From the phenomenal food to the endless list of talented and inspiring speakers, this year’s Terroir Symposium was truly one to remember.

Each year, Terroir Hospitality brings together innovative and creative influencers from the field of hospitality including chefs, food and beverage experts, writers and business leaders for a day of education, networking, sharing collective resources and building a community that helps to strengthen the service industry. To celebrate Canada’s 150 anniversary, this year’s presenters reflected the history, diversity, and leadership of the Canadian culinary landscape from field to kitchen, to dinner plate with emphasis on the unique relationships in between.

This year’s host, Chef Matty Matheson of Parts and Labour and the face of Canadian cooking for VICE, kicked things off by introducing Lisa Odjig of the Odawa/Ojibwe/Pottawatomi First Nations who performed a traditional indigenous hoop dance. Equally inspiring were the truly eloquent words of Sarain Fox, host of VICE Media’s TV series RISE, who spoke about an indigenous woman’s perspective of the culture of food. The introductions to the day proved to set the tone for what would be an amazing experience.

Wild pickerel cheeks from Wheatley Ontario prepared by Hooked Inc.

This year’s speaker’s series covered a variety of topics from orange wine to wild salmon. As you can imagine, salmon was our department, with Ocean Wise hosting a speaker series on wild salmon’s influence as a keystone of Canadian cultural identity. Dane Chauvel of Organic Ocean engaged the audience on wild salmon from the perspective of a commercial fishery and Marcel Sherpert of River Select discussed wild river salmon harvested by indigenous communities in B.C. chef Ned Bell tied it all together by representing the culinary industry. The take home message was for chefs to consider and utilize the unique taste of wild river-run salmon, something which is currently underutilized, as its flavour profile transforms during its journey up the river to spawn.

This year’s lunch program at Terroir was all about Canadian sustainable seafood. With chef Ned Bell, along with 10 of Toronto’s finest spots like The Chase, lbs., and Hooked prepared a delicious assortment of sustainable seafood for attendees at the event. The sustainable offerings for this lunch included Rickshaw Bar’s Hor Mok, a steamed local whitefish in banana leaf with curry custard and coconut milk, shrimp escabeche from Boralia created with local Ontario raised white shrimp from Planet Shrimp, and wild caught pickerel cheeks from lake Huron created by Hooked.

Farmed Acadian sturgeon prepared by lbs.

“Terroir is by far the finest gathering of cooks, media, journalists, chefs, restaurants, farmers and artisans in Canada annually. This year was extra special for me as I was able to focus on something important to me, First Nations harvested Wild BC Salmon and Ontario Lake Fish. Being able to contribute and co-curate the Ocean Wise lunch was a delicious highlight,” explains chef Ned Bell.

The lunch was a highly educational experience as attendees walked along the AGO’s Walker Court, read about the sustainability of each item and sampled some of the best sustainable seafood available in this fine country of ours.

We cannot wait until next year.

All of the sustainable seafood included in this lunch was generously donated by our numerous sponsors and this lunch would not have been possible without their many contributions. Our seafood sponsors for this event included: Hooked Inc, Allseas, Planet Shrimp, Kolapore Springs, Acadian Sturgeon, Oyster Boy, Organic Ocean, University of Guelph and First Nations Fish.  

Overfishing is the single biggest threat our oceans face today. With more than 675 partners across Canada, Ocean Wise makes it easy for consumers to make sustainable seafood choices that ensure the health of our oceans for generations to come. The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean-friendly seafood choice. www.oceanwise.ca

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