What is a “New Radical? This is the question that I tried to answer when I attended the Terroir Hospitality Symposium at the newly relaunched O&B Acadian Court this April. This 6th annual event came to my attention in recent years, but I had always been able to attend. This year I was not missing it for anything. Armed with a ticket, some friends to hang out with, and an open mind and positive attitude I descended with 400 other eager guests to see what the day had in store for us.
With headlining speakers like Barton Seaver, author of For Cod and Country, and world famous chef and restaurateur Ben Shewry of Attica in Melbourne Australia, this was definitely a day not to be missed. The topics were as varied as the speakers, and there was something for everyone. Local and international restauranteurs (Max Rimaldi from the Libretto Restaurant Group, and Ken Friedman from NYC) talked about their success, and told cautionary tales of the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to be a success in this business. We also heard from experts on food systems, giving back, and solutions to help fix the problems with our oceans.
Some of the boys who made us lunch
(not pictured: some of the girls who made us lunch, I was too busy flirting)
A definite highlight of the day was the amazing lunch that was put together by the team at Swallow food. A group of 15 very talents chefs presented a buffet titled Wok & Roll – Riding the Rails of Chinese Canadian Cuisine. An ode to the 19th century influx of immigrants from China and the effect they have had on our culinary scene. What a lunch!
Looks like a mess, but so good!
After lunch there were some great breakout sessions, and I decided to visit with my friend Jason Persall from Pristine Gourmet to hear some great stories about their farm and the challenges of farming today. Jason is a great guy, and if you have the chance you should definitely chat with him and even visit their farm. The afternoon talks were from some great industry veterans, who gave us their impressions of the industry, and their take on success.
I really enjoyed my day spent among colleagues, new and old, at Terrior and am very much looking forward to learning more at next years symposium. The team that put this together did a fantastic job and I hope to bring more of a contingent next year to share in this experience.