I reached Arlene Stein, executive director of the Terroir Symposium and a good friend of mine, by Skype at her home in Berlin this week to find out how plans were coming along for the 10th edition of the hospitality industry conference.
She impressed on me that this Terroir will be a departure from any of the nine that preceded it: “It’s different in the way we have set it up. It’s a lot more dynamic in the sense that we don’t have a main stage; we have multiple stages for the presentations. And we’ve broken up the day so that there’ are morning sessions and afternoon sessions. The morning sessions are exclusively workshops.”
Stein explained that the five concurrent workshops will focus on practical knowledge, including a seminar on how to be a chef on TV. Or a workshop on how to successfully market yourself and handle PR from Geeta Nadkarni. Or tips on do-it-yourself restaurant design. Stein says the goal of the workshops is to spur “creative conversation”.
Attendees can also opt for a half day ticket, beginning at 11AM. “There’s more eating in the afternoon,” Stein said, “lunch, snacks, cheese will be simultaneously served.” The intention of the afternoon sessions, Stein went onto explain, is to get attendees to explore the Art Gallery of Ontario, as programming will take place in many rooms and spaces throughout.
“We’re using multiple spaces, and collaborating with artists to create installations especially for Terroir,” she explained, “Concurrently there will be simultaneous programming on three stages: one focusing on future, one focusing on technology and one focusing on art.”
What began for Stein as a personal project to bring together a few local chefs, suppliers and hospitality professional together for a day of professional development has grown into an international conference with hundreds of delegates and dozens of presenters from around the world (and more than a few from around the corner). Stein wasn’t long on our call, she had too many others to make, although it was late in the day in Europe. “It’s going to be great,” she said, “I’ll see you there!”
(And she will, both Jamie Drummond and I will be presenting and otherwise getting as much out of an amazing day as we can.)
Tickets and information about Terroir can be foiund at terroirsymposium.com.