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Seven big ideas from the food world insiders at this year’s Terroir Symposium

Terroir 2013

The vibe at the Terroir Symposium this year was decidedly touchy-feely. Hundreds of chefs, restaurateurs, wine experts, activists, writers and all-purpose food enthusiasts congregated yesterday at the Arcadian Court for talks and panels about the stories and memories behind the food they eat. The impressive roster of speakers ran from Toronto eminences like O&B’s Peter Oliver to up-and-coming out-of-towners, like the editors of the hot new food magazine Fool. But the highlight of the day was the keynote address from the revered Danish chef René Redzepi, of Copenhagen’s Noma, which ended the symposium with a standing ovation. Below, seven things we learned at Terroir VII.

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Restaurants

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Terroir 2012 recap: what we saw, heard and ate at the big annual food industry meet-up

Kevin Gilmour (sous chef at The Drake Hotel) was assisted by his crew at this pork carving station. Hunks of roasted pork were served over a peanut-ginger slaw (Image: Renée Suen)

Last week, 500 members or so of Canada’s food and hospitality industry gathered for Terroir VI at the newly renovated Arcadian Court. The theme for this year’s symposium was “The New Radicals,” a new generation of chefs that have a collaborative and unconventional approach to cuisine despite their conventional training. Symposium chair Arlene Stein had arranged a line up of the industry’s finest from Canada and abroad, assembled on panels featuring restaurateurs, writers and chefs from the old and new vanguard—most attendees agreed this year’s crop was the best yet (before the event we spoke to Australian chef Ben Shewry, as well as sustainable aquaculture champion Barton Seaver and natural wine advocate Alice Feiring.).

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People

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Five things we learned about O&B from Corey Mintz’s behind-the-scenes feature

With the recent announcement that Toronto’s ever-growing food service company Oliver and Bonacini Restaurants is set to make The Bay the city’s newest foodie destination with a string of in-store eateries, not long after adding food service at Muskoka’s Windermere House to its porfolio, one thing is clear: the O&B empire is officially taking over. In his recent Toronto Star feature on the corporation, Corey Mintz shadows the two men behind the company, Peter Oliver and Michael Bonacini, to find out what it takes to build an empire. (Mintz also published a “deleted scenes” post on his own blog.) Here are five things we learned.

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