Culinary Tourism: The Art of Food and Drink

Kawarthas/Northumberland, Prince Edward County, Ontario

November 5 - 10, 2017


A large proportion of visitors to Atlantic Canada are looking for great food experiences. They want unique food and drink experiences linked to what we grow and harvest from both the land and sea. With such a heightened emphasis on the “foodie” experience there exists an opportunity for Atlantic Canadian destinations to share their culture and history through food and drink. This mission will concentrate on how destinations have created culinary experiences that highlight their regions and engage the visitor in unique ways.

Prince Edward County (PEC) has been recognized as one of the top Culinary Destinations in North America.  Its combination of rich cultural mosaic and access to world-class chefs has made it a mecca for food tourists.  The experiences in PEC will demonstrate how you can create interesting culinary experiences that have connected closely with Ontario’s signature local food movement “Feast ON”.  In addition we will visit the Kawarthas and Northumberland region.  This rural area of ON has seen incredible growth in its culinary scene over the past two decades. Utilizing local farmers and partnerships with Parks Canada Trent Severn Waterway system they have positioned their region as an up and coming culinary destination. Over the course of the week we will meet with farmers, DMO officials, chefs, hoteliers, wineries/distilleries and unique food experience providers.

Leading us on the ground for this mission is Dan Taylor.  The first half of Dan’s 30 year career started in Toronto where he worked for global advertising agencies and small entrepreneurial marketing agencies. Dan was a “suit” and worked on the client services side of the business.  Dan loves wine and got in on the ground floor of the Prince Edward County wine boom. He and his wife bought a small plot of land, grew pinot noir and established a virtual winery. Dan in collaboration with key community stakeholders was able to set Prince Edward County on its course to become the “Gastronomic Capital of Ontario” as dubbed by the Globe & Mail and arguably Canada’s premier Creative Rural Economy”.

Food Tourism Learning Objectives

  • To visit destinations that institute a visitor focused lens to their culinary/food experiences from both an urban and rural perspective
  • To learn how to enhance your own operations through first hand experiences in world class foodie experiences
  • To learn how various business operations have been integrated into the culinary/foodie industry to provide alternative revenue streams
  • To understand the importance of knowing your market; who you sell to and how to sell to them
  • Learn the importance of local foods and how to partner with those providers to enhance the experience
  • Learn how to connect all the culinary/beverage assets to create a strong clustered approach for destinations
  • How to go the extra step to connect the buyer mentally to the artisan or the product
  • Why attention to detail and quality are critical ingredients to the success
    How to “up sell” a visitor and offer a true experience as opposed to simply a meal
  • How to learn about the best culinary experience opportunities within your region and ignite the minds of your visitor
  • How guests can gain a new perspective through the eyes of the artisan, farmer, chef, etc.
  • Learn how to involve tourists/consumers in your local traditions

Estimated Costs

$2200 – $2500 (Depending on Airport Departure).  For those who are eligible there is a 50% subsidy on all eligible costs up to a maximum of $1500.

Target Participants

Target participants for this mission will include agriculture producers/owners, chefs, restaurateurs, wineries, distilleries and brewers interested in combining food and drink.  This will also be of interest to DMO and support agents interested in how to grow a culinary destination.

Schedule – Here is the draft itinerary – we will be making a few more tweaks in the coming weeks. Culinary Mission Nov 2017

Here is a taste of one of the highlights of the trip – Danielle French’s South Pond as seen on Netflix

Nov 5th – Arrive at Pearson International Airport by noon – Travel to Peterborough

Nov 6th – Kawarthas/Northumberland Region

Nov 7th – Prince Edward County

Nov 8th – Prince Edward County

Nov 9th – Prince Edward County

Nov 10th – Travel to Pearson Airport – Flights out after 1:00 pm