable and innovative professionals in hospitality and tourism at the annual Terroir Symposium. Now in its 12th year, Terroir is North America’s marquee gathering for sommeliers, chefs, hoteliers and producers, which has made Ontario a world-class destination for culinary travelers. Guests will engage with renowned speakers, network with industry leaders and influencers, and explore trends in food, beverage and travel.

This year’s conference theme, Terroirnomics: The Powerful Economics of Local, aims to provoke discussions around the value of supporting local businesses and producers, while showcasing the talent of chefs, growers, artisans and entrepreneurs.

“When we shrink our supply chains, source locally and support our regional growers and producers, the positive impact on the economy is extraordinary,” said Rebecca Mackenzie, President of the Culinary Tourism Alliance, the organization behind this year’s event. “We have always been huge supporters of Terroir and are thrilled to be managing the event because it aligns so closely with our mission and core values.”

The Culinary Tourism Alliance (CTA) is managing Terroir for the first time after years as a partner and supporter of the event. With deep connections in the industry and a vested interest in the success of local businesses, the organization will bring together key stakeholders, experts, business leaders and media to discuss the profound economic impact food tourism can have on a given region. The public event will be held at the stunning Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).

“We are ecstatic to host this inspired event for the third year in a row,” said Renée Bellefeuille, Executive Chef, AGO. “Terroir’s reputation has grown and now more than ever helps us attract some of the most curious, ambitious and knowledgeable hospitality professionals in the world to our beautiful city. Chefs see food as an art form, so the AGO is a natural backdrop for this incredible gathering.”

Speaker highlights

  • Elena Arzak (ARZAK, San Sebastian, Spain)
    Revered and decorated chef and restaurateur
  • Farmer Lee (The Chef’s Garden, Cleveland, Ohio)
    James Beard winner, farmer and champion of sustainable agriculture
  • Jason Clampet (SKIFT, New York, New York)
    Co-Founder of SKIFT Table, a top trend-spotting resource for restauranteurs
  • Dennis Prescott (Eat Delicious, Moncton, New Brunswick)
    Best-selling cookbook author, food photographer and social influencer
  • Sylvian Charlebois (Professor, Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia)
    Researcher, author and champion of terroir

Event highlights

  • Keynote addresses from technology, culinary, beverage, hospitality and tourism experts.
  • Interactive panel discussions featuring a diverse and gender-balanced group of presenters.
  • World Food Court lunch, showcasing global cuisines curated by Suresh Doss, editor of Foodism.

Guests can opt to attend master classes which will each highlight a segment of Ontario’s bourgeoning beverage industry. Experts in wine, spirits and beer will lead intimate discussions around these key drivers of local hospitality and tourism. The Great Ontario Craft Brew will showcase an exclusive beer brewed collaboratively by Great Lakes Brewery and Beau’s Brewery. Wine lovers can spend the morning and afternoon portions of the event immersed in wine theory. The Wine Marketing Association of Ontario will host two of the master classes: Women in Wine and Cabernet Franc.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit

The Culinary Tourism Alliance is a not for profit devoted to connecting taste-makers, sharing their stories and sparking delicious developments in food tourism. With its expertise in food tourism development, the Culinary Tourism Alliance seeks to ensure that authentic tastes of place become a significant economic driver for communities and regions, and a primary way for travelers to enrich their experience. To learn more visit and follow @OntarioCulinary

With a collection of more than 95,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. As one of the only arts institutions in North America with a dedicated, in-house food and beverage operation, AGO Kitchens presents a rare advantage: custom menus made with fresh, local ingredients by a team of dedicated culinary experts. Led by Executive Chef Renée Bellefeuille, art is on the plate at the AGO. For more information visit and follow @agoeventsteam (Twitter) and @ago_events (Instagram)

The Wine Marketing Association of Ontario is dedicated to promoting the VQA Wines of Ontario – both the vintners and the unique qualities of our authentic VQA wines that are made exclusively from 100% Ontario-grown grapes. Wine Country Ontario is dedicated to promoting Ontario’s wine-growing regions – from the wines and wineries themselves to the complete experience of each destination: local cuisine, year-round activities and warm hospitality. Wine Country Ontario is a brand trademark of the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario. For more information visit and follow @winecountryont

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