Great food and great dining experiences have become an art, a source of entertainment and a destination.
The growth of local food movements and the entrepreneurial drive of chefs and hospitality workers are both building and tapping into this trend. In response, tourism associations, economic development agencies and municipal governments are moving to refocus some of their efforts onto the growing sector of independent restaurants, farmers’ markets and food tours.
“Regardless of the reason why someone comes to visit Brampton — whether on business, visiting friends and family or for leisure — they typically have to eat three times a day,” says Rebecca Mackenzie, Executive Director of the Culinary Tourism Alliance. “It is important to identify those establishments that will ensure a premium visitor experience. That encourages visitors to linger longer, spend more money in the community and have a greater positive impact on the local economy.”
The Culinary Tourism Alliance is working with the City of Brampton Economic Development Office to lay the foundation for a strong food tourism sector in the city. The Forum on Food Tourism is pulling together key stakeholders to develop an authentic “Taste of Place” in the city. Food tourism stakeholders include restaurants, hotels, festivals and events, attractions, beverage producers, culinary schools, farmers’ markets, growers and producers, retailers and tours.
The day-long session will include a look at the current food scene in Brampton and its readiness to move actively into food tourism. Forum leaders will engage stakeholders and discuss the impact of the millennial generation and their passion for culinary experiences. Also on the agenda is a moderated panel discussion with a cross-section of industry insiders and a lunchtime keynote address from local celebrity chef Jason Rosso. The day will be capped with a networking session.
“You want a destination that has a unique story, whether it’s a working partnership between local farmers and local restaurants, or a critical mass of unique multicultural and multiethnic dining experiences,” says Rebecca. “We want to dig deep to uncover those stories in Brampton, then thread those experiences together so that we can better tell visitors how they can fully enjoy their visit.”
While it is important for Brampton to capitalize on its existing assets, key for the city is to encourage more festivals and events built around a culinary experience. Clearly defining that “Taste of Place” for Brampton is the first step.
“We know Brampton has a lot to offer in terms of culinary experience, from restaurants to pick-your-own farms,” says Councillor Jeff Bowman, Chair of the City’s Economic Development Committee. “We are an incredibly diverse community with restaurants serving delicious food from almost every culture. People don’t realize the extent of what we have here, and this Forum is a significant step towards getting the message out.”
Full details of the Forum on Food Tourism, which is open to Brampton businesses interested and involved in the food tourism sector, are below:
Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2016
• Time: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
• Location: Alderlea, 40 Elizabeth Street South, Brampton ON, L6Y 1R1
• Cost: Free (Lunch provided) – CINEWS